Wiley Prize 2022

My co-authored paper with Richard Carter-White on Virtual Reality in Geography Education has been selected for the top Wiley Prize for 2022 by the editorial team at the journal Geographical Research, as well as the Institute of Australian Geographers and Wiley Publishers.

Richard and I are delighted and honored to receive such acknowledgement for our research, and for our first-time collaboration. The Wiley Prize comes at a fantastic moment as Richard and I are about to commence a new study on the implications of Virtual Reality and related immersive technologies for geography education.

In the awarded article Richard Carter-White and I have examined the claim that virtual reality (VR) holds significant potential for pedagogical applications in geography. We have thought through and challenged commonly held assumptions about VR and its application (as a technology) within education. Below are some key takes from the article ⬇️:

➡️ VR technology may work as a (dis)inhibitor and provide users with a sense of social and temporal freedom to explore sites but in combination with a new set of spatial and perceptual constraints.

➡️ VR field trips may generate curiosity about the “details” of a given site, but we argue that learning with and through VR technology only became possible via active bodily adaptations and renewed understandings of bodily capacities and their inequalities.

➡️ VR works most effectively if conceived not as a journey into a self-contained virtual realm but instead as a spatial prompt designed to provoke new questions for students already on the path to developing geographical understandings and imaginations related to specific sites.

Read more about our research in the following link. The article has been made available Open Access:

Roelofsen M., and Carter-White, R. (2022) “Virtual reality as a spatial prompt in geography learning and teaching.” Geographical Research. https://doi.org/ 10.1111/1745-5871.12551

Image of a teacher placing a Virtual Reality headset on the head of a child who sits at a desk, followed by a row of other desks with children behind them (with Virtual Reality headsets on their heads).