Toward a new energy paradigm in geography: revisiting the curriculum and teaching practices


  • NATALIJA MAŽEIKIENĖ Faculty of Social Sciences, Vytautas Magnus University, Jonavos str. 66, LT-44191 Kaunas, Lithuania
  • Odeta Norkutė Education Academy, Institute of Education Research Vytautas Magnus University, Jonavos str. 66, 44191 Kaunas, Lithuania



school geography, geography curriculum, geography textbooks, energy geography, energy literacy, nuclear energy


Aim. The aim of the article is to investigate how energy topics are presented in the geography curriculum in Lithuania and how school geography becomes an educational response to the current global challenges related to energy production and consumption.

Methods. The article presents research using several methods: review of literature on energy geography and energy literacy, analysis of Lithuanian national curriculum for geography, content analysis of 14 geography textbooks for forms 6–12, expert interview with 9 geography teachers.

Results. The empirical research reveals that the national curriculum and textbooks still represent the old energy paradigm with a profound focus on fossil fuel and nuclear energy resources. Meanwhile, the new energy paradigm is realised in the teaching of experienced and qualified teachers who, in addition to the new green energy economy, emphasise environmental and social issues of energy use.

Conclusions. The conclusions include observations on necessary changes in teaching energy geography: on the one hand, by revising the formal curriculum and textbooks and integrating concepts of energy literature and new energy developments; on the other hand, by initiating changes in primary and continuous teacher education. Professional development of teachers could include new energy topics, new teaching and learning sources (political debates in media, TV, strategic energy development documents), new teaching and learning strategies and methods.


Download data is not yet available.


Bodzin, A. (2012) Investigating Urban Eighth-Grade Students’ Knowledge of Energy Resources. International Journal of Science Education, 34:8, 1255–1275, DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2012.661483

Calvert, K. (2016). From ‘energy geography’ to ‘energy geographies’: Perspectives on a fertile academic borderland. Progress in Human Geography 2016, Vol. 40(1), 105–125

Day, T. (2012). Undergraduate teaching and learning in physical geography. Progress in Physical Geography 36(3) 305–332

DeWaters, J., Qaqish, B., Graham, M. & Powers, S. (2013). Designing an energy literacy questionnaire for middle and high school youth. The Journal of Environmental Education, 44:1, 56–78, DOI: 10.1080/00958964.2012.682615

Gilbert J. K. (2006). On the nature of “context” in chemical education. International Journal of Science Education, 28:9, 957–976, DOI: 10.1080/09500690600702470

Graybill, J. K. (2016). Teaching energy geographies via videography. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 40:1, 55–66, DOI: 10.1080/03098265.2015.1089474

Huber, M. (2016). Teaching energy geography? It’s complicated. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 40:1, 77–83, DOI: 10.1080/03098265.2015.1089476

Nacionalinė energetinės nepriklausomybės strategija, 2018

Nilsson, P. & Ryve, A. (2010). Focal event, contextualization, and effective communication in the mathematics classroom. Educational Studies in Mathematics, Vol. 74, No. 3 (July 2010), pp. 241–258.

Thoyre, A. & Harrison, C. (2016). Introduction: teaching energy geographies. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 40:1, 31–38, DOI:10.1080/03098265.2016.11325

Van der Horst, D., Harrison, C., Staddon, S. and Wood, G. (2016). Improving energy literacy through student-led fieldwork – at Home. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 1, 67–76,




How to Cite

MAŽEIKIENĖ, N. ., & Norkutė, O. (2021). Toward a new energy paradigm in geography: revisiting the curriculum and teaching practices . Journal of Education Culture and Society, 12(1), 131–150.