Journal of Geography in Higher Education

Volume 20 Number 3 1996


Teaching Visualised Geographies: towards a methodology for the interpretation of visual materials

GILLIAN ROSE, University of Edinburgh, UK

ABSTRACT
This paper suggests a number of questions which can be used to structure a small-group discussion about the interpretation of visual images. As many geographers now are demonstrating, geographical knowledges are very often visualised. However, there is currently little on offer methodologically to help students approach the interpretation of visual images critically. This paper hopes to start to remedy this situation. It begins by sketching a theoretical understanding of the meanings of visual images. It then suggests a number of questions that flow from that understanding, which can be addressed to a particular visual image in order to facilitate a discussion about its possible meanings.

KEYWORDS
Visual images, interpretation, methodology, small-group discussion, geographical knowledge.

* 1996 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


The Significance of Significance in Cultural Heritage Studies: a role for cultural analogues in applied geography teaching

WILLIAM E. BOYD, Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia

ABSTRACT
This teaching exercise for increasing awareness of and sensitivity to, issues in cultural heritage management addresses the significance attached to cultural icons associated with the past. The exercise uses representative places from the non-indigenous Australian historical landscape as cultural analogues to introduce non-indigenous Australian students to issues of indigenous cultural heritage. Assessment of student response suggests that the exercise serves its purpose in increasing awareness of both issues of cultural significance and difficulties in cultural heritage management.

KEYWORDS
Culture, heritage, education, significance, indigenous

* 1996 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


School Geography: some key issues for higher education

ELEANOR M. RAWLING, University of Oxford, UK

ABSTRACT
Recent changes in the character and organisation of the school curriculum in England and Wales are making a direct impact on geography. Despite its place in the National Curriculum for 5-14-year-olds and its current popularity in public examinations at 16+ and 18+, there are growing indications that geography may not be guaranteed security, status or quality in the long term. In particular, geography's position may be threatened in the 14-19 curriculum by its failure to be included in the statutory core, by increasing competition from vocational courses and by the possibility of further changes now proposed for the 16-19 qualification structure. There is also evidence of a growing discontinuity in content and approach between geography at school and in higher education. Threats to geography in schools are likely to have a direct impact on the supply of students to higher education and on the continuity of educational experiences. It is suggested that there needs to be a greater dialogue and joint school/higher education activity not only to ensure continuity and progression in the existing situation, but also to influence the next round of school curriculum change. Some areas for potential action are identified and these may have wider relevance to geography educators in other countries.

KEYWORDS
National Curriculum, school/HE relationship, A/AS level geography, general vocational qualifications

* 1996 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Encouraging Peer Dialogue in the Geography Classroom: peer editing to improve student writing

SUSAN KENNEDY-KALAFATIS, University of Vermont, USA
DAWN CARLETON, Vermont Technical College, USA

ABSTRACT
This paper describes the first author's experiments with improving students' writing in the geography classroom using peer editing exercises to encourage peer dialogue. The 'Editing Guides' presented here were developed by the authors for the geography classroom and have been used by the first author in all of her systematic upper level geography courses. The theory of audience-centred communication is presented as a rationale for using the editing guides and a simple plan for integrating writing instruction into the geography class is presented. The inclusion of peer editing assignments in the course curriculum increased peer dialogue and resulted in improved student writing.

KEYWORDS
Peer editing, writing, geography, rhetoric, communication

* 1996 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Peer and Self Assessment of Group Work: developing an effective response to increased enrolment in a third-year course in microclimatology

IAN B. STRACHAN & SUSAN WILCOX, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada

ABSTRACT
In order to manage increased enrolment in a third-year course in microclimatology, group work was introduced with seminar presentations and term papers. A peer- and self-assessment strategy was developed that provided individual group members the opportunity to appraise their own and partners' performance. The course instructor worked with an adviser from the university's educational development unit throughout the term to develop and critique the technique for this class. The techniques used, collaboration with the educational development unit, and student responses are described and explored within the context of an action-based research project. Students indicated that the group work was a valuable and enjoyable learning experience which helped them to develop skills in independent research, collaboration and communication. The 'zero-sum' assessment technique used in the course did help the instructor make a more accurate assessment of student performance in groups. Most students appreciated the use of self and peer assessment and believed it was used appropriately. The primary recommendation is to make the process as inclusive and participatory as possible. It is concluded that a 'zero-sum' approach to self and peer assessment of group work is effective, and that a collaborative approach to educational development can be a positive experience that ultimately benefits students.

KEYWORDS
Peer and self assessment, group work

* 1996 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Teaching a Large Enrolment, Introductory Geography Course by Television

M. F. FOX, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

ABSTRACT
This paper describes and evaluates televised lectures that were added to a large introductory geography course primarily to accommodate classroom overflow. Lectures to a live class were recorded on videotape and broadcast on the Ottawa region's television cable system. The perceived benefits and limitations of televised lectures were assessed by comparing the academic performances of lecture-goers and television viewers, and by gathering student opinion by questionnaire. There was no substantial difference in the academic performance of the two groups. On balance, television and classroom students alike considered television in the classroom to be beneficial.

KEYWORDS
Distance education, televised lectures, student performance, attrition rates, student opinion.

