Rigeo

The Initial Training of Geography Teachers at the University of Porto: Model and Training, Practices and Representations

Felisbela MARTINS


University of Porto, Porto, PORTUGAL

Keywords

Initial teacher training in Geography, Geography, Geographical Education ,

Abstract

Since 2008, the initial training of Geography teachers in Portugal was combined with the initial training of History teachers. This forced union has led to implications in the practices and teaching of geography. This paper intends to explore the thoughts and actions of the student teachers at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Porto, (FLUP), with regard to the practices they follow, as well as understand their points of view about what they teach and how they teach Geography. We further intend to examine their opinion about what Geography and Geographical Education is. To this end, we gathered information from student teachers and cooperating supervisors based on questionnaires and classroom diaries, from 2008 to 2013. We found that students are concerned with their image as teachers, and are far from thinking they are educators with the ability to adopt an investigative attitude to their mode of teaching, as they are still centered on themselves. As such, we believe they lack the ability to think about the process of teaching geography. As a Bachelor of Arts, Geography is a comprehensive science that studies the natural and human aspects of the Earth’s surface, the distribution of the phenomena and the relationships among them. The Bachelor in History with a minor in Geography encompasses a more traditional definition of geography than the geography major, but its students revealed a more accurate notion of what Geographical Education is than those enrolled in the Bachelor in Geography with a minor in History.