Geography Review magazine is one of the most useful resources that 6th form geographers (and GCSE students who want to push themselves) can have access to. It was started by my undergraduate tutor Tim Burt, his wife and colleagues back in 1986, just after I finished my degree, and just before I started teaching in 1988. I was a subscriber from the start, and have used articles and ideas in my teaching ever since.
I have paper copies of the first 15 volumes or so, and since then the school copies have taken over, and more recently, some electronic support materials to increase the usefulness of each issue.
For example, check the extras for the September 2014 issue here.Also the other recent issues.
The magazine has now moved to Manchester, from Durham University, and has a new editorial board.
There are the usual experienced authors writing for the magazine, and there's always something of interest in every issue. The first issue from the new team is now out. Details on subscribing here.
We have a subscription at school for our students.
You can follow the magazine's Twitter feed here: @GeogReview
Read the April 2014 issue here to get a flavour for the quality of articles that are included in a typical issue.
Best wishes for the next chapter in the journal's long history...
There is a new area of the updated RGS-IBG website which you may not have seen.
It is a project called Rediscovering London's Geography.
It is described as follows:
Rediscovering London’s Geography is a project funded by the GLA through the London Schools Excellence Fund. It seeks to improve the quality of teaching and learning of geography in London’s schools, in addition to encouraging more pupils to study geography. Its scope encompasses connection across primary and secondary schools involving academy, free, maintained and independent schools. The project will:
Create subject knowledge online resource units, including online activities and pupil assessments; focusing upon new curriculum subjects and examinations
Improve subject knowledge via free CPD and training events in teacher networks across London and provide continuity to support the upcoming curriculum changes
Engage pupils via Geography Ambassador presentations (by London undergraduates) and Going Places with Geography career events – all focused upon the relevance and value of geography to further study and careers
Our aims are to:
Raise subject understanding by addressing knowledge gaps and connecting teachers with new geographical subject knowledge, thus building capacity to teach engaging and high quality lessons
Assist the new academic demand associated with the introduction of new curriculum and examinations
Increase teacher confidence of using specific geographical knowledge and the undertaking of London based fieldwork via a 12 month programme of professional support (to be reviewed, developed and embedded as knowledge into new schemes of work)
Promote Chartered Geographer (Teacher) to provide formal subject specific professional accreditation in recognition of the new knowledge, professional expertise and commitment to CPD
Promote London’s unique and changing geography via the study of the capital’s wider context of economic, social and environmental development
Make available to pupils resources to support highest level understanding of core geographical knowledge for better achievement with new curriculum and examinations
Increase interest in geography amongst students whilst highlighting its relevance to further study and careers
One outcome has been the creation of teaching resources, with more to come.
The first two are now up on the website, and both would be useful to those teaching the new KS3 for the first time.
The second one is called Mapping London, and took me the first two weeks of my summer holidays to write and put together. There are 6 sessions which can be followed with KS3 students.
Thanks to the various colleagues who are mentioned along the way in the unit for their ideas which were adapted and used in various elements of the unit.
The ideas could be adapted for other cities too... Let me know what you think...
Lego has grown in popularity massively over the last few years, and there have been lots of creative projects that have made use of it.
These include the Follow the Thingslego recreations, which featured in the Ideas Zone at the recent GA Conference.
The BRICK FANTASTIC website has a new project which is a representation of the 50 states of the USA, and also a set of images of CANADA too.
And finally, I'll be going to the Bricks 2014 show at the ExCeL in November this year.
Any other Lego related projects I should be featuring here ?
In 1844, Hugh Miller: a geologist and preacher (amongst many other skills and abilities) embarked on a voyage through some of the islands of the Hebrides.
He was a self-taught geologist, writer and editor of a key Edinburgh newspaper in the lead up to the tectonic changes in the Scottish church that culminated in the Disruption of 1843. Miller was one of Scotland’s outstanding geologists, one of the first of many Scottish ‘citizen scientists’ and stands beside the greats of Hutton, Lyell and Murchison.
The Cruise of the Betsey took place the year after the Disruption, when 450 ministers broke away from the Established Church. Miller joined his boyhood friend the Rev Swanson, a keen supporter of the Disruption, who had been removed from his Small Isles parish and his manse on Eigg. Swanson used the Betsey as his ‘floating manse’ so that he was still able to serve his parishioners. The cruise was to visit Tobermory, Eigg, Rum, Glenelg and Isle Ornsay on Skye. Miller’s accounts record much about the social circumstances they came across as well as detailed descriptions of the geology, palaeontology and landscapes encountered. During the Cruise of the Betsey, Miller made many ground-breaking scientific discoveries. He wrote about his journey on the Betsey, and other travels through Scotland.
I've been working with colleagues from the Royal Scottish Geographical Society on a website and other elements to accompany a range of teaching materials which will be developed and piloted through the next few months, and the website to support the journey has just gone live.
