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You need to read this...

Author Topic: You need to read this...  (Read 26999 times)

Nik

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #75 on: October 05, 2011, 12:20:21 PM »
'Instead, we need to ‘engage’ them through sexy ‘issues’ and topics to which they can ‘relate’. One wonders why people call themselves geographers if they find geographical phenomena “boring”.'

Now I can add patronising to my list of thoughts about Mr Standish.

I have no desire to teach 'sexy' topics, merely those which are relevant to a geographical education in 2011. As someone who does still advocate the importance of place knowledge and the relvance of physical geography, I find his condescending tone extremely insulting.

Nik

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #76 on: October 05, 2011, 03:47:17 PM »
well said Nik! His arrogance leaves me lost for words.

Stephen Schwab

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #77 on: October 05, 2011, 10:04:05 PM »
 I keep reading this thread and it always makes me sad, yet I always leave it believing that the geography community of teachers will get through this curriculum review as we have done the last n many. With some sore heads and some bumps -but time will tell on these Johnny come latelys.
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swhitch

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #78 on: October 06, 2011, 12:15:13 AM »
Tried reading some of the autors Alex Standish identifies with:

Richard Hartshore: Would that be the Richard Hartshore who according to wikipedia " was part of a key geographical debate in the 1950s over the nature of the subject. Fred K. Schaefer called for the adoption of the 'scientific method' and study of spatial laws and criticised the 'old method' promoted by Hartshorne as the 'Hartshornian orthodoxy'. Suggests that he was viewed as out of date even during his lifetime over 50 years ago.

Phil Gerschmel: This link ( http://www.ncgia.ucsb.edu/varenius/tcw/may/gersmehl.html ) provides some interesting reading including the following - "To help people make informed choices, I continue to believe that the major need is for well designed and thoroughly tested geography teaching materials (which are still in scandalously short supply, despite a decade of Alliance summer institutes and a high level of disciplinary visibility in national funding programs). In recent years, however, I have become persuaded that we need two more things. First, our professional organizations and leaders should become more proactive in voicing support for good materials and tactics. Even in the recent past, we have been timid in expressing support for specific materials; we seemed to think that any geography was better than none, and that public support for specific materials or approaches might discourage other potential contributors. Second, we need an accessible public forum in which poor materials and approaches can be identified, dissected, and perhaps improved."

Seems like SLN is doing all the right things according to Gerschmel, including the accessible public forum so maybe the basis of this is already in place if people were prepared to look.

Also: "To begin a "personal statement" about geography education: some propositions about which I hope we all agree.
Citizens need geography.
They need to understand the place where they are.
They need to know something about the forces that converge in that location to give that place the traits it has.
They need to see how those forces and traits help to make some kinds of behavior appropriate and others less so in that place.
They need to understand how other places have different forces and traits, which in turn make other kind of behavior appropriate.
Finally, they need to understand how people make decisions about the spatial arrangement of things in their place, and how those decisions can (and should) be evaluated on the basis of efficiency, equitability, and aesthetics
. "

Other interesting quotes include "Those examples of poor pedagogy are not confined to the lowest stratum of naive newcomers or pre-retirees" - Charming !

Some more interesting info here: http://www.buffalostate.edu/orgs/NYGA/program.pdf where he presented the keynote address titled, Spatial Thinking: Teaching Geography as if Citizenship Mattered

Love this quote from ( http://ncgia.ucsb.edu/projects/scdg/docs/position/Gersmehl-position-paper.pdf ) and one for the wall at school: Our results hint at the exact opposite: they suggest that if you want to improve scores on reading and math tests, you should at least consider teaching more and better geography!

The Hunter College Undergrad Prog ( http://www.geo.hunter.cuny.edu/programs/ba_courses.html#geog101) is here.

