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What is the Use of Fieldwork? Conceptions of Students and Staff in Geography and Geology

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This paper explores conceptions of the purpose of fieldwork held by undergraduates and academic staff in the disciplines of geography and geology. Phenomenographic analysis of written data reveals six qualitatively distinct conceptions broadly classified as 'fragmented' and 'cohesive'. While considerable commonality in conceptions exists across subjects and stages of study, variations appear to reflect underlying diversity in the aims and delivery of undergraduate fieldwork, and in the undergraduate populations themselves. In particular, the identification of apparent 'mismatches' between the conceptions held by students and academic staff has important implications for the design and delivery of undergraduate geography and geology fieldwork.
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Keywords: Fieldwork; conceptions; curriculum design; phenomenography

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Experiential Learning CETL, University of Plymouth, UK 2: The Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, UK

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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