Teaching the philosophy of geography
Robert David Sack, University of Wisconsin, Madison
There are important links between geography and philosophy which become obscured when we think of philosophy only in terms of the highly systematic and technical issues which professional philosophers address. I argue that the best procedure for teaching the philosophy of geography is to show how philosophical issues arise from geographical assumptions, concepts, and problems and not vice versa; and I give an example by exploring some of the philosophical assumptions we make in our normally accepted practice in locating things in space and determining their relationships.
Integrating concepts in the teaching of geography in Higher Education
Paul Claval, Université de Paris-Sorbonne
Translated by Dennis Cosgrove, Oxford Polytechnic
To be coherent and effective, teaching programmes require broad integrating concepts. Such paradigms of modern geography as quantification, behaviouralism, Marxism, and systems theory are discussed as a guide to finding these concepts. Any frameworks that are adopted must recognise the dualism between methodological and theoretical concepts.
An approach to ideology
Andrew Kirby, Department of Geography University of Reading
This paper deals with the problems of teaching ideology by suggesting a simplified approach to the topic. This approach rests upon an examination of debates within the geographical literature. Examples of such debates are examined, and some general principles on the nature of ideological attitudes discussed.
Political geography, sketch maps and introductions in dyads
Robert W Morrill, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Students' personal experiences may be used to illustrate and clarify geographical concepts and information. The beginning of a new class is an appropriate time to encourage students to learn about each other and to relate their experiences to the study of political geography. When sketch mapping is included as part of an 'Introduction in Dyads' exercise, students discover connections between personal experiences and the locations of political activities.
Valuing and evaluating university teaching
Malcolm J Moseley, University of East Anglia
The quality of university teaching in Britain is rarely evaluated systematically, and career advancement tends to rest predominantly upon research performance and publications. Although this paper does not pretend to offer a full review of the relevant literature, it introduces a variety of ways of assessing a teacher's commitment, performance and effectiveness, which are used elsewhere. The focus of the paper is on assessment for promotion but staff evaluation should also be seen as of value in staff development and in fostering a fully professional attitude to the teaching of geography in higher education.
Make your practicals open-ended
David Unwin, University of Leicester
Most practical work in geography can be characterised as 'closed' teaching which offers little opportunity for students to develop important research skills. I prefer, where possible, an alternative 'open' approach, and this is illustrated by examples of work in quantitative methods.
Between east and west: geography in higher education in Yugoslavia
Frank Carter, University College and School of Slavonic and East European Studies London
Geography in Yugoslavia's higher education system dates back to the late nineteenth century. During the inter-war period it became firmly established in a few northern universities and pedagogical institutes, but only after 1945 was it represented in each People's Republic of the country. Formerly, most geographers entered teaching, but over the last decade more graduates have joined other professions, a trend which is closely integrated into the country's concept of self-management. Differences of approach to the discipline still exist between the constituent republics, sometimes leading to unawareness of each other's achievements.
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