Geography is no longer a subject in which the pupil is required to memorise long lists of facts. Today, you learn through practical work both within the classroom and outside. Any topic in Geography can be explored by applying a conceptual framework that embraces Geography’s four “big ideas”, namely, place, spatial processes, spatial distribution patterns, and human and environmental interaction. Geographical education also contributes to the development of personal and social competence.
Geography has a strong emphasis on understanding ideas and developing skills that are required in many jobs:
- Data analysis, interpretation, evaluation and report-writing
- Information Technology skills such as GIS and geoprocessing and GPS route analysis
- Practical skills acquired through fieldwork and environmental investigation
- A bridge between the Arts and Sciences, giving you flexibility in your career choice
- A wider range of job opportunities than almost any other subject
At St John’s College we use ICT and GIS to teach geographic concepts. The boys are encouraged to upload their own data into open source programs such as QGIS to solve spatial problems. Guest speakers are frequently invited to present to the boys and regular excursions are arranged.
As learning is achieved through doing, pupils are required to take an active role to produce their portfolio through observation, data collection, group work and simulation. When studying Geography, the boys will learn from the real world, about the real world, and in the real world.
David Lambert, the CEO of the Geographical Association, said: “There are so many job options for geographers, and the boom in environmental jobs has helped. But most actually go into the financial services sector, accountancy and human resources. They are well-known for being highly numerate with good graphical communication skills. They are incredibly employable.”
“Does geography really matter for grown-ups?” Of course, it does. Geographic knowledge, understanding, and skills matter, for instance, in formulating foreign policy, designing and using GIS, and just about everything else in society that involves locations, movements, and flows. (The Guardian, “What makes psychology and geography grads so employable?”)