Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2758

Full Length Research Paper

The place of geographic information systems (GIS) in the new geography curriculum of Turkey and relevant textbooks: Is GIS contributing to geography education in secondary schools?

Suleyman Incekara
Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 17 February 2010
  •  Published: 31 March 2010

Abstract

The national geography curriculum of Turkey has undergone radical changes and new secondary school programs were introduced by The Turkish Ministry of National Education (MEB) in 2005. The new geography curriculum recommends greater incorporation of technology in geography classes, in particular, emphasizing the deep integration of the geographic information systems (GIS) into courses. In spite of having some constraints such as limited GIS background of geography teachers, contextual issues, financial conditions and inadequate infrastructure, the new curriculum advises at least 20 GIS-based course activities at all levels of secondary geography education. Similarly, the geography textbooks which were prepared by MEB also disregard these limitations. So, the responsibility to arrange required GIS software and hardware, and get necessary training in GIS completely falls on geography teachers. The essential problem is that most geography teachers have insufficient GIS background and thus do not know how to integrate GIS into the classroom or generate GIS-based activities in geography courses. Consequently, notwithstanding the existence of a set of obstacles to be eliminated, geography teaching and learning with GIS will remain as one of the prominent objectives for the new geography curriculum.        

 

Key words: Geographic information systems (GIS), secondary geography education, geography curriculum, geography textbooks.