An example of environmental education
Timothy O'Riordan, University of East Anglia
There are various definitions of environmental education, but, as basic objectives, the educational exercise should always promote an understanding of how the world outside the classroom operates, how people who live in that world respond to environmental issues, and how and why certain decisions are made. In this example of environmental education, the views of Norfolk residents about the management of the Norfolk Broads were assessed and analysed in relation to certain aspects of social psychology theories. The methodologies employed are discussed, as are the views of the participating students. Some observations on the implications for environmental education are made.
Mathematical education for geographers
Alan Wilson, University of Leeds
The mathematical topics which are of use to geography students are outlined, as are the methods used for teaching mathematical techniques in geography courses at Leeds over the last few years. The concluding section relates practice to goals, and the problems of providing the student with a framework into which he can fit all the pieces of knowledge he has acquired. Possible future developments are reviewed briefly in the light of the development of new mathematical techniques on the one hand, and criticisms of the existing state of the art on the other. The subject matter of the paper is limited to mathematical education, and there is only indirect and brief concern with statistics.
Teaching geographical data analysis: problems and possible solutions
Nicholas Cox and Ewan Anderson, University of Durham
Conventional courses in geographical data analysis have major problems of student background, statistical validity, geographical relevance and intellectual inertia. An alternative approach, based upon the methods of data analysis advocated by Tukey, is proposed.
What should we be teaching about the atmosphere?
Bruce Atkinson, Queen Mary College, London
Though both meteorology and climatology are concerned to discover how the atmosphere works, the latter, especially in geography departments, is essentially a descriptive study of form, giving no fundamental insights into geophysical processes. Yet there is a growing tradition of process work in climatology, using the analytical methods of the mathematical physicist. Shunning the difficulties of such methods, geographers have begun to teach applied climatology. But such courses are, again, descriptive, and they cannot produce practitioners without providing basic meteorological training. A rigorous and quantified understanding of atmospheric processes is essential, and it demands that geographers equip themselves with expertise in mathematics, physics and instrumentation.
Aims and objectives in degree curriculum design
Norman Graves, University of London Institute of Education
The educational assumptions which are made in curriculum design in geography are often implicit rather than explicit. This paper brings them to light and explains those which relate to the aims and objectives of a course. It examines the notion of curriculum, the nature of aims and objectives and the kinds of aims and objectives which are appropriate to degree courses.
The role of assessment in the design of a curriculum for a degree in geography
Graham Humphrys, University College of Swansea
Decisions about the assessment of courses in higher education will influence the structure of the curriculum. Assessment is necessary not only to inform students and staff, but also for external and predictive purposes. The objectives of assessment are both instructional and expressive, while the kinds of skills tested are mainly those of written and oral communication. The incorporation of all these factors into assessment and curriculum design can be facilitated by using tables and diagrams based on educational theory. Unlike other components of the curriculum, assessment continues to play an active role in curriculum development after the initial design stage.
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