3. Developing geographical thinking and communication


3.6 Share narratives with students which have real world contexts, whether they are based on the teacher’s own life experiences or others’ narratives and in so doing they make visible their geographical thinking.

Focus question:
  • In what forms do you present the subject to foster real world contexts?
Samples of practice

(a) Backdrop:
In this pre-lesson interview sample the teacher explains how she uses the premiership win of the Geelong AFL team (she is a Geelong supporter) to look at the geography of sport and through this establish a link with the Victorian city of Geelong as a significant regional centre. How does the teacher use this contextualised knowledge and put into effect?

play video iconClick here to view this video sample

(b) Backdrop:
In this slide a student responds to the question: “How did your teacher help your learning?” To what extent does the response of the student demonstrate that the teacher effectively uses ‘stories’ in her lessons?
Sample 5 GEOG 06 [4. Student voice Slide 6]

Further links and resources

Descriptions of contextualising learning in the geography classroom:
a) “It is probably now well accepted, though it is still important to argue, that a lot of our ‘geography’ is in the mind. That is to say we carry around with us mental images of the world, of the country in which we live (all those images of the North/South divide). Of the street next door. The New Yorker’s mental map of the USA, Ronald Regan’s imagination of the world, became popular posters. All of us carry such images, they may sometimes be in conflict or even be the cause of conflict, and digging these things up and talking about them is one good way in to beginning to examine what it means to think geographically.”
Massey D. (2006) ‘The geographical mind’ in Balderstone D. (ed) Secondary Geography Handbook. Sheffield: Geographical Association, p. 48.

b) “Students also liked teachers who used “stories”. Sometimes these were stories designed to personalise abstract concepts. More commonly stories commenced when the teacher told personal accounts of their life experiences which related to the lesson. This resonated with students at an interpersonal level giving insights to the teacher. As well teachers’ personal stories may serve to demonstrate the benefit of the topic and make visible a component of how the teacher had constructed their knowledge”
Kriewaldt, J.& Hutchinson, N. (2009) Improving Understanding of Accomplished Teaching in School Geography Through and Examination of Learners’ Perspectives. Geographical Education 22: 32

 
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
Accomplished geography teachers:
7. Planning, assessing and reporting

Accomplished geography teachers:


8. Progressing professional growth and development

Accomplished geography teachers:

9. Learning and working collegially

Accomplished geography teachers: