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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Times are a-changing?

Have just been reading in another blog where someone thinks of history and geography as 'twin subjects'. Boy, did that open a 'can of worms' in my memory-banks!

For most of my school-days I was taught 'capes and bays geography'. 
GCE (General Certificate of Education 'O' level) consisted of learning about England and how to draw and annotate maps.
Rivers flowing into the North Sea:
Tees, Swale, Ure, Nidd, Wharfe, Aire, Calder, Don and Trent.
Farming: hill sheep (Cumbria), Market gardening (Lancashire Plain), East Anglia mixed farming. 
We studied industries: Cotton, Woollen, Pottery, Steel, Ship building and Coal mining to name but a few.
By far the most enjoyable was geomorphology: limestone scenery, coast erosion, chalk downs, glaciation...processes that were studied in more detail for 'A' level.
Sixth form 'A' level was went into geomorphology processes in more detail. 
We learnt in great detail about Switzerland, Italy and Latin America.

Nowadays much of that geography exists no longer.

Instead we have social geography (yuck) and even worse...'humanities'. Population studies, globalisation, migration and sustainability. Full of statistics, charts, graphs and tables.

At least in my day there were games and simulations of the pen, paper and crayons variety.


Joy said...

Oh, dear. Sorry, Joan, but I hated geography in the olden days. I'm now geog coordinator and, at primary level anyway, it's much more interesting than I remember it to be . . .
Can't say for secondary though!
J x

Sayre said...

My son won his grade in his school's Geography Bee and is headed to the State contest next week. His father and I are shocked as we never really know what's sinking in and what's not - but all those games of risk and maps in Atlases seem to have paid off big time.

For his trouble, my son is going to Disney world to compete and then staying an extra day to play, having never actually been there before. We want to reinforce teh idea that academics can be FUN!!!

joanygee said...

Sayre: Congratulations and very well done, your boy is a lucky lad.
No worries, Joy my first love is geosciences. There was an excellent geography teacher when I did GCE.