Also found these which might be driving the Regional nature of the Dr Standish proposals:

The ARGUS CD: Multimedia Units for Regional Geography. Gersmehl, Philip J, Association of American Geographers, 1998 and

 "Michal also put me in touch with Phil Gershmel, who works for the Geographic Education Center at Hunter College, here in NYC. I We had lunch, and he provided me with his recommendation for a Geography text book: Geography Alive: Regions and People. Working with him and his organization could be key to our success! http://www.openplanner.org/node/297

A William E. Marsden has contributed this historical assessment of the school textbook : http://www.amazon.com/School-Textbook-History-Geography-Education/dp/0713040432#reader_0713040432 and a book on Better governance of schools but can find little about Geography.

Any one else found any interesting reads from Dr. Standish's named experts?
Stuart
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 12:31:42 AM by swhitch »
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podders

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #79 on: October 06, 2011, 08:38:23 AM »
Haha.

Good work Stuart. Entertaining & interesting reading indeed.  Let's hope we don't make Geography a 'Stand(ish)still subject'.

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #80 on: October 06, 2011, 10:41:03 AM »
I remember being taught about the Hartshorne - Schaefer debate about uniqueness when I was at uni in the mid 1970s. It was relevant then because of the move to models  and quantification ( Schaefer as an early pioneer) and away from the old regional approach.

This sums up Hartshorne's position and dates from the late 1930s:

"In regional geography all the knowledge of the interrelations of all features at given places--obtained in part from the different systems of systematic geography--is integrated, in terms of the interrelations which those features have to each other, to provide the total geography of those places. The areal integration of an infinite number of place-integrations of factors varying somewhat independently in relation to place, is possible only by the arbitrary device of ignoring variations within small unit-areas so that these finite areal units, each arbitrarily distorted into a homogeneous unit, may be studied in their relations to each other as parts of larger areas. These larger areas are themselves but parts of still larger divisions--ultimately divisions of the world."

In other words we learn geography by studying the uniqueness of places. The region provides a convenient unit for studying these unique areas - not too small, not too big, and ignore any minor internal differences to create a more or less homogenous spatial unit. Once we have learnt the systematic regional geography of each of the world's regions we have mastered the subject!

It did make my eyes stand on end to see Standish refer to Hartshorne as a basis for twenty-first century geographical education. And this is an old, old subject to be under discussion in 2011. Schaefer died in 1953.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 10:44:10 AM by Geogphotos »

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #81 on: October 06, 2011, 01:02:31 PM »
Ah, pig farming in Denmark.

Bring it on...
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swhitch

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #82 on: October 06, 2011, 03:50:49 PM »
The making of matches in Jonkopping and Narvik being used to export Kiruna Iron Ore due to frozen ports in Sweden, pig farming in Sweden came a close third.

Oh the things we remember from regional geography !

Stuart
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 03:53:31 PM by swhitch »
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Judith R

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #83 on: October 06, 2011, 05:29:33 PM »
My mun was a geography teacher - we 'question-spotted' and she did farming in East Anglia and iron and steel industry in Sheffield. Both came up and I got my A - (good job really - everyone else failed as copying from the dictated notes didn't work).
I can still draw a mean sketch map of the above!
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annelogie

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #84 on: October 06, 2011, 05:38:52 PM »
In the summer I was checking into a hotel in Tanzania. On reception was Patrick, a black African who had been brought up in Kenya. On learning that I was a Geography teacher he told me of his school days in the 1960s. He had been to a British school and followed the British curriculum. He was very attached to his knowledge of regional geography - he knew all about Britain and Europe - I remember him telling me about the geography of the Rhine Valley.
He also did Scottish country dancing and had worn a kilt! His grandchildren are in school now and he says they know nothing - the rigor has gone.

Geogphotos

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #85 on: October 06, 2011, 06:09:04 PM »
The odd thing about regions is that they are so arbitrary is scale.

East Anglia is a region, and then so is South East Asia. Let's do South West of Britain and then we'll switch to South America.


 

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