Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Heather L. Caldwell


Geography education has been relegated to a subset of social studies standards in most of the United States and has been overshadowed by a history-centered curriculum. Student achievement in geography has not improved for several decades due to the focus on history content in the social studies curriculum. Rooted in a conceptual framework encompassing elements of self-efficacy and the whole teacher approach, the purpose of this case study was to examine the impact of the West Virginia Geographic Alliance (WVGA) professional development workshop on teachers' practices in delivering cross-disciplinary geography education. The research questions addressed teachers' perceived self-efficacy in delivering cross-disciplinary geography and literature instruction and the long-term changes they made to their classroom pedagogy. Data collection involved open-ended, semistructured interviews with 6 teachers (3 geography and 3 literature) who attended the WVGA training. Analysis of interview transcripts with open and axial coding revealed that teachers perceived geography as an important discipline and an effective means of enhancing literature instruction. Perceived obstacles to cross-disciplinary geography instruction included rigid content standards, scheduling conflicts, and time constraints. Findings indicated that future geography professional development should be relevant to teachers' needs and based on state standards for geography instruction. Findings may be used to promote cross-disciplinary geography instruction through professional development.