This study is part of a research series aimed at elucidating expert scientists’ “authentic practices,” and it focuses on the research of geographers in the social domains of knowledge. The study aims to highlight geographers’ learning processes and how geography teachers, after reading and understanding geography papers as educational materials, utilize them in their teaching practice. Therefore, using two final reports on research conducted on Indian regional studies by different generations of geographers, this study examines how the scholarship of geographers has developed and changed by comparing (1) perspective and methodology of research, (2) regional selection criteria, and (3) style and structuring of representation.
The results of the analysis revealed the following. (1) The studies, conducted by two different generations of geographers, showed an evolving and deepening consciousness of problems in regional studies based on paradigm shifts in topographical research, generational axioms, and the like, from understanding rural socioeconomic structures to regional disparities and the conditions to eliminate them. (2) The researchers examined the same rural region of India in their fieldwork; however, they became progressively proficient at selecting survey areas more proactively, purposefully, and rationally due to the development of researchers’ personal communication networks with one another and with local populations owing to ongoing research activities. (3) Furthermore, due to these changes, they shifted from standard descriptions serving as a window on “a village’s location and shape, its people and society, and the village economy” provided by data collected in the target region, to structural descriptions focused on themes that characterized the region. The results suggest that a special characteristic of group of geographers’ learning are continuous revision and deepening of research beyond the generations. In conclusion, in accordance with these results, a time-series comparison of the research output on the same region has been shown to be beneficial in understanding the intentions and context of textbook descriptions.