My Experiments with the Innovative Research Techniques in Geography
1. My Experiments with the Innovative Research
Techniques in Geography
Webinar Series: July 06 – 12, 2020 (08)
Innovative Research Trends in Contemporary
The Department of Geography, ECGC
in collaboration with
The IQAC Cell, ECGC, Lake Town, Kolkata
2. “Geography, formerly was held to be the science which
treats of the earth and its people. Considered in this
broadest sense, the field included the subject matter of
many associated sciences, but with little or no correlation.
The subject dealt with an infinitude of details; it was
scarcely more than a scrap bag into which went a mass of
unrelated material. Its methods were almost wholly
descriptive; it lacked a unifying principle. Under these
conditions, it is no wonder that many people conceived the
idea that geography was made up of the remains of various
subjects and that little interest was manifested in it by the
children who were burdened with a mass of facts and with
the laborious, thought-deadening reproduction of maps
“A significant change has taken place in the scope and
content of the subject of geography during the last two
decades. For some years before the outbreak of the World
War, lectures frequently spoke of “new geography”. The
3. Why this Topic?
1. I started my graduation with Geography (Hons) in Presidency
College, Kolkata back in 1973, when the syllabus in the University of
Calcutta was more descriptive in content.
2. We used to calculate with Napier’s 5-Figure Logarithmic Table. We
got the opportunity to take the help of Pencil Battery-powered 10
Digit LED Casio Calculator only in M.Sc Part-II Cartography Special
Paper Classes in 1978.
3. We saw the first ‘Word Processor’ in the Geology Department of
Presidency College sometimes in 1978-79.
4. Things started changing since then. The 12-digit Calculator came in
the market with long lasting button battery-powered digital display
5. Computational methods and techniques started changing very fast
6. The application of ‘quantitative methods’ along with ‘descriptive
statistics, correlation and regression’ came to the forefront of the
most enterprising research scholars and supervisors.
4. 8. Geography Journals were very few and articles were mainly
descriptive. Settlement Geography, Economic Geography, Landuse
Studies were the common areas of research. Today’s standardized
format of a scientific article was out of the question. There was
neither any ‘spatial analysis’ nor ‘temporal analysis’ in geography.
The concept of ‘predictive model’ was not introduced.
9. Seminars and conferences were rare. Even if there were any,
presentation was entirely oral. Epidiascope and Slide Projectors
came much later.
10. Calculators were used by the most upstart researchers to compute
mean, standard deviation, variability and z - score. Correlation
coefficients were often computed to show the strength of
association but without any test for significance.
11. The highest level of spatial analysis was ‘mapping the residuals’ to
show the spatial pattern of ‘correspondence’ between two variables.
12. The Indian quantitative geographers of the 1960s were: Prof
Shekhar Mukherjee (Demography and Population Geography) and
Prof Qazi Ahmed (Cities and Urbanization). Both of them used
sophisticated techniques including multivariate regression and
factor analysis but they did it in the Labs of American Universities.
5. 1. The Seminar Library of our Department was practically a mine with
the most advanced books and journals and personally, I had the
opportunity to explore it indiscriminately.
2. Some of those that enlarged my vision are:
a) Harvey: Explanation in Geography,
b) Haggett: Network Analysis in Geography, Locational Analysis in Human
c) Chorley and Haggett: Models in Geography,
d) Cole and King: Quantitative Geography,
e) King: Statistical Analysis in Geography, Multivariate Analysis in
f) King: Techniques in Geomorphology,
g) Clarke: Statistical Map Reading,
h) Dury: Essays in Geomorphology,
i) Garnier: Practical Works in Geography,
j) Cole: Mathematics in Geography, Situations in Human Geography,
k) Dent: Thematic Map Design,
l) Ebdon: Statistics in Geography,
m) Davis: Statistics and Data Analysis in Geology,
n) Gibbs: Urban Research Methods,
o) Mather: Computer Applications in Geography, Mather: Computational
Methods of Multivariate Analysis in Physical Geography,
6. a) Raisz: General Cartography,
b) Robinson: Methods and Techniques in Human Geography,
c) Zobler: Statistical Techniques of Regional Boundaries,
d) Worthington and Gont: Techniques in Map Analysis,
e) Waters: Morphological Mapping,
f) Taylor: Quantitative Methods in Geography,
g) Shaw and Wheeler: Statistical Techniques in Geographical Analysis,
h) Dury: Topographical Map Interpretation, and so on.
3. Since my 2nd Year in College, I had also the opportunity of personally
communicating with some of the superlative geographers of that time: Prof
C. A. M. King, Prof M. G. Wolman, Prof B. J. L.Berry, Prof A. Gupta. They
inspired me a lot with their ‘research articles’.
4. I was deeply moved by the passion, dedication, and innovative research
methods of my most favourite teachers and researchers, viz., Prof. Nisith
Ranjan Kar, Prof. A. B. Chatterjee, Prof. R. L. Singh, Prof P. K. Dutt, Prof. B.
L. Kayastha, Prof. A. K. Saha, Prof A. B. Banerjee, Prof. B. Banerjee, Prof S.
C. Chakraborty, Prof. J. Singh, Prof. D.C. Goswami, Prof. B. N. Thakur, Prof.
A. Biswas, Prof. M. K. Bandyopadhyay, Prof. P. Roy, Prof I. Aque, Prof S. K.
Paul, Prof. S. R. Basu, Prof. S. C. Mukhopadhyay, Dr. A. Kar to name a few.
5. Beginning with ‘Geomorphology’, my interest changed through
‘Cartography’, ‘Urban Geography’, ‘Quantitative Geography’,
‘Geoinformatics’, ‘Spatial Statistics’, ‘Research Methodology’, ‘Geographical
Thoughts’, and ‘Development Issues’.
