3. Developing geographical thinking and communication


3.1 Promote understandings of physical and human processes, structures and patterns and their interdependence in place, space and time.

Focus question:
  • What is geographical thinking?
  • How do you think critically and creatively about physical and human processes, structures and patterns and their interdependence in place, space and time?
Further questions:
  • How do you support students in understanding and interpreting their reactions to people and places, and in reflecting on others’ perspectives which may be different to their own?
  • How do you provide frequent and constructive feedback to help your students develop geographical thinking?
Samples of practice

(a) Backdrop:
In this clip, the teacher leads a discussion with Year 8 on the implications for the human and physical environment of cyclone Nargis which struck Burma on May 2nd 2008. How and to what extent does the teacher create conditions for her students to think critically and creatively about people and places using geographic information?

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(b) Backdrop:
In discussing what happened on the island of Monserrat when a volcano erupted, this teacher of a Year 10 geography class talks through how he takes activities ‘out of the book’ and turns them into what ‘actually happens to people’. In so doing, how might the teacher be thought to support students in their further development of geographical thinking?

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Further links and resources
Descriptions of geographical thinking from the following two texts:
a) “…´think geographically’ – a disposition to think critically and creatively about people and places using geographic information…”
Balderstone D. & Lambert D. (2010) Learning to Teach Geography in the Secondary School. Abingdon: Routledge, p. 222.

b) “Thinking geographically can support students in understanding and interpreting their reactions to people and places [and environments], and in reflecting on others’ perspectives which may be different to their own.”
Massey D. (2006) ‘The geographical mind’ in Balderstone D. (ed) Secondary Geography Handbook. Sheffield: Geographical Association, p. 51.

See also:
Maude, A. (2009) Re-centering Geography: a school-based perspective on the nature of the discipline Geographical Research, December, 47 (4): 368-379

Morgan, J. & Lambert, D. (2005) Geography: Teaching school subjects 11-19. London: Routledge.
 
1. Knowing geography and geography curriculum
Accomplished geography teachers: 
2. Fostering geographical inquiry and fieldwork
Accomplished geography teachers:
3. Developing geographical thinking and communication
Accomplished geography teachers:
4. Understanding students and their communities
Accomplished geography teachers:
5. Establishing a safe, supportive and intellectually challenging learning environment

Accomplished geography teachers:


6. Understanding geography teaching – pedagogical practices
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7. Planning, assessing and reporting

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8. Progressing professional growth and development

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9. Learning and working collegially

Accomplished geography teachers: