Journal of Geography in Higher Education - Volume 28 Number 3 2004

Preparing Geography, Earth and Environmental Science (GEES) Students for Employment in the Enterprise Culture

SARAH MAGUIRE, School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster UK
CLAIRE GUYER, School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster UK

ABSTRACT Changing patterns of employment within the UK and elsewhere have led to a need for geography, earth and environmental science (GEES) graduates to be prepared for a 'portfolio' career. It is advantageous for GEES graduates to be able to identify and capitalize on entrepreneurial opportunities. This paper illustrates how one department has addressed this issue through the introduction of a module in 'enterprise and employability'. The article outlines the pedagogic principles underpinning the module's design and implementation, and the impact it has had on the students' experience.

KEYWORDS Career development, entrepreneurship, employability.

Students' Undergraduate Expectations and Post-graduation Experiences of the Value of a Degree

SHARON GEDYE, ELIZABETH FENDER and BRIAN CHALKLEY, LTSN National Subject Centre for Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth UK

ABSTRACT The internationally shared belief that higher education has a role to play in delivering graduates with an ability to contribute to the knowledge-based economy is one of the main driving forces behind the 'employability agenda' that has emerged in UK higher education in recent years. For a variety of reasons, including the genuine desire to meet the needs of its graduates, geography is responding to the employability agenda through curriculum change and innovation. However, it is important that any employment-related developments and initiatives are informed by the opinions and experiences of present and former students. This paper addresses this need by comparing the undergraduate career expectations and post-graduation career experiences of geography students from the University of Plymouth. The study allows comparisons to be made between two cohorts and reveals which aspects of their degree the graduate cohort found to be most and least useful in their current employment.

KEYWORDS Careers, employability, graduates, undergraduates, expectations, experience.

Walking as an Aesthetic Practice and a Critical Tool: Some Psychogeographic Experiments

KEITH BASSETT, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol UK

ABSTRACT This paper gives an account of a fieldwork exercise in Paris which attempted to relate social theory and fieldwork practice. The paper begins with a brief historical review of different perspectives on the practice of walking, as a form of movement through the city with aesthetic and critical potential. A more detailed account is then given of the particular theories and practices of the avant-garde group known as the Situationist International, which are drawn upon for the fieldwork exercise. The paper then reflects on the problems encountered in trying to apply these ideas in a fieldwork exercise, and concludes with some comments on improvements and further developments.

KEYWORDS Walking, flaˆnerie, Situationists, dérive, psychogeography, fieldwork.

Learning Geography Bilingually

LUKE DESFORGES and RHYS JONES, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Wales Aberystwyth UK

ABSTRACT A concern with the role of the 'Other' in geography in higher education has led to work on the incorporation of marginalized social groups into learning contexts. Recently some authors have discussed the role of language in teaching, and in particular the dominant role of the English language in marginalizing non-Anglophonic students and subject matter. In this paper an empirical case study of the experiences of bilingual students at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth is developed. This research provides an account of the role of language in bilingual students' engagements with geography, and addresses the practicalities and the politics of enabling students with a diversity of linguistic skills to become full citizens of their geographical education.

KEYWORDS Language, bilingualism, 'Othering', learning, Wales.

Developing and Testing an Online Tool for Teaching GIS Concepts Applied to Spatial Decision-making

STEVE CARVER, School of Geography, University of Leeds UK
ANDY EVANS, School of Geography, University of Leeds UK
RICHARD KINGSTON, School of Planning and Landscape, University of Manchester UK

ABSTRACT The development and testing of a Web-based GIS e-learning resource is described. This focuses on the application of GIS for siting a nuclear waste disposal facility and the associated principles of spatial decision-making using Boolean and weighted overlay methods. Initial student experiences in using the system are analysed as part of a research project on teaching GIS concepts to large numbers of students with little or no prior GIS experience. Some general thoughts on the utility of Web-based GIS for learning and teaching are presented. Results from the first cohort of 167 undergraduate/postgraduate geography students using the system indicate that students find it easy to use, a useful aid to learning about the issues involved, and a thought-provoking exercise in Internet-based democracy.

KEYWORDS Web-based GIS, spatial decision-making, electronic resource, nuclear waste disposal.

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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