Integrating Human and Physical Geography? Teaching a First Year Course in Environmental Geography
ALARIC MAUDE, Flinders University
The paper reports on the experience of designing and teaching a first year course in which both physical and human geography are used to study an environmental problem. It discusses the reasons for teaching the course, its content and structure, and some of the questions that had to be resolved in its design. It is suggested that key elements in the design of the course are its focus on only one environmental problem, the emphasis on explaining the causes of environmental problems through an examination of both physical and social processes, the methods used to integrate human geography and related social sciences into the course, and the avoidance of any clear division between a physical and a human component. The significance of these features is that they help to integrate the diversity of material and ideas in the course into a coherent whole.
Developing a Curriculum in Geographic Information Systems: the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis Core Curriculum project
KAREN K. KEMP & MICHAEL F. GOODCHILD, University of California
We describe a major effort by the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) to develop teaching materials in support of courses in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The project is motivated by the current high level of demand for GIS professionals and by the need to distinguish between software training on the one hand, and education in the intellectual and conceptual basis of GIS on the other. The teaching materials were assembled from contributions by many GIS educators and tested in a number of institutions world-wide. The activities described in this article were followed by an evaluation programme during 1989-90 and culminated in the release of a revised version in the summer of 1990.
Experiential Learning through Integrated Project Work: an example from soil science
ANTONY MELLOR, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Polytechnic
The planning, implementation and evaluation of an integrated soil science project are examined. The project aimed to develop a wide range of student-centred approaches to learning, whilst promoting the development of a variety of transferable skills and personal qualities. The four project components (fieldwork, laboratory analysis, data interpretation and preparation of a written report) ran in sequence. Only the written report was formally assessed although potential developments of this system were considered. The project was implemented in the light of Kolb's cyclical model of experiential learning, and student evaluation was achieved through questionnaire analysis and group discussion.
Assessment Training in Geography Education
ROY BALLANTYNE, Queensland University of Technology
ROSS SPARKS, University of Wollongong
Assessment training should engage geographers in an interactive process exposing individuals to the strategies of their peers as well as those of an 'expert'. A study was undertaken to test a regression model designed to encourage such interaction as well as to identify the existence of racial bias in markers. The research results indicate the value of the model in enabling comparative analysis of assessment strategies and the success of counselling and discussion in developing assessment skills. The use of the model in geography teacher and higher education programmes is discussed.
Locating Branch Campuses for the University of Washington
RICHARD MORRILL & WILLIAM BEYERS, University of Washington
A recent decision by the Washington State legislature to authorise branch campuses for the University of Washington and Washington State University in 'under-served metropolitan regions' led to a practical example of the use of optimum location-allocation models. This task was embedded within the larger problem of measuring need and of evaluating the role of accessibility to higher educational opportunities. Analyses of geographical patterns of college enrolment and attainment, supplemented by a survey of the adult population, revealed a probable substantial level of latent demand for upper division college opportunities in areas far from existing public institutions. This is an 'unmet need' associated with a place-bound population, unable to relocate. The magnitude of this unmet need was independently corroborated by a survey of employer needs and expectations, and information on the net flows of students to and from the State. The application of location-allocation models to the distribution of the estimated unmet need resulted in the recommendation of two branch campuses for the University of Washington, and these recommendations have been accepted
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