'What is geography?' In the eyes of junior secondary students in Hong Kong

Chi Chung Lam, Edith Lai

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14 Citations (Scopus)


This is an exploratory study of junior secondary school students' views of geography in Hong Kong. Twelve Secondary 1 and Secondary 3 students from six schools were interviewed to reveal what they think geography is. It is found that the impact of the school geography curriculum on students' views of the subject was evidenced in students' responses to the question, 'What is geography?'. Students generally held a narrow view of geography and viewed the subject in terms of terminology, topical areas and content covered in geography lessons and what they did in geography classes, such as going on field trips and map reading. Compared with Sl students, S3 students viewed geography as a subject of a wider scope and in their responses they mentioned more topical areas and more geographical issues. However, very few students held the view that geography is a study of spatial patterns. This suggests that teachers may need to strengthen the teaching of key geographical concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-218
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Conception of geography
  • Geographical education in Hong Kong
  • Student conception
  • Subject conception


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