Portfolios, Maps and Globes in Geography

By Ediger, Marlow | College Student Journal, March 2000 | Go to article overview

Portfolios, Maps and Globes in Geography


Ediger, Marlow, College Student Journal


Relevant objectives need to be there for learner achievement in geography. These objectives must be selected carefully, using appropriate criteria. Learning opportunities for pupils to attain these ends need to be varied and meet personal needs of pupils individually and collectively. With these learning opportunities, pupils may realize the chosen desired ends of unit leaching in geography, either as a separate subject or integrated into the social studies. One approach to appraise learner performance is to use portfolios, developed by pupils individually with teacher guidance. Portfolio results may be shared with parents to indicate pupil performance over previous learnings acquired. Portfolios need to contain a representative sample of pupil products and processes in the geography curriculum.

In a changing world, it is very important for all to be highly informed about how borders and boundaries are being modified in different nations on the planet earth. Differences in these land marks change rapidly due to invasions between selected countries. They change also due to agreements that are in evidence between and among nations, hopefully to make for peace among the involved peoples. Alliances are formed involving diverse nations so that protection from enemy countries might be there. These alliances might be broken due to disagreements. Trade treaties are signed and modified and/or broken. New nations arise. Sometimes, when listening to the news, one has not heard of a nation that has endured for some time and yet it can readily be located on a map and globe.

I believe all humans should possess an updated set of maps and a large globe for the family to study and identify places mentioned on the news. These learnings would assist pupils much to become avid fans of geography. Geography might then become more alive to pupils. A stimulating family type of informal learning night accrue here. Closeness among family members is very important in developing feelings of belonging, a basic need of all human beings. Within the family setting, pupils might also have their recognition needs met through such activities as locating places on maps and globes (Ediger, 1993, 119-121).

Portfolios are a good way to notice if pupils have achieved relevant goals in geography. Portfolios are also an excellent procedure to use as learning opportunities to notice if these objectives have been achieved in an ongoing lesson or unit of study. Thus, the objectives provide guidance in terms of what pupils are to learn. The learning opportunities, including portfolio development, need to be aligned with the stated objectives. The portfolio, in part, indicates learner achievement and progress in reaching the objectives. Maps and globes are at the heart of learning in the geography curriculum. The major focus here will be upon map and globe learning in the social science discipline of geography with a portfolio emphasis Ediger, 1997, 111-115).

Maps, Globes, as Related to Portfolio Development

Portfolios indicate representative school work of pupil experiences in the curriculum. What becomes a part of the portfolio here emphasizes daily work of a pupil in units on geography, as a separate subject, or within the social studies, stressing additional social science disciplines taught as being related (Ediger, 1996, 17-20). The pupil has much input in terms of what goes into a portfolio. A pupil centered curriculum is then in evidence. The pupil is to do the learning, not the teacher nor the school administrator per se. Teachers are guides to stimulate and encourage pupil involvement in portfolio development. Items in a portfolio then represent learning activities in every day classroom settings, involving teaching and learning. It is the pupil who needs to experience quality sequence here. A psychological rather than a logical sequence is then in evidence since the pupil is heavily involved in perceiving order in portfolio development in the geography curriculum (Ediger, 1995, 8). …

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