A Phenomenographic Analysis of Elementary Teacher Candidates' Conceptions of Geography




Earle, Brian D.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



A phenomenographic analysis of elementary teacher candidates attending a large university in north Texas was conducted during the Spring and Fall of 2007. The research study was conducted in two phases with a total of 150 participants. Analysis of the data sought to describe the diversity of conceptions of geography as well as the diversity of conceptions of learning geography held by this participant group. Three conceptions of geography emerged from the data analysis. Two of the three conceptions represent a surface (or shallow) conception of geography and one conception was interpreted to be relational in nature. Four conceptions of learning of geography were found. One of these conceptions of learning geography represents the highest level of phenomenographic categorization; “growing or changing as a person or teacher.” Overall the data suggests that the participants of the study have a more advanced understanding of pedagogy than of the content of geography. This apparent disconnect between the conceptions of the content of a subject and the conceptions of learning that subject has not been previously reported in the academic literature.



Phenomenography, Preservice, Qualitative conceptions, Learning


Earle, B. D. (2008). <i>A phenomenographic analysis of elementary teacher candidates' conceptions of geography</i> (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


Rights Holder

Rights License

Rights URI