3. Developing geographical thinking and communication


3.2 Assemble the many strands of geography, providing multiple resources for the further development of geographical thinking by students. They set this comprehensive knowledge in contemporary contexts, opening the way for significant interconnections to be made.

Focus question:
  • What associations with other subjects can you identify in the strands of geography?
  • How are the strands related?
Further questions:
  • How do you make use of the different strands of geography when creating conditions for learning through geography?
  • Describe a ‘geography rich’ opportunity in which students develop habits of thinking geographically?
  • What developments in contemporary geography are shown by your classroom teaching and students’ learning of the subject?
Samples of practice

(a) Backdrop:
In discussing what happened on the island of Montserrat when a volcano erupted, this teacher of a Year 10 class, in a pre-lesson interview, describes how he links activities to contemporary events such as natural hazards and disasters. In making these linkages, to what extent does this teacher provide multiple resources for the further development of students’ geographical thinking? What relationship has this provision to assembling the many strands of geography?

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(b) Backdrop:
In this clip, Primary school children in grade 3-4 are shown gathering and interpreting information on the Olympic Games. Utilising an ‘expert group’ activity, the teacher creates opportunities for interconnections between classical and contemporary games practices. Could such interconnections be a basis for geographical thinking by these children? What further steps might the teacher take in order to secure this?

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Further links and resources
Description of the benefits of contemporary contexts in geographical education:
“What is agreed is that geography’s focus is centred in the contemporary world and is, concerned with both the physical world and human environments; about place, space and interactions; very interested in the geographies that people acquire including those developed in the students’ minds.”
Sorensen, L. (2009) Literature Review - for the National Geography Curriculum. Geographical Education 22: 15

See also:

Gritzner, C. (2002) What is where, why there and why care? Journal of Geography 101 (1): 40
 
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
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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

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