Practice and Theory in Geography: Experiences from international collaboration for teacher education


  • Gerry O'Reilly Department of Geography, St. Patrick's College, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
  • Ruth McManus


This paper explores how collaboration between university Geography departments in different countries can enhance practical competencies and skills, while bringing innovative approaches to the teaching and learning of Geography at all levels. A major objective is to empower students in geographical thinking and doing by building on their latent skills and knowledge. The spatial perspective must be flexible so as to encourage innovative teaching strategies and technologies. Two experiences of international collaboration between undergraduate geography students are examined. The first case study focuses on joint course experiences of Dutch and Irish students collaborating on the organization and delivery of geographical fieldwork; the second centres on interculturalism, globalization, and good citizenship as worked on by Irish and American students. While both cases involved online interaction, in the first case the students met following a preparatory period of online collaboration, whereas in the second case the only interaction was online and the students never met face-to-face. Both experiences were generally positively received, and serve to highlight the potential for new generations of teachers to use ICT in order to share their geographical empathy and stories across national boundaries, constructs and curricula.


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