Geocube: Promoting Geography
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Geocube: Promoting Geography



Promoting Geography presenting the work of the HERODOT network at the IGU-CGE conference, August 2009

Promoting Geography presenting the work of the HERODOT network at the IGU-CGE conference, August 2009



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Geocube: Promoting Geography Geocube: Promoting Geography Presentation Transcript

  • Geo-cube: an international toolkit promoting Geography for all Thematic Pillar 2: HERODOT Network Karl Donert National Teaching Fellow Liverpool Hope University
  • HERODOT Thematic Network
    • An EU funded network project, since 2002
    • Grass roots - bringing geographers together
    • 242 partner institutions from 55 countries
    • Addressing the Bologna Process …
    • Improving quality of learning and teaching Geography in higher education
    • 4 interest groups (TPs – Thematic Pillars)
    • European-wide research
    • Publications – workshops – training -seminars
  • Context of this research
    • State of Geography in Europe - Report (Donert, 2007)
    • Decline of Geography in European schools
    • Not perceived by decision makers as important as lifelong learning
    • Need to communicate Geography into Society
    • How?
    • Information gathering
    • Promotion, lobbying
    • Ambassadorship of the discipline
    Donert K (2007), Aspects of the State of Geography n Europe,
  • Research and Development Objectives
    • Assess current and future promotion of Geography
    • Country reports and European perspective
    • Method - questionnaire to collect information regarding current practices, future measures and the preferred tools.
    • 2. Create a product (toolkit) to support the promotion of Geography
    • Method – workshops and meetings
  • Research Survey sample
  • Is there promotion of Geography in your higher education institution? Who is doing it? Why is it being done? 8% no 92% yes 8% Others 33% Students 31% non-academics/University PR 67% Individual academics 78% Department 4% Other 41% Public awareness of subject 33% Department survival 51% Raise awareness of subject 82% Attracting students 27% Funding
  • Promoting Geography
    • University and department Web sites
    • Organising events
    • media and lobbying (relatively low)
  • How Geography is promoted 2% 0% 4% 6% 4% Others 39% 20% 41% 65% 16% Events 24% 6% 18% 16% 2% News/press releases 6% 2% 10% 20% 4% Competitions 16% 16% 18% 4% 22% Lobbying 0% 0% 0% 2% 0% Marketing Gadgets 47% 20% 45% 67% 14% Website 14% 14% 25% 33% 12% School network 25% 14% 37% 47% 6% Poster 20% 16% 33% 57% 6% Leaflets / Prospectus 8% 2% 10% 12% 4% postcards Public awareness of subject Department survival Raise awareness of subject Attracting students Funding  
  • Marketing Geography What is stressed in the promotion of Geography? 12% Other 64% Success of graduates 46% Employability 90% Attractiveness of subject stress the value of the subject public service - importance of geo-knowledge wide applicability of geography knowledge and skills importance for everyday life and environment sustainability Main messages: fieldwork
  • Who promotes to whom?
  • Country analysis: Malta
    • Growing popularity at tertiary level.
    • Geography Division relatively young (15 years)
    • Interactions with other departments, major employers, local government, consultants, NGOs and schools.
    • Despite this, geography has only recently been acknowledged by a number of employers (MEPA, Agriculture, ADT, MRA).
    • Problem of definition , promotion of geography by UOM staff has produced good results.
    • Problem of employability as number of graduates are increasing in a relatively small market.
  • Country analysis: Lithuania
    • Geography promoted between students, who eventually disappear in society.
    • Difficulty of defining a “geographer”.
    • Geography as a school subject, not a profession
    • Very little effort to promote the “job” in the media
    • No professional status associated with geography.
  • Country analysis: Netherlands
    • Royal Dutch Geographical Society
    • Focus of KNAG on bringing together the geography education community
      • publication in popular media
      • visits to museums and centres
      • recruitment strategies to attract students (linked to funding)
    • Masters in Geography & Communications
  • Country analysis: Poland
    • No public promotion of geography.
    • Polish Geographical Society formed
    • Geographers seen on TV as experts, particularly promoting tourism
    • Public events related to geography / science (marching with compasses)
    • More focused events for geographers
      • Geographical Olympic Games (for schools)
      • Increased participation in GIS day
  • Research Conclusions (1)
    • Need to:
    • Target geographers and society in general
    • Promotion focus on decision-making agencies
    • Share good practice on geo-promotion
    • Develop a toolkit to help promote Geography
    • A single recognisable multimedia web site
    • Enhanced by translation to meet local needs
  • Research Conclusions (2)
    • Train students of Geography about the geographical skills they have and why they (as geographers) are important in society.
    • Encourage graduates to promote themselves as geographers by:
      • creating a social and professional alumni community would help meet this goal.
      • building an international contact database of key government, business leaders and other high-status individuals who have connections to Geography
  • Recommendations
    • Aim high, target politicians, governments, EU, Council of Europe, UNESCO etc. – how?
      • Need a lobbying agency – European Association, IGU
      • Use famous/important geographers – who are they?
      • Better projection of the skills of a geographer
      • Change geography curriculum to include/attract para-geographers to geography
    • Share good practices on geo-promotion
      • How? Who? Where?
    • Toolkit to promote geography
      • single place (website) to promote Geography
  • Geo-cube: re-inventing the way to explore Geography HERODOT response
  • Branding Geography
    • Focus on target audience
    • Researched ways Internet was being used to promote Geography
    • Dutch “Canon” – web site as a window on the topic (Nagel, 2009)
    • Cube chosen as interface
    Nagel, M. (2009), Windows on the World: Global Citizenship in Dutch Education, 37-41, Paper presented at the Geographical Diversity, EUROGEO-HERODOT Conference Ayvalik, Turkey 28-31 May 2009,
  • The GeoCube (
    • Based on the principle of the Rubik Cube
    • Easily accessible website
    • Available online for free.
    • An attractive online statement about Geography
    • Multimedia resources (1000+ high quality images, 100+ video clips)
    • Text produced by volunteers from 16 countries
    • Edited and standardised
    • 6 themes
    • 9 topics
    • 54 subjects
  • Branding Geography
    • Geocube provides the world of Geography at your fingertips and just a mouse click away!
    • Geocube helps you understand what Geography is and what geographers do
    Powerful message Build image
  • Earth from All Angles
  • Exploring Our World
  • Fascinating Earth
  • Living Together
  • Shrinking Planet
  • Useful Geographies
  • Geocube …… an accessible way to read, see and watch Geography at work. 54 windows on what Geography is and what geographers do
  • Building the brand
  • Final Conclusions (1)
    • Research indicated
    • professional bodies , associations and international organisations need to become more involved – HOW?
    • departments of higher education and teacher training have an important role to play
    • we must encourage our students and alumni to be advocates and ambassadors for Geography
    • Further challenges for HERODOT
    • Must widely promote and inform different audiences of the existence and usefulness of the Geocube toolkit?
  • Final Conclusions (2)
    • Why should we care?
    • If we care - whose job is promotion any way?
    • Question of scale
      • international - national – local – regional
    • Who promotes Geography worldwide?
    • What is the role of the IGU?
    • How can you get involved?
      • Join HERODOT –
      • Join EUROGEO – European Association of Geographers
    • GeoCube is a European initiative developed by HERODOT , the European Network for Geography in Higher Education and is available to anyone who is interested in Geography
    This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. The Web site reflects the views only of the network, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.