Journal of Geography in Higher Education

Volume 19 Number 1 1995


Issues and Trends in Textbook Publishing: the views of geography editors/publishers

JOHN DAVEY, Blackwell Publishers, UK
ROGER JONES, University College Press, UK
VANESSA LAWRENCE, Longman Geolnformation, UK
IAIN STEVENSON, John Wiley, UK
ALAN JENKINS, Oxford Brookes University, UK
IFAN D. H. SHEPHERD, Middlesex University, UK

ABSTRACT
A group of publishers with international experience of producing geography textbooks outline their views on this particular form of educational resource. Among the issues discussed are the role of textbooks, methods of production, international differences in courses and readership, impact of current changes within the discipline and the higher education system, and emerging technologies that might lead to alternatives to textbooks in the near future.

KEYWORDS
Textbooks, geography, education, publishers

* 1995 Index

* Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


'Competitive' Simulation in the Teaching of Applied Geomorphology: an experiment

ALASTAIR M. D. GEMMELL, University of Aberdeen, UK

ABSTRACT
The use of a team approach for project work in many areas of geography can be expanded to provide the student with an enhanced range of experience through the introduction of a 'competitive' bidding element. This element simulates a commercial environment so that teams of students compete to convince assessors that their proposal should win the 'contract' for a postulated commercial enterprise such as a freight terminal or the site for an industrial development. An example, based around the election of a routeway for a natural gas pipeline, is presented.

KEYWORDS
Teamwork, competitive simulation, applied geomorphology

* 1995 Index

* Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


The Landscape Assay: exploring pluralism in environmental interpretation

MARTIN J. HAIGH, GEORGE REVILL & JOHN R. GOLD, Oxford Brookes University, UK

ABSTRACT
The 'Landscape Assay' is a field study exercise which invites students to explore, understand and gain an appreciation of some of the variety of ways people interpret the world around them. It also aims to give students a deeper understanding of the causes of some environmental controversies. The term 'assay' has been chosen for this exercise because it links the exercise with concepts of assessment and judgement without connecting it too closely with established techniques of landscape evaluation. The exercise forms the final element in the module 'Environmental Philosophy', a third-year synoptic course for undergraduate geographers. Different societies have developed an enormous variety of world-views; the aim of this exercise is to allow students to explore sets of environmental values within the environs of Oxford. The exercise works with the pragmatic categorisation of world-views or 'world hypotheses' developed by Stephen Pepper (1942). These are used throughout the course to provide a simplified conceptual framework by which students are able to compare schools of environmental thought. In this schema environmental philosophies are understood through a tripartite division into subjective-spiritual, material-objective and systemicholistic factors. Students are encouraged to see philosophies formed from these as complex and interrelated rather than mutually exclusive. Student teams are sent out to classify a set landscape into zones which are 'good', 'bad' or 'indifferent' according to the precepts of different, specific world-views. Their interpretations are employed to initiate discussion of the contextual and culturally specific nature of value judgements. After the spoken presentation of each team's findings, the class as a whole is required to determine the core beliefs which guided each classification.

KEYWORDS
Environmental philosophy, value systems, landscape interpretation, cross-cultural perspectives, active learning

* 1995 Index

* Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Interactive Lectures: a case study in a geographical concepts course

DANIEL J. CHARMAN & HAZEL FULLERTON, University of Plymouth, UK

ABSTRACT
Philosophical concepts in geography are widely regarded as an important element in geography degrees, yet students have considerable problems in understanding them, appreciating their value and applying and integrating them into the rest of their work. Part of an existing large lecture course was modified primarily to promote student understanding by increasing interaction between lecturer and student. Lecture notes were made available to the students in advance of each session, group discussions and feedback were incorporated, and opportunities were made available for verbal and written questions to be asked. The effectiveness of these efforts was evaluated by student questionnaires. One lecture was observed by a staff developer and the resulting notes are discussed from the point of view of the lecturer and the staff developer.

KEYWORDS
Interactive lectures, philosophical concepts

* 1995 Index

* Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


'More than Books': use of a problem-solving exercise to explore university library resources

CLARE MADGE, University of Leicester, UK

ABSTRACT
A problem-solving exercise was used to develop transferable skills (time management, joint decision making, group work, task allocation and self-assessment) through student exploration of university library materials. Emphasis was placed on materials useful for dissertation investigation. The exercise formed part of a second-year research design course and the results are based on the responses of 65 undergraduates studying Human Geography. The students recognised that they had learned a great deal about the use of library resources through the exercise, but they were less convinced that transferable skills had been developed significantly. This was partly the result of difficulties that students had in recognising and measuring the development of transferable skills, highlighting the obstacles that may be encountered in devising exercises with the explicit objective of cultivating transferable skills. While being initially relatively cheap to design, the exercise was costly to implement in terms of staff input.

KEYWORDS
Problem-solving exercise, library materials, transferable skills, dissertation investigations

* 1995 Index

* Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Participatory Student Field Guides and Excursions

JOANN MOSSA, University of Florida, USA

ABSTRACT
This paper discusses the motivation, implementation and impressions of involving students in written and oral field guide contributions in two geography classes. This approach is especially useful in situations where the instructor is knowledgeable about the area but not an authority, such as in the case of a recent appointment. Various aspects of the experience, including the superior quality of participatory field guides and excursions as compared with an exclusively instructor-generated product, prove beneficial for those involved and for outside parties. Students also learn more from participating, obtain written and oral communication opportunities, and acquire self-esteem through contributing.

KEYWORDS
Participatory learning, field guides, geography

* 1995 Index

* Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


AN ANGRY VOICE FROM PARADISE: JAMAICA KINCAID'S A SMALL PLACE AS A TEACHING RESOURCE

LIZ YOUNG, Staffordshire University UK

ABSTRACT
This paper describes the advantages of using a non-academic text (A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid) as a resource for teaching undergraduate geographers about colonialism neo-colonialism and international tourism. Its values as reading material for seminars include: it is very provocative and invariably inspires students to comment; it encourages students to understand the specifics of a small place in the context of an historically constructed world economy; it urges students to reflect on their role as participants in the contemporary international political economy; and it may be used to introduce some important contemporary debates about the nature of knowledge creation and assumptions of academic objectivity.

KEYWORDS
Reading texts, non-academic literature, Jamaica Kincaid, Antigua

* 1995 Index

* Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


INTEGRATION OF COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY AND INTERACTIVE LEARNING IN GEOGRAPHIC EDUCATION

MICHAEL P. BISHOPl, JOHN F. SHRODER Jrl & THOMAS K. MOORE2,
IUniversity of Nebraska at Omaha, and 2University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA

ABSTRACT
The rapid proliferation of computer technology is dramatically improving geographic instruction. However, as hardware and software technologies related to computer networks, environmental modelling, animation, multimedia and interactive learning become more available, educators must familiarise themselves with computer networks, software resources and digital data products. Technical proficiency is often critically linked to successful implementation, therefore we demonstrate how instructors can easily identify and access Internet resources using Mosaic software. We specifically report on using software and digital data products in conservation of the environment, environmental remote sensing, and geomorphology courses. These diverse and informative materials can be used in a wide variety of pedagogical tasks.

KEYWORDS
Mosaic, interactive learning, computer software, geographic digital data, Internet

* 1995 Index

* Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


The Geography Discipline Network would also like to thank Taylor & Francis Ltd for permission to reproduce abstracts from the Journal of Geography in Higher Education

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