7. 14. So far I remember, computers were introduced in the foreign banks
of Kolkata in the 1980s. Gradually, Personal Computers extended
its market into the Kolkata academia. Computer training centers
came up very fast in Kolkata and Sub-urban towns. I took my
programming lessons from the LCC, Chandernagore to adapt to the
15. There was no GUI. Only DOS command prompts. Syntax Error was
common. There were no ready-made software available: Languages
were: FORTRAN, BASIC, dBASE, COBOL, etc. To compute ‘standard
deviation’ about one and half pages of commands needed to be
written in dBase to get the result.
16. In 1988, one of my friends in HSBC helped me write programms
and solve the ‘Power Regression’ model of ‘Rank-Size’ Rule for the
Towns of West Bengal, 1901 to 1981.
17. The same year, my friends in the Geology and Physics Department
of Presidency College helped me to write FORTRAN and Q-Basic
Programms for Trend Surface Analysis with 6th Degree Polynomial
Surface, compute and print the results in their Lab (Dot Matrix).
18. We used FORTRAN Menus and Sub-Menus from ‘Davis, 1973:
Statistics and Data analysis in Geology’ and ‘Mather, 1976:
Computational Methods of Multivariate Analysis in Geography’.
8. 19. Since the late 1980s, DOS based software like WordStar, Lotus 1-2-
3, dBase, etc were available in the market.
20. In the late 1990s, everything changed dramatically with the advent
of the Windows OS and Microsoft Office Packages. The enthu was
so high that in the M.Sc Cartography Special Paper Syllabus of CU
(2000-2001), one sub-unit included was “Choropleth Mapping using
21. I bought large floppy disks containing softwares like Adobe
Photoshop, Corel Draw, SPSS 6, Minitab, Matlab, etc. I learnt these
by myself and my bubble of horizon boomed infinitely.
22. I started experimenting with ‘robust’ ‘multivariate’ ‘drainage basin
morphometric data matrices’ in SPSS. The results were published in
several Geography Journals of India in the form of Articles:
a) Correlation Matrix: to identify associated variables with
significance, and for drawing linkage diagrams.
b) Analysis of Dependence: for ‘exponential’, ‘power’, ‘polynomial’
and ‘multivariate regression’ (Linear and Non-linear)
c) Analysis of Interdependence: using Principal Component
Analysis, and Factor Analysis.
d) Classification: using Cluster Analysis, and Discriminant Analysis.
9. 23. By 1996, I was bore dealing with the digits and their mechanical
interpretations, in which the internal and external validity were
24. Questions were often: where is ‘geography’ in these fractions and
figures? can ideas, thoughts and actions be represented using
binary digits? how can the interrelations between the ‘habitat,
economy and society’ of man be analyzed and presented?
25. The ‘philosophical basis of geography’ felt big tremors: is it a
‘physical science’ or a ‘social science’? This is a big question as
‘methodology’ is distinctively different in these two streams.
26. The 1970s’ ‘paradigm shift’ took geography from the approach of
‘where man lives as he lives’ to ‘why man lives as he lives’.
27. Thus emerged three paradigms of research: (a) the post-positivist
‘traditional’ form of research based on quantitative approach, i.e.,
the “scientific method”, (b) the ‘constructivist’ or typical ‘qualitative
research’ that seeks understanding of the world in which they live
and develop subjective visions of their experiences, and (c) the
‘transformative approach’ that focuses on the inequities, linking
political and social actions, e.g., marginalized people in the society,
issues of power, social justice, discrimination and oppression.
10. 23. These can’t be explained by laws and theories.
24. The field reality is very complex and may be better explored using
different perspectives, e.g., “social triangulation”.
25. Hence, the ‘topic’……this presentation is actually the ‘my
experiences’ with research methods: ‘scientific’, followed by
‘qualitative’ and then ‘mixed methods’.
Experiments for Today:
1) Multivariate Analysis: To find significantly related variables, to
analyze the dependency with significance, to identify the principal
components of multivariate and multi-dimensional data, to identify
factors explaining the magnitudes of variance in the GDM, and to
classify objects with multivariate attributes.
2) Critical Content Analysis: To understand the perceptions of
geography teachers about innovative teaching and teachers.
3) Mixed Method of Analysis (QL+QN): To perform a ‘social area
analysis’ in urban area.
11. The GDM (30 x 10)
Rows = 30 (+1H)
Columns = 10 (+1C)
30 CD Blocks
in different units.
tion for further
13. Descriptive Statistics of the 10 Variables
1. Variables have different units of measurement.
2. CV is the highest for x6 and significantly large for x4, x5, x9, and x10.
3. Distribution of x6 and x10 in the 30 CD Blocks is positively skewed.
4. Distribution of x6 and x10 is lepto-kurtic.
5. Negative kurtosis values of x2, x3, x5, x7, and x8 indicate that their
distributions have lighter tails and a flatter peak than the normal
distribution, i.e., these follow a beta distribution with first and second shape
parameters equal to 2.0
17. 1. R2 value gives the % of Variance explained by the fitted model.
2. Variables with positive coefficients have a positive impact on the
dependent variable, and those with negative coefficients have a
3. The magnitude of impact increases as the value of the coefficient
becomes larger, eventually increasing the residuals.
4. A large value of F statistic suggests that the means of the variables
are significantly different from one another (all significant relations
5. The Durbin-Watson statistic measures the autocorrelation or linear
relationships; even if the autocorrelation is minuscule, there may
still be a nonlinear relationship. It lies between 0 and 4.
6. A value of 2.0 means that there is no autocorrelation detected in
the sample. Values from 0 to 2 indicate positive autocorrelation
and values from 2 to 4 indicate negative autocorrelation. The
computed values show positive autocorrelation.
7. The value of the co-efficient should be much less than the mean
value of the dependent variable (in fact, close to zero) for higher
goodness-of-fit and better estimate.
