Role of Geography and Pedagogical Approaches used in the Training of Pre-service Teachers in Kenyan Universities: A Case of Kenyatta University, Kenya
Ondigi, S. R.
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In which countries are elephants found! The discipline of Geography is as big as an elephant and as thick as the equatorial forest. The question of how Geography should be taught has been an agonizing pedagogical issue among educators of the discipline. Geography is an important discipline in the school curriculum and its connectedness with other disciplines taught in schools outweighs its role in educating the young in schools today. If taught to meet the said objectives of teaching Geography, then the discipline enables learners to meet the national goals of education, equips the learners with useful life skills and professional attitude that meets the global labor market demands. This paper seeks to establish the role of Geography, the existing pedagogical strategies and methods of training that teacher training institutions in Kenya use to prepare novice teachers who teach in secondary schools. It further examines the framework of conceptualizing school Geography within the school curriculum in order to prepare learners for challenges that befall them long after schooling. School Geography therefore as it applies in a learning context means: learnt concepts, knowledge and skills within the national goals of educational and levels of assignment designed to prepare the learner for the future world of work as well as the learner having knowledge to relate with the environment. The study used an exploratory survey approach to collect data from 435 pre-service teacher trainees at Kenyatta University. The current pedagogical strategies used have not achieved the high global levels of training that adequately equip the teachers for their professional works that is meant to equip the learners with content and high level skills that meet the global labor market demands and the expected threshold in society. It is important to note that this paper further establishes numerous challenges experienced in the course of training and acquisition of knowledge and skills. The study has proposed the use of American Humane Association model for adaption in the training of pre-service teachers in the Kenyan Universities. In essence, Geography plays an important role in education for sustainable socio-economic, cultural and political development of societies in the world. Therefore, Geography is like an elephant that is extremely big and intelligent and so never gets lost. The discipline should be given the approach it deserves in order for it to make its contributions in the creation of knowledge and skills in the field of education and beyond