Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership


Instruction and Curriculum

Committee Chair

Jeffrey Byford

Committee Member

Laura Casey

Committee Member

Nicole Thompson

Committee Member

Duane Giannangelo


The researcher investigated to what extent Advanced Placement® (AP) Human Geography teacher’s pedagogical and content approaches aligned with William Pattison’s noted articulations in geography education. A qualitative case study methodology was used to explore AP Human Geography teacher perceptions of William Pattison’s geography content and curriculum suggestions. William. D. Pattison had an enduring influence on geography education in the United States. He clarified and articulated the academic discipline of geography amidst changes in the academy and secondary geography schooling during the 1960s. Similarly, over 50 years later, high school geography finds itself amidst an educational environment of college and career readiness initiatives and high stakes testing. The study compared teacher responses with pedagogical recommendations within the Advisory Paper for Teachers Associated with the High School Geography Project and geography content within The Four Traditions of Geography. Additionally, the investigation examined AP Human Geography teacher experiences with geography content training. Seven AP Human Geography teachers at seven different high schools in a southeastern state provided semi-structured in-depth interviews addressing the following four research questions: (1) What are high school geography teachers’ perceptions of Pattison’s pedagogical approaches? (2) What are high school geography teachers’ perceptions of Pattison’s geography content approaches? (3) To what extent are AP Human Geography teachers guided by content and pedagogical approaches aligned with William Pattison’s Four Traditions of Geography and Advisory Paper? (4) What are high school geography teacher experiences in geography content training? The researcher identified four themes within the investigation: (1) inquiry approaches aligned with William Pattison’s pedagogy are embraced among AP Human Geography teachers; (2) AP Human Geography teachers support weaving William Pattison’s area studies tradition within a thematic curriculum; (3) the importance of AP Human Geography collaborative teacher communities; and (4) limitations in college geography presented a challenge for teaching AP Human Geography. The study offers recommendations for future research.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.