18. Cluster Analysis
Proximity Matrix = gives the similarity between the 30 CD Blocks in
terms of the 10 selected variables
Distance Measure = Cosine
In spherical trigonometry, distance between two points
is measured along a great circle passing through these
points applying Cosine Rule. Hence the name.
19. From the ‘proximity matrix’
has been drawn and
‘dendrogram’ has been
1. From this, 4 First –
Level Clusters are
detected, viz., Clusters
– A, B, C and D.
2. In each of these, Sub-
Clusters at 2nd Level
have been identified.
3. Sub-Clusters = 12
20. Factor Analysis
It is a technique commonly used to reduce a large number of variables
into fewer numbers of factors. It extracts maximum common variance
from all variables and puts them into a common score for further
1. Assumptions: a linear relationship, no multicollinearity, relevant
variables, and true correlation between variables and factors.
2. Higher correlation among items is good factor analysis as the goal of
factor analysis is to model the interrelationships between items with
fewer (latent) variables.
3. There are several methods, but PCA is most popular. It starts
extracting the maximum variance and puts them into the first
factor. After that, it removes that variance explained by the first
factors and then starts extracting maximum variance for the second
factor. This goes on to the last factor.
4. Factor loading is the correlation coefficient for the variable and
factor. It shows the variance explained by the variable on that
particular factor. As a rule of thumb, 0.7 or higher loading
represents that the factor extracts sufficient variance from that
21. 7. Communality shows how much variance is explained by the first
factor out of the total variance. It is the common variance that lies
between 0 and 1. Values closer to 1 suggest that extracted factors
explain more of the variances of an individual item. For example, if
the first factor explains 41.2% variance, the remaining 58.8% is
explained by other factors.
8. Eigenvalues shows the variance explained by that particular factor
out of the total variance. Eigenvalues ˃ 1.0 is considered as a
factor and any value ˂ 0.7 is rejected. No. of components should be
≤ 4; total variance explained by all components should be between
70% to 80%; Scree plot confirms this.
9. The component is interpreted as the correlation of each item with
the component. Each item has a loading corresponding to each of
the components. For example, x1 is correlated -0.049 with the first
component, -0.141 with the second component and 0.962 with the
third, and so on.
10. Rotation makes it more reliable to understand the
output. Eigenvalues do not affect the rotation method, but the
rotation method affects the Eigenvalues. The most popular
methods are: Varimax and Quartimax.
22. 7. Varimax maximizes the variances of the loadings within the factors while
maximizing differences between high and low loadings on a particular
factor. Higher loadings are made higher while lower loadings are made
lower. This makes it good for achieving simple structure.
8. Quartimax is a better choice. It maximizes the squared loadings so that
each item loads most strongly onto a single factor.
9. The Factor scores can be used for further analysis.
With eigen value >1.0, three
components have been extracted:
C – 1 explains 41.2% of variance,
C – 2 explains 23.8%,
C – 3 explains 19.8% and,
These three Components together
explains 84.9% of the total
23. The four variables of x5, x6, x8, and x9 are significantly related with Component
– 1. Similarly, the two variables, x3 and x7 are significantly related with
Component – 2. Finally, the variable x1 is found significantly related with
Component – 3.
After Varimax rotation, the scenario changed significantly. Component – 1
emerged more associated with x5 and x9; similarly, Component – 2 with x3 and
x7; and finally Component – 3 with x6 and x10
26. Experiment - 2: to analyze ‘perception of the Geography
Teachers about ‘innovative geography teacher’.
1. Today, there are many innovations and changes in the field of
education in order to catch up with the pace of developments in the
fields of science and technology.
2. Curriculum contents have been organized as student-centered and
3. One of the three major decision-making areas of the 21st century is
the ‘spatial technology’. In today’s world, the number of jobs that
work with GIS are increasing day-by-day. Naturally, it plays a critical
role in the teaching-learning process.
4. They should have spatial technology skills in line with the business
world's expectations, viz. GIS, RS, Spherical Coordinate System and
5. In their lessons, teachers can easily use basic internet-based GIS
applications. But only a small fragment of teachers has the ability to
do so till now.
6. The greatest obstacle is that geography teachers move very slowly.
27. 7. Other issues are: unequal access to hardware and software, lack of
pre-prepared needs (basic maps and databases) and lack of
technical support,….and sometimes, indifferent attitude of the
8. Teachers have an average level of innovation in teaching depending
on their location of residence, gender, age, and institution.
9. Informal education (travel, reading, watching TV, etc.) and the
experience of many geography teachers constitute the main
sources of content knowledge.
10. Teacher’s habit of reading various geomagazines and journals
encourages the emergence of new relationships between the
geography education community and the scientists.
11. The blackboard-chalk-teacher trilogy continues to exist even today
as it has an important place in the ‘geography teaching’ because
some of the geographies covers the perception of some of the
12. Geography teachers do not travel to enjoy vacation only. They
always travel as a geographer and geography teacher. They share
their field experiences with students– about the landforms, rivers,
weather, landscape, traditional culture and all with stories,
anecdots, photographs, and videos.
28. 13. In traditional systems, information is seen as unchangeable facts
that are passed on to learners. Many teachers focus on knowledge
and concepts and avoid generalizations and relationships.
14. The use of ‘smartboards’ and ‘digital presentation’ has significantly
increased the success of geography lessons by adding meaning to
the foreground, i.e. value-added education.
15. This epistemological change deepens and broadens the subject
areas of the teachers and fosters the use of new pedagogical
16. Teachers and students must improve their high-level thinking skills,
e.g., ‘inquiry-based methods’ and ‘problem-based learning’.
17. Teachers are the ‘key to change’ in the ‘teaching-learning’ process,
and need to be trained effectively through in-service training.
18. The interaction of teachers with their students constitutes the basis
of the experience of the students.
19. No curriculum has a magic power. It lies in the ‘teachers and
students', their intentions and attitudes to make the world a more
29. 1. Qualitative Research Method is the most suited one in this Case
Study as it is a ‘phenomenological research’.
