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Geography fieldwork in a ‘risk society’

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The recent decline in fieldwork provision in UK schools has partly been attributed to false perceptions of risk among teachers. This paper examines a case study based on geography teachers’ perceptions from six state secondary schools in a northern English city. The research shows that owing to the inherent subjectivity of risk perception, these teachers’ perceptions of fieldwork risk cannot be dismissed as false. Furthermore, it is argued that owing to the implicit, but powerful, spatialities of teachers’ imaginations of fieldwork, these teachers will first need to re-evaluate the role and value of fieldwork before they are willing to re-enter the field.

Keywords: UK; fieldwork; geography; perception; qualitative; risk

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, Email:

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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