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V2 school geography and survivalPresentation Transcript
Geography in schools and education for survival David Lambert
Geography in schools and education for survival
Crisis, what crisis? Environmental global climate change Economic global financial crisis Educational how to respond?
What geography is significant to the 21st century learner?
What’s the purpose of school geography? And end in itself? Or A means to an end?
Geography underpins a lifelong ‘conversation’ about the earth as the home of humankind. It is not a narrow academic subject for the few. It is a fundamental idea. It is of relevance to everyone.- Geography fascinates and inspires - Geography deepens understanding- Thinking with geography enables decision-making - Geographical enquiry encourages skills developmentSource: the GA Manifesto A Different View(www.geography.org.uk/adifferentview)
‘Geography is all about the living, breathing essence of the world we live in. It explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?’ Michael Palin, 27 November 2007 At the reception at the Speaker’s House, House of Commons, to celebrate the successes of the Action Plan for Geography.
“I want my children to understand the world, but not just because the world is fascinating and the human mind is curious. I want them to understand it so they will be positioned to make it a better place.” Gardner H (2000) Intelligence Reframed: multiple intelligences for the 21st century, NY: Basic Books. P 180-1
The moral implications of teaching geography Questions: What are the children learning (anyhow) What are the children learning through my teaching? In what ways is this learning an educational achievement? Has it enabled students to travel ‘with a different view’?
Curriculum Making Which learning activity ? Does this take the learner beyond what they already know ? Student Experiences Geography: the subject Teacher Choices Underpinned by Key Concepts Thinking Geographically
The subject Geography – not as an end in itself but a resource in the service of educational aims Geography - “defined not as a collection of facts but as the state of the art conceptual frameworks of the subject”
skills and ways of thinking Key processes Range and content opportunities Curriculum Key concepts knowledge and understanding essential ideas contexts for learning Less prescribed contentbut an increased focuson subject discipline… the key ideas and skillsthat underpin a subject. A new look at subjects Importance Why the subject matters and how it contributes to the aims
The study of geography stimulates an interest in, and a sense of wonder about, places and helps make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world. It explains how places and landscapes are formed, how people and environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies and societies are interconnected. It builds on pupils’ own experiences to investigate at all scales from the personal to the global. Geographical enquiry encourages questioning, investigation and critical thinking about issues affecting the world and people’s lives, for the present and future. Fieldwork is an essential element of this. Pupils learn to think spatially, using maps, visual images and new technologies, including geographical information systems, to obtain, present and analyse information. Geography inspires pupils to become global citizens by exploring their own place in the world, their values and responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet.
What are the key concepts in Geography?
What are the stages of enquiry? Creating a need to know speculating, hypothesising, generating ideas, asking questions, planning how to research Using sources locating evidence, collecting, selecting, sorting, classifying, sequencing Reflecting on Learning evaluating, identifying areas for improvement Making sense describing, explaining, comparing, contrasting, analysing, concluding
School Geography and “Capabilities”
A student ‘thinking geographically’. What does that mean? What does she need in order to be able to do that? And how does it benefit her?
Capability Derives from Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum and their work in human welfare and development economics: What it is to be ‘truly human’? Anything that prevents fully human functioning is a deprivation of capability
Thus, poverty is not simply ‘low income’. It is: a lack of choice a lack of opportunity
Other examples of capabilities:
being able to imagine, use the senses, think and reason
being able to form a conception of the good and to plan one’s life accordingly
being able to show concern for others, to empathise and to live successfully with others
being able participate effectively in political choices, with free speech and association
[after Nussbaum 1993]
Human capabilities and education Not to be confused with imparting value free ‘skills’ for the ‘knowledge economy’ Education to enhance the agency of young people, clarifying values and deepening understanding.
Human capabilities and education
autonomy and rights
choices about how to live
creativity and productivity
In a context of ‘moral seriousness’
Human (intellectual) ‘functioning’ Based on significant organising ideas For example, A “Global Sense of Place”
This enables a framework for understanding. It helps us puts more specific matters into the context of wider implications and interdependencies.
The neo-liberal orthodoxy has “dulled our ability to think for, or beyond, ourselves” [Wadley 2008] “Vibrant City”
Identity Who am I? Where am I from? Who is my ‘family’? What is their story? And the people around me? Society Who decides on who gets what, where and why? What is fair? Why care?
The physical environment What is the world (and this place) made of? Why do things move? What becomes of things? Our place in the world Where do I live? How does it look? How is it changing? How might it become?
School geography and capabilities School geography enables young people to extend and develop their:
world knowledge and knowledge of earth as the home of humankind
relational understanding of people and places in the world
disposition to link social, economic and environmental processes
“We are encouraging schools to be outward looking, globally minded and future focused. (Schools should) enable open-ended engagement with wider world issues … It’s the tensions that students confront when they do so that are important.” Prof Bill Scott
A Different View
The GA’s ‘manifesto’ links Geography: “Knowledge about the earth as the home of humankind” and Education“ ... to travel with a different view” www.geography.org.uk/adifferentview
Sharing and learning from good practice - FEB 2008
Sharing and learning from good practice - FEB 2008 Is it possible to imagine school geography underpinning radical debate with young people about ‘how to live’?
Sharing and learning from good practice - FEB 2008 Is it possible to imagine school geography underpinning radical debate with young people about ‘how to live’? Yes please
Geography in schools and education for survival