Speaking of Student Writing . . .
PEGGY NIGHTINGALE, University of New South Wales
Standards of writing by students in higher education are a recurrent cause of concern. Evidence suggests that falling standards are more apparent than real but that writing difficulties are associated with problems of learning. Attempts to improve written work need to address the meaning and the mechanics of writing and involve active rather than passive learning. One consequence is that understanding improves as well as writing. A number of practical suggestions and guidance to the relevant literature are offered.
Teaching Students to Select Topics for Undergraduate Dissertations in Geography
ANTHONY C. GATRELL, University of Lancaster
The choice of topic for undergraduate dissertations is a crucial part of project work but perhaps the feature that causes the most problems for student and supervisor alike. These problems are discussed and some guidance on choice offered from the author's own experience in a university department of geography in the United Kingdom.
Urban Poverty and Social Welfare Policy in the United States: an undergraduate research/training programme
JAMES H. JOHNSON, JR & MELVIN L. OLIVER, University of California, Los Angeles
A new, interdisciplinary, research and training programme focusing on urban poverty and social welfare policy in the USA has been established recently at UCLA. This paper describes the structure and organisation of the programme, assesses student reactions and experiences and discusses the importance of major research universities encouraging faculty to develop training of this type.
Teaching about Race, Gender, Class and Geography through Fiction
SUSAN R. BROOKER-GROSS, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Fiction is used in geography teaching with a variety of objectives. The novel Betsey Brown was used to explore the intersection of race, class and gender in urban social geography. All members of the class read the novel while a small group researched the geographical and historical contexts of the book. Use of the novel increased awareness of race and class but was less successful with gender, although it did provide a catalyst and safe forum for the discussion of sensitive issues.
Enterprise Education in Geography at Lancaster
GORDON CLARK, University of Lancaster
The initial development of a scheme for 'enterprise education' within the Department of Geography at the University of Lancaster is described. The constraints and opportunities provided by the United Kingdom Training Agency's Enterprise in Higher Education Programme are set out. It is concluded that evaluation of the scheme will be lengthy and conceptually difficult. The influence of the Programme in the short term will derive less from its structure than from how it is interpreted and implemented by specific institutions of higher education, departments of geography, academic staff and students.
Assessing Student-led Seminars through a Process of Negotiation
PETER A. DANIEL, Bedford College of Higher Education
Dissatisfaction with the quality of student-led seminars together with the retrospective recognition by graduates in employment of the role of seminars in developing oral communicative skills have encouraged innovation. The assessment of seminars is seen as necessary to increase students' motivation and to recognise the high order skills involved in successful seminar leadership. Assessment is arrived at through negotiation with the student against a set of previously agreed criteria. A more flexible assessment scheme has replaced one that proved too rigid. Experience of negotiated assessment has been favourable, although it is too early to evaluate how far skills acquired through seminar leadership are transferable to the workplace.
Page created 14 May 1997