Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

of

128 Years Young Slide 1 128 Years Young Slide 2 128 Years Young Slide 3 128 Years Young Slide 4
Upcoming SlideShare
What to Upload to SlideShare
Next
Download to read offline and view in fullscreen.

0 Likes

Share

Download to read offline

128 Years Young

Download to read offline

A contribution to the Charney Manor Primary Conference, 2021

Related Books

Free with a 30 day trial from Scribd

See all

Related Audiobooks

Free with a 30 day trial from Scribd

See all
  • Be the first to like this

128 Years Young

  1. 1. The GA: 128 Years Young A paper presented at the 24th Charney Manor Primary Conference 28th February 2021 Alan Parkinson Abstract In April 2019, I started the process of creating a blog called ‘All the (GA) Presidents: Men (and Women)” on hearing that I was to be making my way through the Presidential cycle to take up the post of President in 2021. Along the way, I made use of a wealth of sources, books and personal memories to recreate the story of the GA, with a biography of each of the 106 Presidents, along with other significant figures in the development of both the Association and school geography. The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented me having any access to the archives at 160 Solly Street, but along the way, I have encountered stories of fascinating characters in the long history of a peripatetic and responsive group of educators who share a passion for geography. This paper is an adapted extract from an article, to identify some areas of particular interest for Primary educators and their involvement in the GA. On the 20th of May 1893 a dozen men gathered in the New Common Room at Christchurch, Oxford to establish what was to become the Geographical Association. (Balchin, 1993) In an article called ‘From lantern slides to software’, published in the Times Educational Supplement during the 90th Anniversary, Richard Daugherty explained how: “Lantern slides were not as widely used in 1893 as they might have been. Mr B B Dickinson of Rugby School wanted to make more and better use of them. Accordingly he issued a circular inviting public school masters to join him in formatting a private association for the purpose of subdividing the work of making lantern slides for the teaching of geography…. What started out as ​a lantern slide cooperative​ has become a complex of interrelated activities, each of which is designed in some way to help put one geography teacher in touch with another”​. (Daugherty, 1983) The meeting was partly the result of the Royal Geographical Association’s refusal at the time to accept female members, which led to the involvement of Douglas Freshfield. The GA’s aims included the following important statement: “Its most important work will be the encouragement of any methods of teaching which tend to the comprehension of geographical principles rather than isolated fact.” (Daugherty, 1993) In April 2019, I started the process of creating a blog called ‘All the (GA) Presidents: Men (and Women)” on hearing that I was to be making my way through the Presidential cycle to take up the post in 2021, and to revisit all the Presidents from 1893 to the present day. Along the way, I was reminded of a warning that Frances Soar gave me, when I worked at Solly Street to avoid digging in the archives and minutes as I’d only find that we’d just been going round and round in circles, and talking about the same things for decades. By 1900, Douglas Freshfield was the President, having taken office in 1897, and stayed in post until 1911. After that, the usual pattern of one year in office started (although two Presidents served two years during World War Two). Primary membership was opened to all from the outset, but there was little dedicated support for Primary colleagues for some time. (Balchin, 1993)
  2. 2. In 1900, the first journal ‘The Geographical Teacher’ was published, with financial support from T.G.Rooper, an HMI. The first issue featured Rooper’s concerns that geography was ‘a dreary recitation of names and statistics of no interest to the learner and of little use except, perhaps in the sorting department of the Post Office’ (Rooper, 1901). Douglas Freshfield’s introduction outlined the importance of connections between teachers, to ‘exchange experiences and learn the progress that is being made in method or in appliances’ (Freshfield, 1901). Freshfield’s message about the importance of connections was mirrored a century later in Jeremy Krause’s own Presidential lecture. There was no primary journal yet, but ‘The Geographical Teacher’ featured contributions from many teachers of elementary geography, and many early female contributors as well. By 1903, GA members were already making links with the Ordnance Survey to reduce the cost of map extracts for classroom use. A significant new member in 1906 was James Fairgrieve, who would perhaps do more than anyone else to develop ideas for the teaching of the subject, including early use of cinema in 1928. In 1916, the journal published an article by Lily Winchester on ‘The Teaching of Geography to Little Children’ which introduced a number of themes to primary geography which persist in some form to this day, and which were developed into a book, published in 1920, with an introduction by Percy Roxby. (Winchester, 1920) This explored ideas for Nature Study, study of the home environment, the weather and physical processes, and the use of maps. She also pondered on the possible future developments of maps. In 1918, the GA created four standing committees, two of which were chaired by teachers and future Presidents. It was not until 1927 that the Standing Committee for Primary Schools was formed under the chair of Mrs. Katz, who was to lead on developments, give evidence to the Board of Education on the development of the syllabus, and organise social events. (Balchin, 1993) Through the 1940s and 1950s, further GA publications emerged including ‘Geography in the Primary School’ in 1949, and ‘Teaching Geography in Junior Schools’ in 