Teaching Research Methodology to Geography Undergraduates: rationale and practice in a human geography programme

Journal of Geography in Higher Education ()


Recent acknowledgement that geography students should gain knowledge and experience in the research process has not been matched by accounts of how this experience should be taught. In human geography, apart from a small selection of informative textbooks, scholars have remained relatively quiet on the matter of curriculum design and teaching programs that would provide this experience. Instead, attention has been devoted to specific, individual research skills or selected intersections between teaching and research. In contrast, this paper argues that it is important to consider how we might best teach research methodology in a comprehensive manner to human geography undergraduates. The authors identify pedagogic and pragmatic reasons for teaching this material and then address some of the difficulties and challenges associated with this endeavour. Taking one New Zealand human geography example, the aims and structure of a 200-level course that attempts to provide such an example of research methodology teaching are then sketched out. Responses to the course are noted and followed by reflections on the pragmatic and disciplinary challenges that continue to exist.

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