“Teachers should seize this chance to get stuck into the knowledge question rather than collectively avoid it, which has in some ways been the story of recent times.
The professional language invented over the past 10 years is the language of pedagogy. This is no bad thing in itself, of course, but pedagogy has become so dominant that it is now confused with its apparently weaker cousin: curriculum. But it is the curriculum that teachers need to engage with.”
“A person growing up in the 21st century as a global citizen (and all that implies) is at a disadvantage without geographical knowledge – economically, culturally and politically. How can we make any of the personal decisions that already confront us every day about energy, food and water security without geographical knowledge?
Understanding geographical perspectives contributes to our capabilities as educated individuals and members of society.”
Crack curriculum’s core and open a world of opportunity
The TES, 27 August 2010, Professor David Lambert
And read this…
The importance of subject-based teaching
Whilst a topic-centred approach to teaching has its advantages, we must not forget the central importance of subject-based concepts, says David Leat
“As a geographer by birth I will always insist that one of the most important outcomes from the subject is that students really understand causation – or how and why things happen. In many lessons I would come back to that theme and unpack a variety of models, of varying power, for understanding and explaining how and why things happen.
In many ways I support efforts to make teaching more relevant, to connect with everyday experience and to acknowledge and use students’ knowledge as a starting point. In principle I have no problem with studying themes that bridge subjects or start with student interests. This might be called topic work. But we should remember that much topic work in primary and secondary schools, before the advent of the National Curriculum was poor intellectual fare, justified on the grounds of tenuous links. If ‘topics’ are to make a comeback in a skills-based curriculum then subject concepts must be part of the superstructure. It would be fantastic to see related concepts from different subjects interacting, such as audience in English and market in DT.
Without this underpinning how can teachers help students generalise and extract ideas that will inform their future independent learning? As has been emphasised in a number of studies on mathematics and other subjects one of the consequences of good subject knowledge is that teachers can connect and integrate different areas of the subject. Understanding is after all an expression of how well knowledge is connected together, but not just in a topic web.”
David Leat in Teaching Expertise
This might seem a little dated already, but there is an enduring sense in this statement:
“If geography itself has any significance it is that we are made to lift our eyes
from our small provincial selves to the whole complex and magnificent world.”
Reportedly Richard Burton (1821-1890) to the Royal Geographical Society