Students' Perceptions Of Geography Education In Middle And High Schools: The Importance Of Geography Education In The Education Curriculum, Dagana Dzongkhag, Bhutan

Leela Balab Pokhrel, Ramesh Kumar Chhetri


A positive perception of the geography subject is crucial for students' academic success and their interest in learning. The identification of students’ perceptions of subjects has been carried out in many educational curricula.  However, it is rarely studied in Bhutan. This study explores the students’ performance in middle and higher secondary school and their academic performance in Dagana Dzongkhag (district). To study the students’ perceptions of learning geography, the data were collected from key stages IV and V students using a convergent parallel mixed-methods design from four schools. A total of 282 students, comprising 181 from key stage IV and 101 from key stage V were selected from two middle secondary and two higher secondary schools. The quantitative data were obtained using a survey questionnaire, and the qualitative data were collected from four FGDs (focus group discussions). The findings revealed that the students have positive perceptions of learning geography, irrespective of their stages. There is a significant difference in students’ perception of learning geography between key stages IV and V. The students of key stage V have a comparatively positive perception compared to those in key stage IV. It is evident from this study that students’ perceptions towards the subject would also impact their academic performance. Therefore, to address the research findings, this study recommends the district education office and school management to prioritize geography education and establish proper mechanism to support it through relevant authorities. The study has also opened the way forward for future researchers to explore similar research with a larger population.


Curriculum and perception; Focus Group Discussions; Key stages IV and V; Positive perception

Full Text:



Ahmed, Y., Taha, M. H., Al-Neel, S., & Gaffar, A. M. (2018). Students’ perception of the learning environment and its relation to their study year and performance in Sudan. International Journal of Medical Education, 9, 145–150.

Al-Nofli, M. A. (2010). Students’ perceptions about geography: A study of basic education school students in Oman. European Journal of Social Sciences, 16((1), 11–20.

Ballantyne, R. (1996). Factors affecting student choice of geography as a senior secondary school subject in Queensland. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 5(3), 172–185.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77–101.

Creswell, J. W., & Clark, V. L. P. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. SAGE Publications.

Eze, E. (2020). Sociographic analysis of climate change awareness and pro-environmental behaviour of secondary school teachers and students in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 29(1), 89–105.

Fatıma, M. (2016). Perceptions of Geography as a Discipline among Students of Different Academic Levels in Pakistan. Retrieved from. Review of International Geographical Education Online, 6(1), 67–85.

Haubrich, H. (2000). Guest Editorial: Sustainable Learning in Geography for the 21st century. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 9(4), 279–284.

Hussain, A. (2006). Effect of Guidance Services on Study Attitudes, Study Habits and Academic Achievement of Secondary School Students. Bulletin of Education & Research, 28(1), 34–45.

Jeynes, W. H. (2011). Parental involvement research: Moving to the next level. The School Community Journal, 21(1), 9–18.

Krejcie, R. V., & Morgan, D. W. (1970). Determining Sample Size for Research Activities. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 30(3), 607–610.

Kubiatko, M., Mrazkova, K., & Janko, T. (2012). Gender and grade level as factors influencing perception of geography. Review of International Geographical Education Online, 2(3), 289–302.

Malhotra, N.K. and Birks, D. (2006). Marketing Research: An Applied Approach. (3rd Editio). Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River.

Mtitu, E. A. (2014). Learner-Centred Teaching In Tanzania: Geography Teachers’ Perceptions And Experiences [Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)].

Mwesiga, F. (2017). Factors influencing students’ poor performance in geography subject in Tanzania: The case of community secondary schools in Morogoro municipality.

Nadire, K. (2020). Secondary School Students’ Attitudes toward the Geography Course. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 8(6), 2587–2598.

National Statistical Bureau of Bhutan. (2023). Population. Bhutan Data Interactive Data Portal.

Onuoha, J. C., & Eze, E. (2013). Students’ Attitude towards the study of geography in nsukka local government area, Enugu State. African Review of Arts Social Sciences & Education, 3(1), 141-157.

Opoku, F. (2019). International Journal of Geography and Geography Education ( IGGE ). International Journal of Geography and Geography Education (IGGE), 40, 283–294.

Paul, R. (2017). Growth and development of modern education in Bhutan (1907 to 1997 AD) [University of North Bengal]. thesis of Ratna Paul.pdf

Rilwani, M. L., Akahomen, D. O., & Gbakeji, J. O. (2014). Factors influencing secondary school students’ attrition in geography in Esan West Local Government Area, Edo State, Nigeria. Studies, 5(2),. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy, 5(2), 154-161.

Verma, M., & Deshpande, S. (2016). Perception of Students about Geography in FNU: A case study. First International Conference on Theory and Practice, 2(1), 1–12.

Walker, D., & Myrick, F. (2006). Grounded Theory: An Exploration of Process and Procedure. Qualitative Health Research, 16(4), 547–559.

Weeden, P. (2007). Students’ perceptions of geography: Decision making at age 14. Geography, 29(1), 62-73.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2024 Authors

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

                                 JournalStories Main logo s