'The Restless Analyst': an interview with David Harvey
LINDA PEAKE, Kingston Polytechnic
PETER JACKSON, University College London
An edited typescript of an interview with David Harvey, in which his academic development and his views on teaching and research are explored.
Curriculum Development in Geomorphology
KENNETH J. GREGORY, University of Southampton
Because of changes in the subject, present curricula in geomorphology need to be considered in relation to more studies of processes; changes in teaching modes, and developments in other disciplines and in pre-university courses. Present courses are characterised by reference to geomorphology courses in 73 institutions of higher education and although there is still considerable specialisation there are signs of a more unified approach to the physical environment. Although geomorphology may feature in interdisciplinary research programmes, it must be an integral part of geography undergraduate courses and an emphasis upon energy transfers and energetics of the whole physical environment could be useful in all branches of physical geography.
The Use of Simulation Models in Teaching Geomorphology and Hydrology
MIKE KIRKBY & PAM NADEN, University of Leeds
Learning about the physical environment from computer simulation models is discussed in terms of three stages: exploration, experiment and calibration. Many questions about the way the environment responds, or might respond, to external stimuli can be answered most effectively through simulation. Effective project work can also be carried out by attempting to fit a model to measured data, and critically evaluating parameter values and the choice of model. These approaches are illustrated in the context of two models which are presented as BBC BASIC programs; STORFLO for catchment hydrology and SLOPEK for hillslope evolution.
Problem Orientation in Physical Geography Teaching
MICHAEL CHURCH, University of British Columbia
Physical geography is practised and taught mainly in a descriptive-explanatory mode. Adoption of an analytic-predictive mode improves scientific rigour and leads more directly to applied studies. The introduction of real, quantitative problems in classroom and field teaching serves this end. The paper illustrates the use of problems in a university introductory hydrology course. Teaching objectives and the full course structure are presented in order to show how problem solving may be integrated with other teaching modes to serve the course objectives.
Enhancing Students' Employability and Self-expression: how to teach oral and groupwork skills in geography
ALAN JENKINS & DAVID PEPPER, Oxford Polytechnic
'Non-traditional' teaching methods emphasizing groupwork and speaking skills - such as those detailed in appendices to this article - should be widely adopted by HE geography teachers. Not only do they enhance students' intellectual development; they also enhance general employability. We discuss seven principles which our experience suggests are important in teaching these skills. Fulfilling them demands forethought and planning by the teacher, who becomes a facilitator of student-centred learning in a non-authoritarian context. Our evaluations suggest that these methods effectively improve both skills and mastery of subject matter, but more systematic evaluation is needed.
The education system (should)...be more responsive to the needs of employment and...ensure that the way subjects are taught at every level reflects the needs of students in their subsequent careers rather than the preferences of their teachers.
(Sir David Hancock, The Future of (Geography) in Higher Education, Institute of British Geographers Annual Conference, Reading, 1986)
Postgraduate Studies in North American and British Geography: a comparative review
DAVID E. NOWELL, University of Victoria
Although the challenges facing geography postgraduates have been receiving increasing attention of late, British academics have largely neglected to examine the North American education system where a number of procedures are in operation which may be of benefit to Britain. This paper compares the aims, structure and methods of postgraduate training in Britain, Canada and the United States and discusses some common problems confronting students. It is suggested that the introduction of some course work and the wider adoption of supervisory committees might smooth the abrupt transition from undergraduate to postgraduate life in Britain, and aid in improving completion rates without sacrificing the quality of Ph.D.s produced.
Page created 16 November 1997