2. It aims to reveal the internal causes of the otherwise unobserved
3. This fact-scientific pattern of research elaborates in detail the
experiences of the teachers to understand the intricacies of the
4. The aims are:
1. to find how people make sense of their own world and their
experiences in their own world
2. to understand facts, and events from the perspective of the
Causality in Real Life
30. Qualitative Approach…..
1. Opportunity ─
a) to create an understanding of the phenomenon relatively
b) to design the research project from the beginning to the end.
c) to be an expert of your own data.
2. Cheaper costs of research.
3. Also, may be…there is a lack of ─
a) former clear hypothesis, or
b) good quality quantitative data or
c) quantitative research skills.
4. A unique opportunity to use all your senses.
5. A ‘qualitative research attitude’ !!!
3. Focus Group Interviews/
4. Participant Observations
5. Documentary and Textual
6. Critical Discourse Analysis
31. Methods of Interview
Formulated questions in fixed order; Formulated options for answers;
Enables quantitative analysis; Direct contact with person (survey
Main topics and questions are formulated; Order of topics may be
changed; New questions can be added; Both closed and open-ended
Questions (with no fixed ‘answer options’).
Only main topics are decided, but new topics may be included; Aim is to
explore; No former hypotheses and knowledge.
32. Interview is truly qualitative if…
1. … the interviewer is interested in the interpretations of the
participants to understand how their daily routine has been
constructed and what are its drivers.
2. Subjective theories are accepted; they influence the final
conclusions made by the researcher.
a) neither be an expert (interview with a resident),
b) nor an outsider (interview with an expert ).
Sampling in an Interview Research
1. Theory-driven sampling (analytical groups, sampling ahead of the
2. Theoretical sampling (grounded theory approach, sampling as the study
Which cases (persons) you should study to understand the phenomenon under
study (those who are able to share different views, e.g., extremes covering the
variances, certain groups, and gatekeepers / drivers)?
33. 1. This particular study concerns the innovative geography teachers
with direct and adequate experience.
2. The data collection tool was ‘interviewing’ that provided information
about the unobserved, and allowed for alternative explanations on
what was observed.
3. It was ‘semi-structured interview’, in which the interviewer had a
road map but tried to reveal the different dimensions of the subject
by asking different questions in the general framework of the
research according to the interest and knowledge of the
4. The interviewer had the opportunity to get enough information
about the topic and to take the interview in a certain way.
5. In addition, the interviewee highlighted points that were important
6. We visited high schools/colleges randomly, and performs the
interview in empty classrooms, teacher’s room, teacher’ canteen
and on a bench in the garden with geography teachers.
34. 7. During interview, we did not interfere with the participants’
gestures and does not manipulate them.
8. All the expressions from the face-to-face interviews were written
down instantly to extract detailed and in-depth data later.
9. The write-up was approved by the interviewee to validate the
internal and external issues.
10. The collected data were then transformed into categories based on
11. The unique quotations were decided after a critical analysis. These
are clear, understandable and consistent, relevant to experiences,
credible, important and related directly to the research.
12. The interviewing process took at least 6 weeks.
13. The categories obtained from the data were made accessible and
approved by another domain expert.
14. Data analysis was done as per the objectives. Findings and
comments, conclusion and suggestions were then stated as per the
36. Sample Questions
Have you taken education again so as to adapt to the innovations in the
geography field ? Yes = 16 No = 8
Some of the Quotations are:
1. Yes, because I do not know a foreign language, I do not have a full
knowledge of the technological innovations.
2. No, because I always adapt myself to innovations.
3. Yes, because I use smart board.
4. No, because I always renew myself by learning new information,
doing researches and keeping myself up-to-date and making a point
of a life-long learning, every time and everywhere.
5. Yes, because it is easier to draw and show the map, figure, graphic,
photograph etc. to students on a computer.”
6. Yes, because innovations progress rapidly especially in the field
geography, so it is necessary from time to time.
7. No, because I have the knowledge of my profession.
8. Yes, because geography develops with the technology and science.
At least the latest developments can be learned professionally with
in-service training. Even if I made use of the opportunities in order to
complete my education in that period, I do not think that it is enough
in today’s conditions of our country.
37. How do you define an ‘innovative geography teacher’?
1. The person who follows the developments in his field and transfers it
to his students. The person who is innovative and follows the
developments and uses the new devices actively in his lessons. The
person who follows and keeps up with the developments, learns
through travelling and seeing, follows documentaries and makes
students search for these, and follows the periodicals and journals. He
has to be up-to-date and must be aware of his deficiencies. The
person who is aware of the changing and developing geographical
events in the world and who transfers these to their students.
2. The person who continuously renews himself and adapts to changes
and developments over time. Improving himself in that field. The
teacher who follows the technological and scientific developments,
and takes part in those activities within the bounds of possibilities. He
has to renew himself with various training. Besides, since geography
is an environment lesson, he has to take part in environmental
organizations and nature protection projects.
38. 4. He has to be a pioneer and should not be traditional, and should
love technology and science and look critically. The teacher who
follows the developments about the field closely and uses
technological developments in his or her lessons.
5. Innovative geography teacher is who can teach the students that
nature and human are a whole. Because geography is what we see
6. The person who teaches to use the information not to transfer it. A
teacher who is not dependent on his or her past notes and text
books and uses all of the sources, materials and technology to
transfer the targeted earnings on his or her program. Moreover, this
is not the person who is only transmitting the information in the
lesson, he is the one who teaches the students to reach and use the
7. The person who participates in the environmental organizations and
nature protection projects.
39. How would you describe the properties of an ‘innovative
geography teacher’? Could you give an example? Do you know any
such teacher? Could you please tell a little bit about it?
1. Able to use technology for the class and to keep an eye out for
technological advances. Is the one who learns and teaches
geographical events by integrating technology. About 7-8 years ago,
for the first time, a friend of mine showed me a presentation that
explained how it was possible to easily teach geography on the
smart board installed in their classrooms.