* 1996 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Student Involvement with the Regionally Important Geomorphological Site (RIGS) Scheme: an opportunity to learn geomorphology and gain transferable skills

LINDSEY McEWEN, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, UK

ABSTRACT
This paper outlines student involvement with a conservation project which aims to develop a Regionally Important Geological/Geomorphological Site network (RIGS) at a county level in the UK. The local RIGS scheme is administered through the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust under the auspices of English Nature. The teaching initiative has used the RIGS scheme as a framework to support extended open-ended project work with a large element of self-direction for undergraduate honours physical geography students. The learning project has been incorporated in a module on geomorphological management within the Department of Geography and Geology, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education (CGCHE). Students are actively involved in implementing the aims and objectives of RIGS. Particular emphasis is placed on identifying, describing, evaluating and documenting landforms of primarily educational, research, historical and/or aesthetic value at a regional level. The focus is on landform sites which represent good examples of the different geomorphological process domains represented in Gloucestershire. Sites are also identified where further documentation/research is needed to enhance educational interest. The paper identifies the nature of student involvement in the different stages in the project (preparation; .site selection and evaluation; site documentation), associated learning outcomes (including transferable skill development) and the improvement to the teaching and learning environment.

KEYWORDS
Geomorphology, transferable skills, environmental management, nature conservation

* 1996 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


FIELDWORK IN THE UNDERGRADUATE GEOGRAPHY PROGRAMME: CHALLENGES AND CHANGES

Lindsey McEwen, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, Cheltenham, UK

ABSTRACT
The paper provides a critical commentary on issues facing fieldwork in undergraduate geography programmes in the 1990s, with particular reference to the UK but with many principles applicable to other areas of fieldwork provision, for example in North America and Europe. Issues are structured around five key themes: aims and objectives, skill acquisition, relationship to other areas of curricula, fieldwork delivery and fieldwork management. Through discussion of key points, the paper introduces the five contributions within the symposium collection, which provide new perspectives on fieldwork planning, delivery and management and encourage different ways of approaching fieldwork activities.

KEYWORDS
Fieldwork, skills, delivery, management.

* 1996 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


THE CHANGING NATIONAL CONTEXT OF FIELDWORK IN GEOGRAPHY

David Clark, Coventry University, UK

ABSTRACT
The purpose and role of fieldwork in geographical education are examined. Fieldwork provision and practice have been affected by the replacement of a 'traditional' by a 'new' pattern of higher education in the United Kingdom. The key features of these contrasting structures are identified. Contextual changes pose threats but also introduce opportunities for innovation and change in fieldwork teaching, learning, assessment and organisation. An agenda for the development of fieldwork in geography is outlined.

KEYWORDS
Fieldwork, 'traditional' higher education, 'new' higher education, learning goals.

* 1996 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


ADDRESSING THE NEW AGENDA FOR FIELDWORK IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Martin Higgitt, University of Leicester, UK

ABSTRACT
Recent changes in higher education in the UK effectively make the traditional mode of fieldwork delivery unsustainable. This, coupled with criticisms of past fieldwork practices, suggests the need for a thorough re-evaluation of the role and delivery of fieldwork programmes in contemporary higher education. A prudent place to start addressing this new agenda is an evaluation of some basic educational theory and the objectives of fieldwork. From such basic considerations, some of the contemporary problems with teaching fieldwork can be more effectively tackled and strategies for designing field exercises devised.

KEYWORDS
Contemporary higher education, fieldwork, educational theory, course design.

* 1996 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


EMPOWERMENT, ETHICS, ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION: A PRACTICAL EXERCISE

Martin J. Haigh, Oxford Brookes University, UK

ABSTRACT
Just as active learning creates a deeper understanding than passive learning, so active geography grants a deeper understanding of geographical processes than passive geography. Geography students may be empowered to use their knowledge to improve the world they inhabit. However, to be effective they also need a holistic appreciation of both the ecological and ethical implications of their actions. They must become attuned both to their own internal preconceptions and to those which direct and constrain others. They must become capable of seeing their actions through the eyes of others. The exercise reported here tries to highlight these issues through the systematic critical analysis of a technical land reclamation project. Simulation is employed to encourage students to match practical solutions in landscape reclamation to wider issues in environmental ethics. In particular, students are encouraged to examine their own motivation for advocating particular technical solutions, to consider the value systems implicit in technical solutions proposed by others, and to examine environmental actions in context.

KEYWORDS
Applied geography, active learning, promoting student self-awareness, environmental values, land reclamation, south Wales.

* 1996 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


THE UNDERGRADUATE GEOGRAPHY FIELDWEEK: CHALLENGES AND CHANGES

Lindsey McEwen & Frank Harris, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, UK

ABSTRACT
In the l990s, undergraduate geography programmes have come under pressure to change from both internal and external forces. In part, this relates to the process of restructuring associated with the increasing trend towards modular undergraduate courses in higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. There has also been a growing emphasis on incorporating training into undergraduate degree programmes, particularly to encourage the development of transferable skills which enhance graduate employability. This paper looks at how the traditional undergraduate geography fieldweek lends itself to being reshaped and reorganised to meet the challenges of these changes. Issues are illustrated with reference to a well-established, second-year fieldweek to Belgium and The Netherlands.

KEYWORDS
Fieldwork, transferable skills, fieldweek, restructuring.

* 1996 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


APPLYING A SYSTEMS APPROACH TO THE MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE IN FIELDWORK

Vince Gardiner, Roehampton Institute London, UK

ABSTRACT
Fieldwork is increasingly subject to a variety of external pressures. The management of change in fieldwork provision can be aided by an appreciation of the systemic nature of fieldwork. Social paradigms of team behaviour are particularly applicable to fieldwork, and to understanding some systems failures.

KEYWORDS
Fieldwork, systems, failures

* 1996 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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