Journal of Geography in Higher Education

Volume 26 Number 3 2002


Internationalising Learning and Teaching: a European experience

JOOS DROOGLEEVER FORTUIJN, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

ABSTRACT
This paper focuses on experiences with international learning and teaching in a European (ERASMUS) programme on geography and gender during the period 1990-1998. This programme forms an example of collaborative work in which the author and colleagues experimented with an array of models to bring geography students and teachers of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds together. International learning and teaching is a confrontation with diversity. Diversity in language, in the mastery of English and the resulting hierarchies, in learning and teaching cultures and in defining geography form both challenges and opportunities to profit. In this paper the author will expound on the different strategies to deal with linguistic and cultural differences and to break down hierarchies. Furthermore the opportunities to "use" the differences as learning and teaching contexts will be discussed. Geography is a discipline concerning diversity. Direct contact between persons with different cultural backgrounds can form an efficient, effective and stimulating method to learn about differences in geographies and in teaching methods.

KEYWORDS
Internationalisation in higher education, multicultural and multilingual learning and teaching, gender, Europe.

* 2002 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


'Geographical Expeditions': assessing the benefits of a student-driven fieldwork method

ERIC PAWSON, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
ELIZABETH K. TEATHER, Hong Kong Baptist University

ABSTRACT
A student-driven fieldwork method, focused in a local metropolitan area, is described and assessed. Developed for a second-level course in cultural geography, it was inspired by the 'Geographical Expeditions' originally devised by William Bunge in the 1960s. It is one solution to maintaining fieldwork in the syllabus for a large class, at the same time as providing benefits for participants in terms of challenge and autonomy. Student responses are compared with the merits of fieldwork as claimed in the literature. In view of concerns expressed about increasing student 'disengagement' from commitment to university study, active participation in a 'Geographical Expedition' is a strong motivating factor.

KEYWORDS
Geographical expedition, fieldwork, student response, discovery, autonomy, disengagement.

* 2002 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Tutoring Relevant Geography: a People's Geography Project initiative

LOUISE APPLETON, Loughborough University, UK

ABSTRACT
UK geography departments are now reaching the stage where, in light of social change and growing competition for students, the need to offer a degree programme that is relevant to the needs and expectations of students is a real urgency. Drawing on the People's Geography Project, an initiative from the USA, this paper details the experiences of the author in teaching relevant geography in first-year undergraduate tutorials. The paper contends that by providing an opportunity for students to engage in contentious debate and to adopt a political position, students are encouraged to approach issues from a critical geographical perspective, demonstrate the relevance of a geographical perspective in contemporary issues, recognise the conflicting interests from competing discourses and reach a possible, just solution to social problems. This paper reports on the choice of topics, the forum of debate and assessment through alternative coursework styles, and it analyses the learning of both geographical and transferable skills through a People's Geography tutorial programme. The degree of relevance perceived by both the students and the tutor is evaluated, and suggestions are made for further development of a People's Geography approach.

KEYWORDS
Relevance, People’s Geography, transferable skills, power politics, tutorial.

* 2002 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Virtual Development and Virtual Geographies: using the Internet to teach interactive distance courses in the global South

JANOT MENDLER, DAVID SIMON & PAUL BROOME [1], Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

ABSTRACT
This paper evaluates the delivery and learning outcomes of an interactive postgraduate geography and development MSc programme taught partially over the Internet, to students living in some of the most connectivity-poor regions of the world. It focuses particularly on the experiences of course developers, tutors and students, with the distance strand of a Master's Programme pioneered by Royal Holloway, University of London, and IW:LEARN (International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network), a UNDP-implemented project of the Global Environment Facility. Issues of design and implementation are discussed, with particular reference to pedagogical and financial questions and the considerable technical and personnel difficulties encountered. Comparability of experience between distance and residential students forms a central concern.

KEYWORDS
Distance learning, distance MSc, Internet-based teaching, North–South cooperation, ICT.

