Journal of Geography in Higher Education

Volume 21 Number 3 1997


Fieldwork in Geography Teaching: a critical review of the literature and approaches

MARTIN KENT, University of Plymouth, UK
DAVID D. GILBERTSON, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK
CHRIS O. HUNT, University of Huddersfield, UK

ABSTRACT
Virtually all lecturers in geography recognise the importance of fieldwork as a vital mode of teaching in the subject. This paper draws on material produced as part of a HEFCE review of teaching and learning in the field and assesses the implications of recent changes in higher education for field studies in geography. The literature on the development of and recent changes in, fieldwork practice is reviewed and assumptions about appropriate forms of teaching and assessment are challenged. The need for carefully integrated preparation of project-orientated fieldwork is stressed and the importance of debriefing and feedback after field visits is emphasised. Various suggestions for guidelines on good practice are presented. Finally, a range of future issues and problems in fieldwork is identified and discussed.

KEYWORDS
Geography fieldwork, literature review, teaching, assessment, good practice.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Improving the Preparation for Fieldwork with 'IT': two examples from physical geography

JEFF WARBURTON, University of Durham, UK
MARTIN HIGGITT, University of Leicester, UK

ABSTRACT
Two potential roles for information technology (IT) to enhance the preparation phase for fieldwork are investigated. In the first initiative, a prototype geographical information system (GIS) is developed to support local fieldwork activity. The second initiative develops computer-based briefing tutorials to prepare students for residential field classes. By enhancing the preparatory phase of fieldwork, students are more quickly acclimatised once they arrive at the field site, they are better able to focus on the key issues, and valuable time in the field can be utilised more effectively.

KEYWORDS
Fieldwork, IT, preparation, CAL, GIS, physical geography.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


The Educational Value of the Rural Trail: a short walk in the Lancashire countryside

GORDON CLARK, Lancaster University, UK

ABSTRACT
This paper explores the educational value of a rural trail - a field visit on foot - using as an example a trail in a small area of countryside near Lancaster in northern England. This trail provides those teaching rural geography in higher education with a means of developing their students' skills of informed observation and interpretation of field evidence based on study and discussion on-site. A trail can enhance the appreciation and teaching of conceptual matters such as cultural approaches to rural geography. It also encourages the integration of diverse theoretical approaches to rural studies (based on culture, planning and management) and the simultaneous consideration by students of both local (often personal) details and national (or even global) pressures for change. The paper concludes that the rural trail has considerable pedagogical and academic merit for rural geographers.

KEYWORDS
Trail, rural geography, fieldwork

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Making the Most of Assigned Readings: some alternative strategies

ALLISON M. WILLIAMS, Brock University, St Catherines, Canada

ABSTRACT
This paper addresses the problem of students coming to tutorials not having done the assigned reading. It reviews three approaches to promote student reading and addresses why they failed. It then presents the results of a survey with one tutorial group that explores students' motivations to prepare for tutorials. Drawing on the students' responses and the literature on cooperative learning, the paper concludes with suggestions for ways to encourage reading and interdependent learning by building a sense of community among the students.

KEYWORDS
Assigned readings, student surveys, student motivation, small-group cooperative learning.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Society, Nature and Place: a final-year core course in contemporary philosophical debates in geography

JOHN BRADBEER, University of Portsmouth, UK

ABSTRACT
This paper outlines some of the issues in curriculum and in teaching method for a final year core course in the philosophies of contemporary geography. In particular, the use of tutorless groups as a way of coping with large numbers of students and to encourage students in deep learning is discussed.

KEYWORDS
Tutorless seminar groups, reading, history and philosophy of geography.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Women/Gender/Feminisms: doing feminist geography

LINDA McDOWELL, University of Cambridge, UK

ABSTRACT
This paper discusses the ways in which feminist approaches and methods have developed over the last two decades through the lens of the author's own work. It critically assesses the notion of a specifically feminist method and discusses the implication of the deconstruction of 'woman' for feminist research and politics.

KEYWORDS
Feminist geography, qualitative methods, ethics.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Reflections on a Recently Completed PhD

MOLLY WARRINGTON, University of Cambridge, UK

ABSTRACT
This paper reflects upon the process of writing a thesis, from the initial choice of topic through the selection of case studies and organisation of interviews and supporting material, to the data analysis and writing up. It discusses some of the problems which were encountered at each of these stages, emphasising particularly the importance of being aware of the varying relationships between interviewer and subject, of the need to draw upon a range of methods, and of the iterative nature of the research process.

KEYWORDS
Qualitative methodology, case studies, interviews, homelessness.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


SEX LIVES AND AUDIOTAPE: GEOGRAPHY, SEXUALITY AND UNDERGRADUATE DISSERTATIONS [1]

David Bell, Staffordshire University, UK

ABSTRACT
The dissertation is commonly the largest piece of work conducted by UK geography undergraduates. There has been an increase in dissertations on topics grouped under the heading 'sexual geographies'. This paper addresses some of the practicalities in doing a dissertation on sexual geographies, from choosing a topic to selecting a relevant methodological framework. It also draws attention to issues in the ethics of independent research in this area.

KEYWORDS
Dissertation, fieldwork, topics, methods.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


ODE TO A GEOGRAPHY TEACHER [1]: SEXUALITY AND THE CLASSROOM

Gill Valentine, University of Sheffield, UK

ABSTRACT
This paper explores some of the ways that sexuality is an issue in the course of teaching. It includes discussions of crushes between students and staff consensual personal relationships between staff and students, sexual harassment and how to create an atmosphere in the classroom/institution that enables lesbian, gay and bisexual students and staff to 'come out'.

KEYWORDS
Sexuality, workplace, teaching

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


ISSUES OF SEXUALITY IN THE TEACHING SPACE

Tracey Skelton, Nottingham Trent University, UK

ABSTRACT
This article is based on the author's personal experience of teaching sexuality within the context of a second-year geography option on social and cultural geography. The paper considers the issues which might surround deciding to teach sexuality and the complex questions around 'coming out' as a straight or gay tutor. It also addresses the question, 'Why should I teach sexuality within my human geography modules?'. The final section of the article gives some brief description of materials useful for teaching sexual geographies.

KEYWORDS
Teaching, sexuality, geography, teaching materials.

* 1997 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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