Reflections of Environmental Determinism in the Questions Prepared by Geography Teacher Candidates


  • Hakan ÖNAL Balıkesir University, Balıkesir, Turkey


Geography Teaching, Paradigms in Geography, Environmental Determinism, Preparing Questions


This study investigated whether the environmental determinist approach, which was effective in geographical research especially at the beginning of 20th century and generally believed to be abandoned in the 1920’s, still had impact on geography teacher candidates. With this aim in mind, teacher candidates were asked to prepare a single question by selecting only one of the four given themes and providing a written text consisting of expected answers to their questions in order to contribute to a questionnaire prepared at high school level. The study utilized document analysis method which is a qualitative research method. The study, composed of 224 geography teacher candidates during four separate academic periods, focused on the theme of rural habitats/settlements in Turkey which was selected by 123 of the participants to prepare questions while the other topics were also evaluated to support the study. As a result, it was determined that 96 of the questions prepared about the theme of rural habitats/settlements in Turkey which was selected by 123 teacher candidates were related to environmental determinist approach. It was found that teacher candidates were directly influenced by the dominant power of nature without taking into consideration the impact of man on environment or the mutual interaction between man and environment. Also, it was observed that teacher candidates did not follow academic level articles or other scientific studies and only used textbooks and they did not have any skills in regards to using documents while they prepared the questions