Magazine article Geographical

Why the World Needs Geography. (Editorial)

Magazine article Geographical

Why the World Needs Geography. (Editorial)

Article excerpt

Several indicators suggest that geography is on the brink of renewed popularity. Geographical data is prized, with the government showing an ever-greater dependency upon evidence-based and policy-relevant research. Academic geographers up and down the country are busy conducting work on behalf of various government departments. In universities, cross-discipline research is gaining currency and widespread intellectual recognition. Few discipines cover as broad a range of topics as geography.

Strange then, that recent trends prompt anxiety for the health of geography. Recruiting teachers in secondary education has been problematic for several years. The list of closed or merged geography departments in our universities has lengthened to 13 since 1995, following their consolidation. Student numbers at almost all levels of education have declined in recent years due in no small part to the exclusion of geography from the core GCSE curriculum in 1996. Now it is reported that children as young as 12 may be allowed to drop geography after a move by the government that could herald the national curriculum's demise.

Stranger still is that this anxiety for geography's future occurs when the relevance and need for geographical research and education is so self-evident. …

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