Curriculum Redevelopment: medical geography and women's health
STEPHEN A. MATTHEWS, University of California - Los Angeles, USA
This paper reports on the redevelopment of medical geography courses taught to both undergraduate and graduate students in a US university. The author participated in a curriculum development seminar that focused explicitly on the creation of new courses that incorporate perspectives from current research on women and other marginalised, ignored or forgotten groups. The experience and feedback from this seminar led to changes in undergraduate courses in medical geography and to the creation of a new and specific graduate seminar course that critiques medical geography for its gender and colour blindness. The paper includes a commentary on the institutional context that allowed such changes to occur and discussion of issues relating to introducing perspectives on women into the curriculum. Spin-offs from course redevelopment included the creation of resource materials (a bibliographic database) and a reformulation of teaching strategies.
Student Reading and Course Readers in Geography
IFAN D. H. SHEPHERD & SUE BLEASDALE, Middlesex University, UK
Student reading is frequently seen as a major component of study in higher education, yet the amount actually undertaken frequently falls short of teacher expectations. The use of course readers to encourage and support student reading in geography courses is described and details of one institution's practice are provided as a guide to others of the benefits and pitfalls involved. The authors' expectations of the value and limitations of readers are tested by means of a student evaluation exercise and some reflections are made on their likely future.
Teaching a Course around a Textbook
MICK HEALEY & BRIAN ILBERY, Coventry University, UK
This paper outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages of using one textbook in the teaching of an introductory course in economic geography. It is argued that, if careful thought is given to how a course text can be used, the advantages can outweigh the disadvantages. Basing a course around a suitable textbook can be a beneficial way of teaching an introductory course, particularly if this is complemented by other teaching strategies. With this method of teaching, students have to take a greater responsibility for their own learning and this can provide them with a transition to independent enquiry.
Introducing Humanistic Geography through Fieldwork
BRIAN ELLIS, University of Warwick, UK
One challenge of teaching humanistic geography is to encourage students' responses to landscapes in ways which may be different from their previous experience. Conventional wisdom about successful field teaching suggests that students should be prepared beforehand with the skills and techniques to be employed. The author questions how appropriate this is in humanistic geography and the article describes and evaluates an alternative approach using fieldwork as the introductory activity.
No-tutor Groups in Geography: the student experience
H. DOUG WATTS, University of Sheffield, UK
The author explores the use of tutorial groups which are run by the students rather than a member of staff. This has advantages as student numbers increase, but it is also argued that it is educationally beneficial for the students. An evaluation of these no-tutor groups reveals their pitfalls, the benefits, and the kinds of students most suited to this approach.
TEACHING LARGE CLASSES IN GEOGRAPHY: SOME PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS
ALAN JENKINS, Oxford Brookes University (Editor)
PETER DANIEL, Bedford College of Higher Education
MICK HEALEY, Coventry University
BRIAN PAUL HINDLE, Salford University
PETER KEENE, Oxford Brookes University
CAROLINE MILLS & LINDSEY McEWEN, Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education
GEOFFREY ROBINSON, Leicester University
PAUL RODAWAY & PETER SLOWE, West Sussex Institute
DAVID ROLLS, Kingston University
The focus . . . is on classes in which the possibility of individual relationships between professor and student is precluded, in which not every student who wants to speak in class can be called on, and in which grading essay exams can take up every evening and weekend of the course. (Weimer, 1987, p. 2).
Geographers from a variety of institutions in the UK set out brief practical accounts of successful attempts to hold onto quality while teaching larger classes and more students. An introduction sets these accounts in the context of change in the British higher education system and suggests their relevance to other geographers in mass education systems who are long accustomed to teaching large classes. The accounts are then presented using a common format and set of subheadings.
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