* 2002 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


'An Unbelievable Academic and Personal Experience': issues around teaching undergraduate field courses in Africa

ELSBETH ROBSON, Keele University, UK

ABSTRACT
This paper explores the teaching of geography field courses in Africa for UK university undergraduates. Using largely qualitative feedback, the experiences of students, staff and local communities involved in field courses to Kenya, Zimbabwe and The Gambia are evaluated. Benefits and disbenefits of these field courses to the participating students, the local community and teaching staff are scrutinised. The paper concludes that such field courses to 'exotic' destinations are an effective means to student recruitment and certainly achieve their aims while providing meaningful teaching and learning experiences. Furthermore, the analysis shows that field courses to 'poor' destinations in sub-Saharan Africa can avoid dangers of 'development tourism' if conducted with ethical sensitivity.

KEYWORDS
Overseas field courses, undergraduate teaching, Africa, development geography.

* 2002 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Teaching Postgraduate Development Studies: possibilities within geography

RACHEL SILVEY, University of Colorado, USA

ABSTRACT
This article outlines theoretical insights generated at the crossroads of geography and development studies, and elaborates their implications for postgraduate education. Reflecting on curriculum design and teaching experiences at one university (the University of Colorado, Boulder), the analysis focuses on the strengths of geography as a disciplinary home for postgraduate training in development studies. To this end, and based on faculty and student projects, it examines the relevance of geographic debates around space, place and scale for understanding specific development questions. While most postgraduate education in development geography already takes account of these themes, this article aims to make explicit the intellectual rationale behind such a focus, and to provide specific substantive strategies relevant to putting geography at the centre of postgraduate development studies education.

KEYWORDS
Development studies, postgraduate education, developing areas, geography.

* 2002 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Using Films in Teaching About Africa

NICOLA ANSELL, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK

ABSTRACT
Didactic approaches to teaching about Africa are problematic for several reasons: they do not benefit students pedagogically; they cast Western academy/academics as guardians of truth about Africa; and they cast students as possible receptacles of objective knowledge of Africa. An approach based on 'border pedagogy' offers a helpful alternative. This paper outlines the advantages of using films from/about Africa to achieve this. A level 3 UK undergraduate module is outlined, and the eight films used in the module are briefly described. Finally, attention is given to students' reactions to the use of films, and some of the issues raised by these.

KEYWORDS
Africa, films, border pedagogy.

* 2002 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Whatever Happened to the 'New Cartography'?: the world map and development mis-education

PETER VUJAKOVIC, Canterbury Christ Church University College, UK

ABSTRACT
Maps and related graphics are important means of representing key issues in development education and related themes. This paper examines the use of world maps in materials used in teaching development in higher education and concludes that many are not 'fit for purpose'. Many of these maps create false connotations, which can lead to misleading understandings of key issues.

KEYWORDS
Cartography, development education, Eurocentrism, geopolitics, world maps.

* 2002 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Dancing to Different Tunes: conveying Latin American realities to composite classes

STELLA LOWDER, University of Glasgow, UK

ABSTRACT
Students are often attracted to courses about Latin America by media images of the region with their aura of danger and unpredictability. Such stereotypes must be addressed in teaching, but the means is far from clear when the participants stem from different disciplinary backgrounds and academic traditions. The method adopted here was to tackle development through discourse construction through an appreciation of positionality. This approach enabled students to draw on their respective backgrounds and experience critically; it also ensured that students appreciated the core concepts embedded in the discipline, while engaging in a challenging way with the issues raised by Latin American development.

KEYWORDS
Latin America, development, positionality, discourses.

* 2002 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Towards Accommodating Southern Perspectives in Environment and Development Teaching

UWEM E. ITE, Lancaster University, UK

ABSTRACT
The trivialisation of the knowledge creation capacity of the South, and the perceptions of the Southern people's inability to provide appropriate analyses of the issues that are epistemologically important to them, are important development education debates. The aims and purpose of this paper are twofold. The first is to describe a new and unique postgraduate (Master's) programme in Environment and Development, which actively seeks to accommodate Southern perspectives in its design and delivery. The second is briefly to evaluate the outcome of the above strategy, with a view to identifying the major strengths and weaknesses of the programme, especially in relation to institutional arrangements to assist programme delivery. The paper concludes that Southern perspectives are important in shaping the worldview of Northern students undertaking postgraduate studies focusing on developing countries. It also acknowledges that it is a challenge to establish a North-South cooperation in the university sector which is truly symmetrical, especially with respect to power relations.

KEYWORDS
Master’s teaching, environment, development, overseas placement, Southern perspectives.

* 2002 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

For a copy of the full text article, please connect to
http://www.catchword.co.uk/titles/03098265.htm

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