Here's the background to the project:
Follow our journey, and celebrate the life and achievements of a great Scot, a great scientist and a remarkable observer of the social history of the time. Hugh Miller, of Cromarty, recorded his voyage of discovery on the Betsey, around the Inner Hebrides, in the summer of 1844. Our journey will recreate this 170 years later with a crew of geologists, writers, musicians, geographers and other talented people. Join us on our journey!
6th – 12th September 2014
I was invited along on the voyage, but will be teaching at the time. I'm going to be involved in other ways. One of them is to produce mapping, such as the Story Map below:
This time, it's the man himself. He has been remixing his albums and releasing them with extra tracks and other bits, and as part of the process, he released this short mix of part of one of his classic songs: 'The Lake', from 1984's Discovery album.
One of the memories I have from that time is listening to this track while sitting by an amazing lake in the fjords of Norway as a student. This mix reveals extra layers of beauty which aren't obvious in the final piece, which is a little full of Fairlight...
An interesting read in the LA Times, about how our geography may shape the opinions we have on certain things... "accidents of geography — in this case whether someone was born in a hilly or a flat region — can alter how a person thinks in all sorts of unexpected realms."
I've been working on an online course that is going to be hosted on the Geographical Association's website. It will be arriving on the website for the Autumn term, as Curriculum 2014 gets underway, and is going to be suitable for KS3 Geography.
It is linked to the GA's involvement as a major partner in the Global Learning Programme.
A number of courses and conferences have taken place this year as part of the Global Learning Programme's first year, although not as many as expected. I attended an event for Primary colleagues at the Oval earlier this month.
My course explores some ideas for using web tools to develop global stories. One element of the course is a draft outline scheme of work.
This draft outline for a Global Learning scheme of work, which will be fleshed out over the next few months, has been put onto Google Drive, so that it is collaborative in nature. If you'd like to get involved in the development of the scheme, please get in touch. I'd be keen to hear feedback on what I'm suggesting. You may have ideas for how to develop specific sessions.
Here are some details:
The scheme of work starts with Carl Sagan’s
famous description of Earth as a ‘pale blue dot’. Students are asked to explore
the idea of the ‘global village’ that is the Earth. Who lives in the village? What
inequalities are there within the population of this village?
Having populated the village, there is then
a need to explore the identity of its residents, using the notion of the
‘cultural iceberg’. The population of any village is not stable, and possible
reasons for changes in the structure of the village are explored. These mirror
the changes in the structure of the global population, and some of the
challenges that it faces.
The final part of the scheme of work is a
possible assessment piece, or final presentation. It takes its inspiration from
the gold disc that was attached to the Voyager space probe that was launched.
Students will be asked to choose images and text which represents our global
community today, rather than those which were thought of as being
representative back in 1977, when Voyager was launched.
Over to you :)
I shall let you know when the unit goes live on the GA website.
A new set of stamps from the Royal Mail features 10 fish, to show some sustainable species, and others that are threatened. Lovely illustrations. Did any of these species feature in your menu that was good for the planet ? Which fish species would you put on stamps if you could choose...
A rare chance to work with Richard Allaway of Geography all the Way fame, on an IB Geography course in the UK takes place in 3 weeks time.
The course is held at Heathrow Airport, and is on a Saturday so no cover needed (probably)
Worldwise Week (formerly Geography Awareness Week, is organised by the Geographical Association. This year's resource pack is available, and would provide some good ideas for those wanting to continue the theme of this year's conference 'Crossing Boundaries' with some end-of-the-school-year extension work.
“Our aim is to provide unbiased information about London's social, environmental and economic issues.
“These maps are like fancy pie charts, and if something is twice the size of something else it is obvious. We just want to spark a debate about the differences in one big city.”
Professor Danny Dorling
London called me on Thursday this week, and I went down to the RGS to meet with Ben Hennig.
Ben and I are working on some educational materials for a project called LondonMapper - a website which officially launched today, funded by the Trust for London.
The educational materials are being funded by an Innovative Geography Teaching grant that we have been awarded by the Royal Geographical Society.
Ben's maps will be familiar to many from his work on WorldMapper with Danny Dorling and others from Sheffield University.
Ben now works at the University of Oxford, still with Danny Dorling, and LondonMapper is one of several exciting projects that he is working on.
The site got a lot of early publicity and was featured in quite a few of the newspapers today. - the Guardian - Daily Mail - the Independent
Cultural Geography featured on the now-ex Pilot GCSE Geography Specification - that was my introduction to this area of geography. This blog started out featuring my findings, resources and images as I produced resources when teaching this unit for the first time. Some readers may disagree with what I call 'cultural geography' but I'm still relatively new to all this...
Some of the early content stems from ideas by Dr. Phil Wood , Senior Lecturer in Geographical Education at the University of Leicester.
The blog has now morphed into a general place to blog about geography and popular culture, as well as social science, mapping and a range of other cultural items of interest.
Visitors from overseas are particularly welcome - I hope you're finding the blog useful...
Please note that I'm happy to feature relevant books with reviews - already had quite a few sent in, for which I am very grateful.