THE ROLE OF FIELD WORK IN THE IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF GEOGRAPHY IN NIGERIA
The relevance of a geography instructor in implementing field activities, the value addition of which cannot be disputed as an addition to geographical lessons, spelled out goodness for the student. The monotony of sitting in a classroom caused some students to lose interest in a particular topic, which is why Sarah (1996) emphasizes the benefits of learning outside of a traditional setting through fieldwork. According to her, during the course of the field research, the participants will have the opportunity to go the extra mile and obtain as much information as they desire and are capable of. She explains that classroom instruction tends to be more broad and frequently neglects the students who are acquiring the material at the slowest pace, but field activity presents unique obstacles that allow for more individualized learning. She goes on to say that it provides students with the opportunity to get to know one another and communicate in a setting that is less stressful, since there is no need to worry about grades or the confines of traditional classrooms. In addition, she asserts that one can gain first-hand knowledge of geographical facts through participation in fieldwork. She notes in the course of her research that a variety of pedagogical approaches, including visual, auditory, and tactile learning, are acknowledged to be valid by professionals. She concludes by stating that kids learn better through touch, also known as kinesthetic learning, which greatly benefits from the utilization of field study because it is an environment in which the senses are engaged to a much greater extent than they ever would be in a classroom setting.
Jansen (2007) pointed out the use of fieldwork as something which enhanced empirical knowledge and theoretical insight. He said that this was the case because fieldwork provided direct experience. He went on to say that it was a convenient location for and economic shifts in the characteristics of the environment, as well as the proactive and independent exploration of new territory and the accurate recording of navigational patterns.
Fieldwork provided research findings that elucidated the mental processes that lie behind such geographical tasks, as stated by Ishikawa and Kanstens (2005). He went on to hypothesize that the tasks involved in reading maps were made public, and that these tasks included knowing three constituents: representational correspondence, configuration correspondence, and directional correspondence.
In his article, “Fieldwork Provides a Perspective on Spatial Information That Is Importantly Different from the Perspective Gained Through Direct Experience Navigating in the World,” Uttal (2000) mentioned that the perspective on spatial information that was gained through fieldwork was significantly different from the perspective gained through direct experience navigating
According to Swenson and Kanstens (2011), when learners typically see for themselves, it enables these students to examine the evidence that is used to build scientific arguments and test theories, even when the underlying data set is large or complicated. This is the case even when it is the case that learners typically see for themselves. The majority of the time, learners do not gather the data that is visualized and presented to them; as a result, instructors and instructional designers need to understand how students perceive and interpret such visualizations. The teachers would be better able to analyze the nature of the students’ interpretations of a colored, shaded-relief, global digital elevation map, which is valuable for thinking about a wide range of earth processes, if they moved the lesson out of the classroom and into the field.
Even when the learners were working with maps or photos of a known reference place, Liben and Yekel (1996) found that the learners demonstrated signs of difficulty when seen from an oblique perspective point.
Although the point did not improve performance, practicing on the oblique map before moving on to the plan map did help subsequent performance. Therefore, they require outdoor studies in order to become orientated.
From the information presented above, it is clear that the instructor has the potential to make effective use of field work depending on the setting, the goal, the objective of the lesson, the availability of the very resources, and the characteristics of the learner, most notably the learner’s background and their behavior upon entering the classroom.