2. Afterwards, when it was installed in our institutions we started
using this system at the school. There are several fellow innovative
geography teachers at the schools with a good student and
3. He is open to new knowledge and criticism and able to keep up
3) Understands students and able to communicate with them in order
to make geography appealing.
4) Able to explain geographical terms and environmental
consciousness using visual and textual materials.
40. 5) Keeps updated about the innovations in his field, participates in
training in his field. He tries to participate in any seminar or training
in his field. Gives interesting performance assignments to his
students. For instance, he asks each of his students to interview
one geography teacher about that teacher's city. Also, he enriches
his classes with clips and videos that he shot himself. When
appropriate, he presents animations and documentaries.
6) Teaches his students not only geography but life itself. Able to
connect course subjects to current issues.
7) Makes use of different materials during class. It is the teacher who
makes geography appealing, introduces materials he has or finds to
the classroom, lays out and presents documentaries, and takes the
class on field trips.
• It is he who researches, questions, improves himself, is open to
new knowledge, keeps on learning new things throughout life,
and expresses curiosity.
• During class, I prefer to learn and teach by doing and applying
over merely informing and memorizing.
• To show how volcanism occurs, I used a balloon with a thick, red
liquid and put it into the mountain model. When pressure is
applied, I was able to demonstrate how magma erupts.
• To show the layers of the Earth, we used a boiled egg.
41. Could you tell us about an ‘experience of yours’ on being an
‘innovative teacher’? How did this experience affect you? What did
you think of it and how did it make you feel?
1. Knowing about the students' fields of interest (sports, music, etc.).
2. My principal once praised me for using computer technology for the
class. I was pleased and this encouraged me to do more.
3. When we opened for the first time a geography class, it made the
headlines all over the district and then really motivated us.
5. While discussing with one of my students, once I felt inadequate
due to my lack of knowledge and some of my knowledge are
obsolete. I made a promise to improve myself and become a real
geographer by always researching, on the subjects I teach, and
replacing whatever obsolete knowledge I possess.
6. I deliver visual presentations to my students. I take them to field
7. My initial experience with using the smart board proved difficult.
Thanks to my students' assistance, I've gotten adequate at it over
42. Who or what inspired you the most about becoming ‘innovative’
(teacher, administrator, conference, TV program, etc.)? And how?
1. The motivation to lifelong learning and being more helpful to my
students in the current context. I tried to feel closer to them. My
love for geography teaching was the deciding factor.
2. I never start the class with inadequate knowledge and I like
catching my students' attentions.
3. My professors during my university education. On being innovative,
the topical approach of my university professors … and the course
subjects inspired me the most.
4. TV programs, the internet, documentaries, and popular
geographical magazines. I subscribe a number of Journals, Atlas
and Geo magazines. I love reading them regularly.
5. Participating in Conferences and Competitions makes me more
innovative and inspired me.
43. What do you think can be done to become ‘an innovative
geography teacher’? Can you tell us about one of your experiences as
an example? (Collaboration with various persons, institutions, and
1. Exploring-observing. In my first school, I saw that my students
were unable to sufficiently comprehend the subject of landforms
and I decided to take them for a field trip. They witnessed the
landforms first-hand and their learning became more permanent.
2. Effective use of teaching technologies.
3. Devotion of self to the profession. Participating in conferences and
4. Participating in social projects. It is especially necessary to replenish
the students' green consciousness by collaborating with institutions.
5. Getting a Master’s Degree. I got a Master’s Degree. It’s been really
beneficial for me.
44. Do you consider ‘making innovation in teaching’ geography as a
‘part’ of your job?
1. Yes, it is part of my job to innovate. Since geography is a constantly
evolving field of science, it is not possible for geography teachers to
be stable without innovating. Hence, we have to grow ourselves to
keep up with the constant improvement.
2. I see myself as a part of my work.
3. Of course, useful information can also be vaccinated in classical
teaching. If innovations and classical teaching are blended, a more
beautiful and instructive system can emerge.
4. Innovation is not a part of my work, but it must be the essence. I'm
already at the beginning of my career. I do not wish to disappear in
the system, I always want to use all the facilities and create new
45. What do you think the ‘innovative teaching’ provides to you and
1. Train the equipped individuals.
2. Academic achievement.
3. Teacher's self-renewal.
4. Innovative teaching has given me the feeling that I have to
constantly improve myself. I do not think I can benefit my students
when I can not renew myself.
5. By adapting myself to innovations, I feel better and sufficient, and I
think that I have saved students from stagnation.
6. Making learning fun.
7. Persistent learning.
8. I only saw the dry learning by learning how to grasp the essence
and make reasoning skills easier and more permanent.
9. Students learn more permanently, effectively.
46. What additional expertise does the innovative geography teacher
need? (Computer, foreign language, GIS, etc.).
1. Computer and internet usage.
2. Use of GIS program. It is important for new activities and
3. Knowing a foreign language.
Due to the fact that geography is very up-to-date, change is open,
and it is related to the whole world, it needs specialties such as
computer and foreign language.
Thanks to this expertise, it is both very useful and very easy for us
to follow the innovations about the geography all over the
world, to improve ourselves, to learn new information, to follow
new sources in foreign sources and internet.
47. How does the use of technology (projection, tablet, interactive
board, short film, slide show, documentaries, animation etc.) contribute
to being innovative? Would you share your thoughts on this?
1. Provides visual learning. To show global pattern of pressure through
isobars I use Windy.com, earth.nullschool.net to show global
circulation of surface winds, LunaSolCal, Moon Phase, Air Visual,
Breezometer, Live Weather, Clinometer, Sky View, Decibel, etc.
Through animations, short films, and photographs, we create
2. There is a positive contribution. It allows students to learn visually
and provides permanent learning.
