Geography Teacher Training: What do you wish you’d known?

As I start to get to grips with thinking about teacher training for everyone, I’m struck by the plurality of experiences that Geographers could have had to arrive at Day 1 of a New School, and the different levels of confidence and experience they’ll walk in with – versus what we might expect them to have.

Drawing on Andrea Tapsfield (2019)’s work, a quick reflection of the National Curriculum and KS4 expertise (GA Link) shows a vast range of topics and skills to be covered by the typical Geography teacher across human, physical, fieldwork and quantitative/qualitative skills. Very few trainees will arrive confident in all areas: I know I certainly didn’t. But as a young NQT, I trained in “my exam board” topics, and the curriculum of “my school” – not as a Geographer equipped to deal with everything in any place. I’d never studied, let alone taught, Arid Environments before I needed to as a Physical Geography specialist!

A brilliantly complex map of Geography from Jon Gilbert (@Global_Gilbert)

So my question is this: what would you have wanted? For teachers who’ve been NQT this year, or people whose NQT experience was multiple decades ago, what do you think you’d like to see in a training programme, and what do you think would be of most value?

I’m genuinely interested in all replies – via DM, via email, or as a comment thread 😊


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