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Title: Geography curriculum making in changing times
Author: Mitchell, David
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This research examines the influences on geography teachers’ enactment of the curriculum. Geography education has a tradition of teacher-led curriculum planning and development. However, curriculum is also linked to society and economy. Accountability in schools has intensified and there is pressure on teachers to turn their attention away from geography and toward ‘learning’. This research helps to understand how geography teachers’ make the curriculum in current times. Data from teacher interviews, lesson observations, department meetings and curriculum plans are analysed by applying the curriculum making model (Lambert and Morgan, 2010). Four case studies are presented as ‘portraits’ of curriculum enactment in contrasting geography departments. Common themes are identified inductively across the four case studies and interpreted through the theories of curriculum making (ibid) and schooling in late-capitalist society (Hartley, 1997) to draw conclusions about how curriculum making can be influenced by the changing times. The research presents an original analysis of curriculum enactment which leads to two substantive findings. The first is that curriculum making is ‘hyper-socialised’ whereby teachers respond to the expectations of students and school managers by drawing from others in a collaborative process. The second finding is that, in order to sustain themselves, teachers can turn to their identity as geography teacher to resist pressure toward managerial and technical aspects of teaching. The findings contribute to the fields of geography education and curriculum studies by providing a social-economic explanation of curriculum enactment and a model of how geography teachers’ curriculum making can thrive in the future.
Supervisor: Brooks, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available