Interactive boards, slides and animations, short film screenings in
classes allow us to make presentations more comfortable to the
students and increase the level of understanding of the course.
3. Increasing attention and interest of the learners. Absolutely very
effective. It makes the lesson more enjoyable.
If the Sundarban Bioreserve is followed by a 5-minute
Documentary, the interest and attention of the students will
increase. Certainly, lessons will be more enjoyable and students’
attention will be higher.
48. From what sources do you gain access to ‘innovations’ in
‘geography teaching’? Please explain.
1. Internet. The images on the internet helped us in this regard. The
source I use the most is internet.
2. I follow the teacher portals. It's very useful. Geographical Sites.
3. Geographical sites are very helpful in sharing this with my friends
on this subject.
4. Symposiums and Seminars.
5. Scientific Books, Magazines, Journal Articles, Educational Videos.
6. TV Programs with recording feature.
7. Videos taken during geographic trips.
8. Board of Education.
49. Critical Comments
1. The content analysis results reveal that the geography teachers are
satisfied with their professions,
2. The teachers who can keep up with technological and
methodological developments in their field, are regarded as
3. Innovative geography teachers are the ones who integrate new
technologies into their lessons,
4. The internet resources are the most significant application form in
following the innovations,
5. The participants consider making innovation in geography teaching
as a part of their profession,
6. Proficiency in the use of computers plays a crucial role in becoming
7. The research findings have been discussed in relation to the
literature and some recommendations may be suggested.
This is how a perception study is done with semi-structured open-ended
50. Experiment – 3
To test the ‘spatial skill’ (SS) of a person/student.
Method: Structured Questionnaire
Rating: Likert Scale
Strongly Agree +2.0
Somewhat Agree +1.0
Somewhat Disagree -1.0
Strongly Disagree -2.0
No. of Questions: 20 – 100
This can be easily customized for a particular group.
1. I am very good at drawing a map so my friends can find my home.
2. After visiting a shop, I have no trouble telling my friends how to
3. I use a map when driving to a new destination.
4. In a new town, I can always point to the direction of my place of
5. When leaving a hospital or shopping mall, I always know which way
6. When travelling, I take shortcuts as frequently as possible.
7. I have no difficulty in naming the states of India, districts of my
state or countries of the World, etc.
8. I am good at remembering the distances between major cities.
9. I have a very good "mental map" of my neighbourhood.
10. I have no difficulty in remembering where I parked my car.
52. 11. I know the location of all the major landmarks in my neighbourhood.
12. I can easily associate national / international events with places of
13. When planning a trip, I have a good idea of the relative geographic
locations of home and destination cities.
14. I can identify familiar objects on an aerial photograph.
15. I can recognize landmarks from an aeroplane window.
16. I never get lost when walking in a new place.
17. I have no difficulty in estimating the distance between cities on a
18. I always select the stores closest to my home.
19. I always take the same route when taking my children to school.
20. I have no difficulty in remembering the layout of shops in a
53. Score Analysis:
Very High >30
High 20 – 30
Average 10 – 20
Poor 0 – 10
Very Poor < 0
Conducted this Survey (2016)
Respondents =2nd Year students
Very High SS =20%
Very Poor =25%
It varied from one student to another depending on schooling, gender,
discipline, attitude and the kind of cultural ambience they are from.
This kind of test with close-ended questions can be done in the
perception studies concerning social issues and authority decisions.
54. Experiment - 4: Social Area Analysis
1. Its development is quite recent and is one of the several areas where
mixed method research design has been successfully applied.
2. It combines quantitative data from a survey and qualitative evidence
from interviews, ethnography, photos, newspaper archives, and films
in order to explore city and its community.
3. Thus, it conceptualizes integrated research in the theoretical and
empirical context of a city and community social capital, as well as
the discussion of empirical results to urban research and practice.
4. Thus, it offers a deep understanding of the research problem.
1. To start qualitatively to characterize the feature / event / processes
and more informed quantitative study is designed later (B).
2. To start with quantitative data (B) and to explore later which
processes are behind the regularities through qualitative methods
MMs = (A followed by B) or (B followed by A)
55. In this, there are 4 possible research designs:
1. Convergent Parallel - the researcher converges or merges
quantitative and qualitative data in order to provide a
comprehensive analysis of the research problem.
2. Explanatory Sequential - the researcher first conducts quantitative
research, analyzes the results and then builds on it to explain them
in more detail with qualitative research.
3. Exploratory Sequential - first a qualitative phase for constructing
evaluation instruments or for specifying variables, followed by a
4. Pragmatism: researcher focuses more on the problem and use
pluralistic approaches to understand a problem (triangulation).
• It uses both pre-determined and emerging methods.
• It uses both closed-ended and open-ended questions.
• It focuses on both non-numeric and numeric data analysis.
• In this, researchers have a freedom of choice.
• The world is viewed not as an absolute unit and many
approaches are followed for data collection and analysis
• In particular, it applies mixed method research.
56. Interviews with the local residents, architects, planners, sociologists,
Ward Councillors, Borough Chairman, Mayor to understand the first set
of research questions and identify areas to be included in the
1. Why do people come to live here?
2. Who comes to live here?
3. Who is currently residing here?
4. What are the problems of this Ward?
5. What is the structure of the neighbourhood?
6. What are the support resources among neighbours?
1. Their replies brings out a new set of questions, contributing to the
development and progression of the investigation.
2. Movies, photos, maps, literature files, etc are important elements
to understand society, besides the traditional ethnographic
methods, statistics, models, and so forth.
3. The Phase – 1 results in the integration of a no. of important
elements to understand the objectives of study:
a) the relationship between community and city;
b) the housing policy where the social mix is an important
element in the integration new residents.
57. The first few days allows to experience without any particular
orientation. Items to be noted are:
1. the ways of living and models of social networks, i.e., interaction
between residents; forms of appropriation of private and public
spaces, and forms of participation in community life.
