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ERIC Number: EJ1416776
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2023
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0085-0969
EISSN: EISSN-2204-0242
Addressing Out-of-Field Geography Teaching in Arizona, USA through Summer Workshops to Build a Cadre of Geography Advocates
Heather L. Moll; Ronald I. Dorn
Geographical Education, v36 p8-22 2023
The Arizona Geographic Alliance has addressed out-of-field geography teaching for three decades by training organisational leaders (called Teacher Consultants or TCs) who become advocates for geographic literacy in their districts and schools. The core recruitment tool has been an annual Alliance Summer Geography Institute (ASGI). Here, we ask the research question of whether the ASGI experience provides out-of-field geography teachers with sufficient depth of understanding of the nature of geography to pass on this understanding to students via lesson creation. Our research strategy is two-fold: first, we analyse surveys taken by participants and their developed lessons in the 2018, 2019, and 2022 ASGIs; second, we analyse pathways of out-of-field retired TCs who have gone on to teach "social studies methods" courses in Arizona's colleges of education. Our results show that new TCs can mainly translate their growing understanding of geography into lessons for the grade levels they teach in that two-thirds of the lessons scored as mostly or heavily contributing to a student's deeper and more sound understanding of geography. A series of informal interviews of retired TCs teaching in Arizona's colleges of education reveals a shared passion for instructing best practices of teaching human geography, physical geography, historical geography, political geography, and environmental geography. Their social studies methods instruction focuses on lessons that task students, not with place names, but with learning core geography ideas. We conclude that the ASGI experience is somewhat analogous to a college student discovering geography as a passion. Whereas a major in college absorbs content quickly, the learning process of a new TC is much slower. ASGI mentorship and camaraderie experienced by TCs is a "geography club" promoting lifelong learning of geography through subsidised participation in national conferences and advanced geography training workshops.
Australian Geography Teachers' Association. PO Box 315 Artarmon NSW 1570, Australia. Tel: 0437-897-993; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A