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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0 Introduction and Background
1.1 Statement of the Problem
1.2 Aims and Objectives
1.3 Purpose of the Study
1.4 Scope and Limitation of The Study
1.5 Research Question
1.6 Research Hypotheses
1.7 Definition of Terms
2.0 Conceptual Framework and Literature Review
2.2 Concept of Education
2.2.0 Types of Education
2.2.1 Process of Education
2.2.2 Teaching Methods
2.3 Experiential Learning Theory
2.4 Nature of Geography
2.5 Fieldwork in Geography
2.6 Empirical Studies on Fieldwork In Geography
3.0 Research Methodology
3.1 Methods of Data Collection
3.2 Population and Sampling Procedure
3.3 Data Analyses
4.0 Data Presentation, Interpretation and Discussion Of Findings
4.1 Part A: Students Perception of Fieldwork
4.2 Discussion of Findings of Part A
4.3 Part B: Teachers View about Fieldwork
4.4 Discussion of Findings of Part B
5.0 Summary, Recommendation and conclusion
5.1 Summary of Findings
Change has been present throughout the long development of geography; there have been a number of different phases or trends in the discipline. Throughout all these changes over the centuries, however, few things have remained constant. One is the fact that the subject matter has not really changed, since inception it has been concerned with the earth as the home of mankind. Secondly, geography has always been a discipline of observation. Observation is simply the most basic way of understanding the fundamental components of geography. Observation has formally been incorporated into geography through fieldwork.
Geographers regard fieldwork as a vital instrument for understanding our world through direct experience as well as fundamental method for enacting geographic education (Rodney and Goh 1998 in Foskett,1999).Geographic education is aimed at understanding the dimension of the use and alteration of the environment by man. And as such man – environment relationship is dynamic not static. Hence fieldwork in geographic education is to enhance the continuous comprehension of the changes in our environment to enhance practical understanding and permanent learning processes of geographical changes.
Fieldwork has a long history and tradition in geography. Just as science requires laboratory experimentation and making sense of the world, geography as the study of understanding human environments demand field enquiries. For most geographers, the importance and significance of fieldwork needs no reinforcement as it is a key component of their own personal biographies in the subject. (Mc Partland 1996, Foskett, 1999), the acquisition of real geographical knowledge takes place in the field as a result of interaction of physical, mental and emotional experiences.
Internationally, though the position of fieldwork in the geography curriculum is highly variable. Though there has been pressures of safety legislation and financial constraint on its development in Britain yet fieldwork still survives in most British Secondary Schools and the number of field study centres increase rapidly (Ginuwade & Thomas 1996; Foskett, 1999). Also, in Australia & New Zealand, its importance in the curriculum has been sustained until the development of integrated social science and humanities programme made its role less secure (Lidstone, 1988, Foskett 1999). In the USA, geography fieldwork has largely been ignored in curriculum development and in many states in Europe its role has been marginal.
However, in less-developed countries like Nigeria, the place of fieldwork in secondary school is as marginal as not in existence, its role has been suppressed by social studies, as well as resource constraints. Before agitating for the incorporation of fieldwork in teaching and learning of geography it is better to first understand the gains of fieldwork especially to buttress our agitation.
Empirical studies in the UK have established that fieldwork has increase educational benefits, (South 1997, Foskett 1999); it also supports the fact that experiential learning enhances pupil learning outcomes (Foskett, 1999). The studies suggest that fieldwork provides an environment that supports active enquiry and testing of ideas in new environments, that is learning in an environment which can promote social and personal development may be an important accelerator to learning. The focus of this study is how these learning outcomes through fieldwork can be used to turn the fortune of geographic education around for good in order for it to be allocated precious curriculum time and financial resources. In an attempt to do this, the study tries to examine the value of fieldwork and then identify the cognitive and affective gains of fieldwork and the reinforcing feedback that results from the experience.
1.1 Statement of Problem
Fieldwork remains a vital part of geography, it is important to geography education because it contributes so fundamentally to geographic education and to our basic understanding of the Earth’s surface. The values and virtues of fieldwork in geographic education and its effect on the cognitive and affective domains of learners can not be underestimated.
The performance of the students that opt to study the subject is very low based on the misconception of the subject as well as teaching methods of the subject. Classroom teaching and learning of geography can be seen as the major setback of geographic education in Nigerian schools.
The discipline of Geography promotes systematic studies of man and environment within the spatial and temporal framework. The contents of Geography become highly fascinating even to the beginner who knows the nature of the interplay between man and environment being the focal point of geographic study; its content has become exciting because of dynamics and complexities of the growing interrelationships.
Since geography deals with both man and environment, it acts as a natural bridge between humanities and sciences. It is against this broad perspective that the trends in the study of geography has been characterized by continuous change from one paradigm to another in order to further enhance the understanding of the complexities of human- environment interactions. Fieldwork is nothing more than systematic observation by a geographer.
1.2 Aim and Objectives
The aim of this study is to critically analyse the purpose, practice of fieldwork in geography and analyze perception of its relevance in geographic education at the post secondary level.
The specific objectives of the study are to:
– examine the nature and purpose of fieldwork in geographic education;
– Identify the methods of application and practice of fieldwork in geography;
– determine the perception of both potential and actual geographers who have experienced fieldwork on the application and relevance of fieldwork in geography;
– based on the above suggest and recommend guidelines that will improve and encourage geographic education
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to ascertain the relevance and extent of application of fieldwork in geographic education as perceived by the people who have experienced it. This is to help in further unveiling the gains and setback of fieldwork in geography.
1.4 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The scope of this study is to examine the purpose, practice and experimental impact of field work as perceived by two categories of subject who have experienced fieldwork in Geography both recently and those who have been experiencing it as professionals
In an attempt to achieve this feat, the study will be limited in scope to Tai Solarin University of education students who have offered fieldwork as a core course in the institution and the lecturers who are the professional geographers and have been experiencing fieldwork all the while.
In essence the 300 Level NCE students 400 Level degree students and the staff of department of geography and environmental management of TASUED are the subjects.
1.5 Research Questions
1.6 Research Hypotheses
1.7 Definition of Terms
Fieldwork-: Practical work carried out by researchers on the field.
Geography-: The study of places and its contents both physical and human.
Perception-: The ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.
Experience-: Practical contact with and observation of facts or events
Post Secondary -: Tertiary education.
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