2. Maintenance and conversions of buildings and new construction,
and the dynamics of the new residents (balconies, new furniture,
the arrangement of the exterior and the flowers, that represent
lifestyles and gentrification).
3. problems (parking, street cleaning and lighting, vandalism, etc.).
The ethnographic observations to be done in public places (tea stalls,
parks, and streets), commercial sites, temples, mosques, churches, and
Respondents: Local Councillor, Borough Members, Chairman,
Mayor…Officers of PWD (civil, electrical, water, etc), and Residents:
No. of interviews = adequate, Persons = adults (anonymity maintained)
Place = home or workplace of the interviewees, Questions = semi-
Interview to be recorded, transcribed and coded into categories for
analysis. Interpretation of the results would form the ‘Grounded Theory’.
58. 1. Photographs help to analyse and understand the evolution of the
2. These also help to understand the urbanization process, social
composition, architectural features of the buildings, and so on.
3. Literature, e.g., documents, reports, gazetteers, articles, newspaper
reports, enables to perceive the structure and dynamics of the
neighbourhood, expansion of the city, social composition of the
residents, neighbourhood and housing, etc.
As the data is a multi-dimensional one, the Latent Class
Model is the most suited one and be applied:
1. It allows to test if a group of ‘latent’ (unobserved) classes justifies
the association among the observed variables.
2. A specific solution, constituted by a group of latent classes, is
obtained by minimizing the association among the observed
variables within each class.
3. This minimization is the result of the basic assumption of
independence or conditional independence.
59. Let there be a heterogeneous population, with S groups (homogeneous
The ‘Latent Class Model’ is defined by the variable Y with S categories
(latent types of citizens), described through the observed variables, X1,
X2,..., Xp, with categories I1, I2...,Ip, respectively.
The probability for a certain individual to belong to the categories (i1,
i2,…... iP), relative to the conjoint variables (X1, X2,..., Xp) can be defined
by the model:
1. λY(s) represents the probabilities that an individual belongs to the latent
class, s (s = 1,.....S).
2. The probabilities of the latent classes is designated by their relative sizes or
proportions, which estimate the likelihood that individuals belong to each
one of the classes.
3. λXp│Y=s(ip), p = 1,..................P, represents the conditional probability that
the variable Xp is in the category ip, knowing that the latent variable Y is on
60. Stratified Random Sampling Technique
The ‘social network analysis’ comprises 8 themes:
1. residence, knowledge of the area,
2. trust in neighbours, degree of happiness,
3. social network, social capital,
4. civic participation and community involvement, and
5. socio-demographic characteristics (gender, age, education,
religion, profession and the employment situation).
1. Both closed and open-ended questions to be used.
2. The open-ended questions to be compiled from the data collected
through interviews and urban ethnography (using qualitative
information to develop a questionnaire).
3. The evaluation of open questions is to be done through content
analysis, i.e., by interpreting and coding textual material
systematically, e.g., documents, oral communication, and graphics.
61. Open questions appear in 3 situations:
1. Identification of the problems in the area: respondents may identify
"other" problems and name them as:
lack of cleanliness, expensive housing, degraded pavements
and extra cars.
2. In response to the question "why do neighbours care about each
other?" The categories may be:
good neighbourhood, community, warmth, support, and have
known each other for a long ago.
3. The responses to the reverse question (why do not they care?), the
categories may be: change, selfishness, older adults, and distrust.
The draft questionnaire should be tested to: avoid typing errors,
analyse the motivation in answering the questions, clarify doubts and
correct some errors. It may be critically judged by colleagues to improve
the final content.
Once done, the selected interviewers are trained in: presentation of the
research objectives, information about the area of study, conducting the
interviews, rules for the survey, sampling quotas, and techniques of
random path (rules of selection of respondents, where to start, route,
choice of households, people not wanting to be interviewed, difficulties
in itinerary, how to solve on-the-spot issues, etc.).
62. Sample: The sample may be built using a cluster sampling plan and a
confidence level of 0.95, distributed by age and gender, as follows:
Age (Years) Men Women
15 – 19 23 28
20 – 29 23 26
30 – 39 22 27
40 – 49 23 30
50 – 59 19 32
60 – 69 20 29
70 – 79 20 30
80 or more 16 34
Total 166 236
The mixture of qualitative and quantitative data came in 2 phases:
1. First, the analysis of open questions through the data collected in
interviews, the urban ethnography and archives (qualitative
analysis). These are very important for the consistency and
efficiency of the questionnaire.
2. Second, classifying the neighbours into clusters. This is done with
the Latent Class Analysis approach with a 3-cluster solution.
It’s a kind of PCA with qualitative data.
63. 4. The 1st cluster represents x (55.5%) of the
respondents, the 2nd, y (24.9%) and the 3rd, z (19.6%)
(Total, x + y + z =100%), each with different
characteristics in relation to neighbourhood networks.
5. Results of the interviews can be used to confirm the
6. The use of clusters implies assigning them a name
according to their characteristics.
7. Attributes and interview results are combined to name
the clusters,viz., a community, city or a village.
Hence, a better understanding of the characteristics of
these clusters in order to sort out their social issues.
I live alone
2 - 3
4 - 5
6 - 7
In the Study Area
Near to it
Other part of the District
Doesn’t know anybody
Knows few people
Knows a lot of people
Knows most of them
In the Study Area
Near to it
Other Part of the District
Once a year
2 - 6 / year
7 to 12 / year
Once a week
> 1 a week
1 - 3
4 - 7
8 - 12
13 - 19
More than 20
Don‟t trust local people
Trust few people
Trust many people
Trust most people
Don´t know people
Once a year
2 - 6 / year
7 to 12 / year
Once a week
> 1 a week
Relative living separately
Prefers not to ask for help
Prefers not to ask for
Prefers not to ask for
Once a year
2 - 6 / year
7 to 12 / year
Once a week
> 1 a week
Once a year
2 - 6 / year
7 to 12 / year
Once a week
> 1 a week
Once a year
2 - 6 / year
7 to 12 / year
Once a week
> 1 a week
66. Civic Participation
Participating in discussion of problems in
Organizing or participating in boycotts,
protest marches or other movements
Contacting a politician to solve a local
Contacting Media Persons to address
Being involved with neighbours to defend
68. Class – 1 is represented
by a Cluster with 55.5%
of the respondents.
