chapter  2
18 Pages

Enquiring into primary teachers’ geographical knowledge

BySimon Catling, Emma Morley

Subject knowledge has been central to the teaching of national curriculum subjects since 1988, as it always had been in schooling. Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted 2009) has highlighted the importance of subject knowledge in primary teaching across the range of subjects for primary teachers and children. Yet we enquire comparatively little into the nature of primary teachers’ knowledge of the subjects they teach. There have been a range of studies over many years, focused both on early career and experienced primary teachers, examining most frequently aspects of their science and mathematics knowledge and understanding (Appleton 1995; Harlen and Holroyd 1997; Morris 2001) and on novice teachers’ subject knowledge, largely in the same two subjects (Parker and Heywood 2000; Williams 2008; Witt, Goode, and Ibbett 2013). There has been limited

*Corresponding author: Email: [email protected]

Vol. 41, No. 4, 425-442,

i i a,b and Em a Morleya,b

f iti Social Sciences, School of Education, Oxford Bro kes University, Oxford, UK; bDepartment of Initial Teach r Educa i n, Faculty of

c ti , Health and Soci l Care, University f Winchester, Winchester, Hampshire, UK

investigation in subjects such as history and music (Harnett 2000; McCullough 2006), as there has been into primary teachers’ and novice teachers’ geographical knowledge (Catling 2004; Martin 2008; Morley 2012). Given the explicit re-emphasis of subject knowledge in children’s school learning (Department for Education [DfE] 2010, 2013), it is timely to explore this topic further.