1959. By the 1960s, and my own primary education as a ‘rising five’, the ‘new geography’ was emerging in academic circles, but I remember the ‘nature table’, and walks in the nearby woods. The first Charney Conference in 1970 had a focus on the courses led by Haggett and Chorley. A decade later in 1980, the Conference introduced a desire to return ‘humaneness’ to geography, a sense of the Compassionate perhaps. By now, Wendy Morgan was serving on the Primary Section Committee, under the Chair of Mr. R.S. Barker. This was a time when the GA was having to change, and increasingly respond to DES decisions. In the words of Rex Walford, it had to become ‘streetwise’, and put on events such as the 1985 conference, which saw Keith Joseph give the first speech about geography education by a servicing Secretary of State for Education. By now there was a clear need for a Primary focussed journal to meet a growing Primary membership, and Michael Storm was asked to set up a working party. His conference saw a Primary initiative and a primary day at the conference, which 200 delegates attended. Michael developed five key questions for UK primary schools (Storm, 1988), with two more later added by Marcia Foley (Foley and Janikoun, 1990) 1989 saw the eventual launch of Primary Geographer journal, with Wendy Morgan as its first editor. 1990’s GA Conference at the London School of Economics once again saw a Primary day, with an ‘a la carte’ programme of lectures and workshops and contributions from many who would become Charney regulars as the conference became more primary focussed.The first President with a Primary education background was Simon Catling in 1992, who continued the drive for greater advocacy for early years education, and by 1994, Tony Binns reported on a journal which was going ‘from strength to strength’ (Binns, 1994) Wendy
  3. 3. Morgan herself became the first female Primary President in 1997, with her conference theme of ‘Geography for All’ reflecting her desire to help draw Primary educators who may have had no background in geography into the profession, through her work at Homerton College, which later provided the base for Rex Walford. (Walford, 2000) The first Primary Handbook was edited by Roger Carter, an advisory teacher for Staffordshire and later Jersey, in 1998. Since then, other Presidents with a Primary background, or a Charney connection have come in more rapid succession than the ninety-nine years that it took for the first one to be selected or elected, including the current President. There is still work to be done to promote the Primary cause, but this forms part of an ongoing narrative which has continued since that first meeting in the New Common Room. Future blended conferences can bring in more delegates, and encourage engagement with the support offered by our community of practice. I hope we will see more joint working between committees and across key stages. The Chair at that first meeting of the GA in 1893 was Halford J Mackinder, whose attitudes and actions were not at all in accord with the aims of a GA which is looking to be more diverse, and to have awkward conversations about its past, the decolonisation of its activities and school curricula, and the encouragement of wider representation at all levels, and in all its strands of operation. I am sure this will form part of the work I will be supporting and be part of during 2021-2 with the theme of ‘Everyday’ Geographies. The GA has supported teachers and all those interested in geography every day since the 20th of May 1893 and long may it continue to do so. References Balchin, W.G.V, “The Geographical Association: The First Hundred Years, 1893-1993’ (Geographical Association, 1993) Binns, T. “Guest Editorial: Developing Geography — Where Do We Go From Here?” Geography, vol. 79, no. 4, 1994, pp. 290–292. Boardman, D & McPartland, M. “A Hundred Years of Geography Teaching” - ‘Teaching Geography’, January 1993 Catling, S, et al. “The State of Geography in English Primary Schools.” Geography, vol. 92, no. 2, 2007, pp. 118–136. Daugherty R., “From lantern slides to software” - Times Education Supplement, published 1.4.83 Foley, M. (1999). Using the enquiry approach in primary geographical education. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education 8(1), Freshfield, D. ‘Introduction’ - The Geographical Teacher’, Vol 1, Issue 1 Halocha, J. ‘Coordinating geography across the primary school’ (Routledge, 1998) Martin, F. ‘Teaching geography in primary schools’ (Chris Kington, 2006) Parkinson, A. ‘You can take the boy out of Yorkshire’ - chapter in Catling, S. (Ed.) ‘Reflections on Primary Geography’ (Geographical Association, 2017) Storm, M. ‘The five basic questions for primary geography’. Primary Geographer 2(4) (1989) Walford, R: ‘Geography in British Schools, 1850-2000: Making a World of Difference (Routledge, 2000) Walford, R (Ed.), ‘Viewpoints on Geography Teaching” (Longman, 1990) Winchester, L., ‘The Teaching of Geography to Little Children’, The Geographical Teacher, Vol 8, Issue. 5, 1916
  4. 4. Winchester, L. ‘The Teaching of Geography to Little Children’ (1920) - available at https://archive.org/details/teachingofgeogra00wincuoft Numerous personal communications 2019-2021 with former Presidents and their families Numerous issues of ‘Geography and ‘Primary Geographer’ This paper is a version of an article being prepared for publication in a GA journal to be decided, and ‘Routes Journal’ in 2022. Alan Parkinson is Head of Geography at King’s Ely Junior, and Vice President of the Geographical Association 2020-21. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Chartered Geographer. He was awarded the Tivy Education Medal by the RSGS in 2013. http://gapresidents.blogspot.com​ - the GA Presidents blog http://livinggeography.blogspot.com​ - up over 10 000 posts a.parkinson@gmail.com Twitter: @GeoBlogs

A contribution to the Charney Manor Primary Conference, 2021

Views

Total views

43

On Slideshare

0

From embeds

0

Number of embeds

26

Actions

Downloads

0

Shares

0

Comments

0

Likes

0

×