Class – 2 is represented
by a Cluster with 24.9%
of the respondents.
Class – 3 is represented
by a Cluster with 19.6%
of the respondents.
71. The LCM shows that there are 3 Clusters:
1. a cluster with 55.5% of people (1),
2. a second one with 24.9% (2) and
3. a third cluster with 19.6% (3) in the Study Area
LCM is a probabilistic model, as it uses ‘maximum likelihood’ method of
estimation, and probabilities as proximity measures.
The values of the last 3 columns are probabilities and conditional
(1) 0.555, 0.249 and 0.196 are probabilities of belonging to the
Clusters - 1, 2 and 3, respectively;
(2) All the other values are conditional probabilities of answering in a
certain way, given that (s) he belongs to a certain cluster.
(3) For instance, 0.0498, 0.0741 and 0.5492 are conditional
probabilities of answer ‘I Live alone’, given that they belong to
cluster 1, 2 and 3, respectively;
(4) Thus, living alone is a characteristic of people belonging to Cluster -
3 (because of 0.5492 is the highest value).
73. 1. Thus, a community exists given the family and the network of
2. They know most of the neighbours and have family and friends
living close by.
3. As for trust and reciprocity, the neighbours in Class-1 trust majority
of the people, and they receive a favour.
4. There are 4+ respondents who refuse financial supports from
5. In times of crisis, they choose the support of their spouse, partner,
a charitable institution or volunteers.
6. They need company for doctor’s appointment once a year.
7. They give/receive gifts or socialise 2 – 6 times a year to > once a
8. They mix 1 – 12 times a year for leisure activities with neighbours.
9. Shopping errands vary from 2 – 12 times a year or 1 or more than
once a week.
10. Concerning civic participation, in Class -1, there are respondents
• participate in discussion of problems in the neighbourhood and
• are involved in defending the neighbourhood with other
74. 1. Thus, we have a better understanding of the respondents in the
three classes: community (Class – 1), city (Class – 2) and village
(Class – 3).
2. In the community, most of the respondents are married.
3. They are in the age group 50 – 59, and either have a bachelor’s or
master’s degree, or PhD.
This can be re-verified in the field: (field experience of a
member of a household)
75. It seems to be a community…
1. People you know, say hello and help.
2. Recently, I had problems with the gas and it was a neighbour on
the first floor who helped me.
3. Also my neighbours always helped with my daughter for 6 years"
In city, these ratios change:
1. The respondents have a relationship with 6 – 7 people (family or
acquaintances); 0 – 3 don’t know anyone (neighbours) and they
have family and friends living far away.
2. They don’t trust people.
3. They don’t know anybody in their locality.
4. For financial support, they depend on their spouse, distant relatives,
friends or colleagues.
5. For personal crisis, they discuss with friends and colleagues.
6. They never need company to go to a doctor’s appointment.
7. They get invited over to a neighbour’s, or give / receive gifts.
8. They have signed petitions, organized and participated in boycotts
and protest marches.
9. This group is mostly made up of 15 – 49 year old men, single or
living with someone.
76. 10. They are either orthodox or have no religion.
11. They are highly educated: graduates, post-graduates and PhD.
Field Experience (Revisit)
I only know my front door neighbour. He has my key and when I need
something, he helps me. My family lives in village. I live alone. I trust
my neighbours but here, people do not interact with each that much.
1. They trust many people, but have never done/received a favour.
2. They have 1 – 3 relatives and 0 – 3 friends.
3. They prefer not to ask for help and never needed to ask for
financial help from anybody.
4. They are accompanied to doctor’s appointment, buy gifts and run
shopping errands once a year, partake in leisure activities once or
more than once a week.
The Village Profile
1. Most of the respondents live alone.
2. They have 4 – 7 acquaintances.
3. They know a lot of neighbours.
77. 4. They have family and friends living in City.
5. Concerning civic participation, they contact a politician to solve a
6. They contact a media person and get involved in other initiatives.
7. This group is made up mostly of 60+ year with more old women,
who are divorced, separated, or widow.
8. They are religious.
9. Their education is poor – illiterate, primary and secondary level.
1. Thus, mixed method research is very helpful for deep
understanding of social networks and neighbourhood communities.
2. It allows to understand social capital in the various features.
3. In the 1st Class, community is the most appropriate designation
corroborated by the references in the interviews and the analysis of
characteristics of social networks.
4. The 2nd Class appropriately designates a city, found in the
characteristics of an urban area.
5. Village is more appropriate designation of the 3rd Class.
78. • The study area evolved as a place with different classes that allowed
integration of a variety of socio-economic groups that continues…...
• The present neighbourhood developed with a social mix.
• Most of the neighbours know and support each other.
• Like neighbours, they greet each other.
• When they have a problem, they count on the support of their
• The social networks show varying degrees of interdependence
among neighbours across all age groups and levels.
• The neighbourhood is characterized by the modernity of
architectural designs that gives it a city-like form, as well as a small
community and sometimes, a rural village with social control over its
• Neighbourly relations and trust characterize the generality of the ties
• The area has dimensions of both a village and a city.
• Its landscape changed with modern development in the form of new
architecture, new roads, flyovers, shopping malls, fashion houses,
food stations, and resorts.
79. Prof Ashis Sarkar
Formerly, Head: Department of Geography,
Presidency College/University & Chandernagore College
Managing Editor and Publisher
Indian Journal of Spatial Science