Teaching Geography in Secondary Schools: A Reader

By Maggie Smith | Go to book overview

Section 3

Geography for the twenty-first century

The six chapters in Section 3 raise questions that need to be answered in order to ensure the well-being of Geography in the future. As in the previous section there were more questions than space available to explore them. These chapters therefore represent just some of the diversity of challenges that Geography faces in the twenty-first century.

The newly established Geo Visions project outlined in Chapter 15 takes a fresh look at what young people today want from geographical education, and from that explores some of the ways in which we might meet those aspirations. In the following chapter, Alan Reid looks at the new requirement in the latest revision to the National Curriculum (2000) for Geography that requires the teaching of 'environmental changes and sustainable development' rather than 'environmental relationships and issues' as given in the previous National Curriculum for Geography. He examines the relationship between environmental education and education for sustainable development and discusses some of the issues relating to teaching effectively about environmental change and sustainable development. Paul Machon's review of citizenship and its links to Geography is the theme of Chapter 17. He links his ideas to the statement produced by the Geographical Association on Geography's role in contributing to citizenship education. Following on from that, John Huckle sets out a strong argument for the need to promote a deeper understanding of the relationship between geography and society. He argues for a revival of the critical tradition in geography education in order to meet the needs of a changing society. In Chapter 19, Doreen Massey outlines a case for the development of a new 'geographical imagination' in order to meet the challenges posed by globalization.

On a rather different note in the final chapter in this section we are presented with worrying trends in the numbers of students currently taking Geography at all levels from middle school through to initial teacher education. The negative feedback that this might create presents a threat to the future of Geography and perhaps adds an impetus to the need for geography educators to ensure that the subject remains relevant to the needs of the twenty-first century.

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