Living Geography

Living in Places People Want‘ in “Living Geography: exciting futures for teachers and students” edited by David Mitchell (2009), Chris Kington Publishing.

Living Geography draws from recent, school-focused research to guide and support you in providing a concept based geography curriculum that is relevant, purposeful and exciting for young people. It is written for all those involved with the teaching of secondary school geography It contains 12 chapters that each focus on a theme relating to current UK policy, both in the national curriculum for geography and other overarching policy guidelines (including QCA and Every Child Matters 2007).

Living GeographyThese include;
* ESD and futures
* global citizenship and ICT
* young people’s geographies
* natural processes
* GIS and virtual space
* human rights
* life, death and disease

Each chapter contains a conceptual and research based overview, followed by practical classroom strategies exemplified by a distinctive pedagogy or learning style, selected from:
* thinking skills approaches
* writing supports
* use of images
* GIS
* a distinctive real world, place-based study, at a range of scales.

Each chapter will therefore give the practical means for teachers to bring the principles and concepts of living geography discussed, to learning in the classroom.

Living Geography:
* embraces young people’s geographies
* is current and future oriented
* is local but set in wider (global) contexts
* understands natural and human processes
* raises questions of change, sustainability and development

I wrote the chapter: Living in places people want – Angus Willson
This chapter explores curriculum making in the context of the skills agenda for sustainable communities. It suggests a change in emphasis from a traditional approach to geography of settlement towards one which involves pupils in evaluating a more holistic range of perspectives on place-making. It also refers to the sustainable schools framework, another government policy seeking to influence school management and the curriculum. These ideas are entwined with the increased importance attached to young people’s geographical experiences and opportunities for active engagement in their communities. This chapter also includes examples of geographical skills being used in a wide range of occupations in order to confirm the importance of geographical learning.

Details of other chapters and purchasing: www.optimus-education.com/living-geography-92 [opens in a new window]

Living Geography won a GA Publishers’ Gold Award 2010.
“The GA Awards are given for materials associated with geography in
schools and colleges which are considered to make a significant
contribution to geographical education and professional development.”
www.geography.org.uk/cpdevents/annualconference/derby2010/gaawards2010/ [opens in a new window]

Living Geography explains clearly the rationale behind the concept of ‘living geography’ and the significance of its approach for teachers. The ideas in the book are rooted in insights gained from research, from innovative curriculum development projects and from practice. Complex ideas are presented clearly, and practitioners will welcome the detailed examples of how the ideas have been developed in local contexts, both in the classroom and in the field.

Accompanying the book is a CD which includes pdf files of the text as well as PowerPoint presentations and links to the Urban Earth project.

This book stimulates thinking about what kind of geographical education young people growing up in the twenty-first century need, and provides a vision of a challenging, exciting, involving and relevant subject. Living Geography is an excellent resource for teachers’ professional development. PGCE students will find it very useful, as will teachers working as a department, or in wider networks, to enhance their curriculum making. The suggestions for further reading in each chapter, together with the excellent bibliography, enable teachers to pursue the ideas further, providing valuable support for those studying for higher degrees. This book takes our thinking about geographical education forward. There should be a copy in every teacher education library and in every geography department.”

Update January 2014: See this post Living Geography keeps on living.

The Chequers