Monday, January 28, 2008

Multicultural Britain

Check my PILOT GEOGRAPHY BLOG for some updates of resources created by Tony Cassidy that we are using, along with some tweaking by myself...
These are going down well, and the students are getting well into the ideas ( I think...)

How about the plans for a BRITAIN DAY ? What would be a suitable cause for celebration (or commemoration ?)

Liverpool 08

GA members can download additional TEACHING RESOURCES to complement the article in the Spring 2008 issue by Charles Rawding and Lucy Williams. However, they don't seem to be there at the moment...

Update: the resources are there now... (3rd February)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Remember those flags I mentioned this morning...

We discussed the 'meaning' of the Union Flag and cross of St. George...

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Also thanks to Tony for pointing out this intriguing example of sub-culture in the BBC news article about the Goth who was thrown off the bus for having his girl-friend on a leash...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

BBC go Geography bashing again

Image copyright BBC

BBC recycle the old jokes...

Yesterday, Dan Raven Ellison of the GGiP campaign appeared on the One Show, who were reporting on some bits of an OFSTED report, based on surveys from 2004... (?!) about geography teaching. They then went off on the time-worn stereotypes of geography teachers.

If you've been reading this blog you'll know that all the hundreds of posts have focussed on the topical and creative in geography and represent the way that I, and all the colleagues I know, teach.
You can watch the programme using BBC's iPlayer, and I would ask you to take the chance while you can to send a comment to the programme.

This was surprising given the fact that the One Show is generally full of geographical content (not that they'll credit us for it) and that earlier today I was watching a report by Adrian Chiles when he was on BBC Watchdog all about the Belle Tout lighthouse on Beachy Head and coastal erosion dating back years, it seems strange.
Lazy reporting, outdated comments, cheap gags at the expense of hardworking professionals. Perhaps the team could come into geography classrooms and show us how it should be done.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Mythconceptions of Place

We used Tony's Cultural Quiz in today's lesson and you liked it a lot, especially Beethoven's 5th Symphony !
Good feedback - "fun", "good", "enjoyed that", "wicked.." etc... We all did better on the popular culture than the elite culture except for one tie...

Also coming up is another resource from one of my virtual Geography colleagues, this time it's Val from Scotland. Back in 2005, she looked at the ways in which Scotland was represented as a place, and here are the first few slides from the presentation that she used at the GA Conference. I was present at her session, and we even got some pictures in the GA Magazine...We're going to do a similar exercise with Liverpool, and some other places possibly...
How are places represented ?
Year 9s will also become familiar with the ideas here as they are used to explore the images and mythconceptions that we have about China...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Love Liverpool ?

Liverpool is the European Capital of Culture for 2008.

There is a special event being held in Liverpool tonight to kick start the year.

Liverpool shares the distinction with Stavanger, a rather nice city in Norway I spent a couple of weeks in as a student... many years ago.

The BBC have produced a useful set of resources on the city, and a comparison between the 2 cities.

There has been lots of coverage in the local press: thanks to Stephen Schwab for the information on that link.

How is Liverpool likely to benefit ? Fits into the idea of rebranding the city too...

I am looking to do a project where students in Liverpool exchange information with students at my school relating to cultural aspects and the changing nature of the town / city where they live.

The Education Guardian published a very useful piece, with some good lesson ideas.

I am grateful to those colleagues who have already volunteered to help via the posting on the SLN Forum.

Thanks to those who have sent their memories of the city too. All this will feed into the creative works...


A good list of some of the events at this IC WALES article.
How about an audit of the events, and an exploration of the types of culture that are included.
More on the HERITAGE CITY status.

The BBC News site has lots of useful articles.

Check out the Liverpool08 site for a shop with lots of promotional stuff: clothing, books, DVDs etc.

Look at the banner headings on the site: which aspects of Culture have they chosen ?

The site also has a series of postcards, which can be sent electronically.
Look at the images on the postcards. Which aspects of the CULTURE of Liverpool have they selected for these cards ? Could you design some of your own for your own place ? Or for Liverpool ?

Update: the Liverpool Echo had a lot of coverage of the evening, but the front page also shows something that was mentioned in the BBC coverage yesterday morning - nowhere is perfect of course - remember that this aspect of geography relates to the image of a place that people have, and the factors that help create that image.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Cultural Differences

I am indebted to Tony Cassidy who has sent a range of splendid resources that he produced over Christmas ready for this term. I'm looking forward to using them...

He also included a very nice image which shows the position of Cultural Geography (and the other strands of geography) in relation to the traditional view of the subject which people actually see sticking up above the water...We looked at Culture in the classroom lesson this week.

Culture involves a range of activities and topics.
Here is a (non exhaustive) list of areas which we could have considered:

Clothing and Fashion
Body Adornment

At the moment, there is a furore going on in India related to the cricket, which is very important to the Indian population. Think also of the films made in Bollywood, which have a particular structure that is very important.

Here is an extract from a very popular travel book about an American travelling through England. There is a famous quote by Irish writer George Bernard Shaw:

"England and America are two countries separated by a common language."

How true is that ? Can you think of some answers ?

"England was full of words I'd never heard before - streaky bacon, short back and sides, Belisha beacon, serviettes, high tea, ice-cream cornet. I didn't know how to pronounce 'scone' or 'pasty' or 'Towcester' or 'Slough'. I had never heard of Tesco's, Perthshire or Denbighshire, council houses, Morecambe and Wise, railway cuttings, bank holidays, seaside rock, milk floats, trunk calls, Scotch eggs, Morris Minors and Poppy Day. For all I knew, when a car had an L-plate on the back of it, it indicated that it was being driven by a leper."

Bill Bryson: “Notes from a Small Island

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all my readers....

Here's one way to spend £1 million...