chapter
1 Pages

was taken in this small-scale study (Dey, 1993; Thomas, 2009) which examined participants’ views about what they intended to gain from their involvement, their confidence in teaching geography, their experience of fieldwork, the gains they anticipated for the children and the benefits and obstacles they anticipated or found through curriculum making. Partici-pants completed a pre-project questionnaire as they began their curricu-lum making and a post-project questionnaire on completion of their class topic. A follow-up telephone interview was undertaken with half the teachers in each cohort three months after completing the project (Thomas, 2009; Robson, 2011). A number of the project outcomes were written up by teachers and posted on the GA’s website (GA, 2009b). This study focuses and draws on the post-project questionnaires, interviews and written evaluations of 16 of the participants, since four were not able to undertake or engage fully with their projects. The teachers involved were geography subject leaders in their school (and most had more than one subject to lead). They required the support of their head teacher to participate since the Project encouraged them to work outside their prescribed geography or humanities curriculum for the term. This was, essentially, an opportunistic sample of primary teachers who had an interest in teaching geography well (Newby, 2010; Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2011). They came from urban and rural schools of varied sizes and catchments. Only some had studied geography in their first degree or teaching qualification, and they varied in their length of time, teaching experience and responsibility held in their respective schools. The limitations of this small and self-selecting sample are recog-nised, as are the constraints of questionnaires and interviews. The study did not intend to investigate the classroom practice of these teachers but focused on their reflections on their experience of curriculum making. Inevitably, it was based on self-reporting and responses were taken on trust. It drew also on written material provided by some teachers about their projects and on a number of the presented outcomes placed on the GA’s website (GA, 2009b). The views of the two curriculum leaders were sought to gather their reflections on the teachers’ engagement with curric-ulummaking. The variety of data gathered was reviewed and analysed using a con-stant comparative method (Thomas, 2009; Newby, 2010; Cohen et al., 2011). This enabled a number of themes to emerge, based in the responses to the questionnaires and interviews. It was found that there were evident links with the GA’s account of curriculum making. This is not surprising in view of the context in which the teachers involved undertook their proj-ects. What it indicated, though, were additional insights and a number of features in the teachers’ experience of curriculummaking that can provide guidance for primary (and secondary) teachers. This article reports and discusses the emergent themes from the study.