Showing posts from 2010


Started a new Twitter stream yesterday to collate stories of the Big Freeze... Follow @FrozenUK for the cold weather geographical digest... or add #FrozenUK to your tweets and I'll pick it up and add it when I get the chance... There is more snow falling as I type this...

Thought for the Day

They've got Pepsi in the Andes McDonalds in Tibet Yosemite's been turned into A golf course for the Japs The Dead Sea is alive with rap Between the Tigris and Euphrates There's a leisure centre now They've got all kinds of sports They've got Bermuda shorts Roger Water: "It's a Miracle" from "Amused to Death"

Time to eat the dogs...

I'm always on the lookout for map -related items, as I'm preparing for a few map-related things early in the New Year. There was a really interesting post on the intriguingly named " Time to eat the dogs " blog earlier this week, that I found via Twitter and something else (as is often the way...) The post is about the idea of 'terra incognita': this is a phrase that was once used on maps, but these days there are no unknown places... or are there ? Gerald Zhang Schmidt suggests that the blank spaces are cultural rather than physical. " can no longer go out to many places where no tourist has tread before. In fact, because of globalization, the traveler feels as if she has seen the world already, and while many places are still fun to visit (if exotic enough), there is nothing truly new. " Fits with the Taras Grescoe book " The End of Elsewhere ", which I have blogged about before... He goes on to explore the sort of thinkin

Maps as cultural objects

This looks very cool - thanks to Kenny for the tipoff...

The Ning's the thing...

Nings have developed nicely since I first saw them in 2006-7... At the time, I was teaching geography and the 'A' level specifications were being reviewed. I set up a NING to support my 'A' level teaching, and to share resources and discussions relating to the work that was being carried out. Another NING was made private to my students, so that work within school could be developed further. I also created other networks for colleagues. That first main NING now has over 2200 members ! At the 2008 Scottish Learning Festival , I attended my first teachmeet, and presented on Nings in a short 7 minute presentation slot. When I joined the GA, I took NINGs with me, and the GA's online professional network was born, as was the now thriving PRIMARY CHAMPIONS Ning, which is closing in on the round figure of 1000 members Earlier this month, the pre-release materials for the January 2011 Edexcel exam was released, and there was an immediate response: Over 20 n

Points of View...

A new feature was added to the GA website yesterday, following discussions by the Website Editorial Board earlier in the year, and some great work by the web team. You can now  JOIN THE CONVERSATION.. As a GA member , when you log in you will be able to add a comment to any page of the website and, if you have purchased an item from the GA shop, you can also add a STAR RATING and a comment. This will let us develop more of a community feel to the website (non GA members will have to wait for their comment to be moderated) and if you are logged in you can add an image to your profile. I have added a comment to the page which contains my WINTER TEACHING IDEAS , so feel free to take a look at that and add your own thoughts... The snow is falling again outside the window as I press PUBLISH POST...

Please help me with the answers to these questions...

A little experiment to crowd-source some answers for the Edexcel GCE Geography specification. This examination, taken by students in the UK when they are doing their 'A' levels - age 16-18, has an optional unit called " The World of Cultural Diversity ". The unit has a focus on cultural geography, and is based on 4 key areas. 1.Defining culture and identifying its value 2.How and why does culture vary spatially? 3.The impact of globalisation on cultural diversity 4.Cultural attitudes to the environment There is a very useful guide by the Chief examiner that can be downloaded from HERE. The title for this year's exam has just been released, and is below - there are 2 parts to the question, one of which involves research. Explore how external threats and internal vulnerability vary in their impacts on cultures and landscapes. Research contrasting locations and examples to show why the impacts of these pressures vary in their severity and type So

Infinite City

Another tip off via Twitter... The INFINITE CITY is an article about a new book by Rebecca Solnit, who we like a lot at the Geography Collective. It's an 'atlas of San Francisco', but not the usual type... They are designed to make the reader think anew about the city of San Francisco—its history, natural habitat, economic function, political values—and, by extension, about the way we all imagine the places we live in. "A city," Solnit writes in her introduction, "is a particular kind of place, perhaps best described as many worlds in one place; it compounds many versions without reconciling them."  Ordinary maps show only the physical infrastructure that these "many worlds" share—streets, rivers, monuments.  The maps in   Infinite City , on the other hand, treat the physical city as a blank slate, on which many different experiences can be overwritten, like texts on a palimpsest. Exciting urban geography... Sounds like a fasci

New IB Geography course from the GA...

The International Baccalaureate is being considered by a growing number of teachers as an alternative to more traditional courses. IB Geography - Reflecting on the 'new' syllabus This CPD course will help Post-16 teachers, both new and experienced, reflect upon the demands of the IB geography diploma programme. The 'new' 2009–2017 syllabus will have completed its first cycle in the summer of 2011 and this one-day course will provide an excellent opportunity for teachers to reflect upon the first cycle and make plans for the next. London - Friday 24 June 2011 Further details and online booking are available on the GA website The course tutor is Richard Allaway, creator of the rather wonderful GEOGRAPHY ALL THE WAY website.

Google Earth 6

A new version of Google Earth was released recently: GOOGLE EARTH 6 ... It includes millions of 3D trees, and other improvements, including better integration with Google Street View Go to the AMAZON for example, and you can wander the jungle and explore some of the tree species in the rainforest... I'm sure we can come up with some ideas for using this in the geography classroom :) And don't forget my Innovative Geography Teaching funded project from back in 2005...

Russia 2018

Anyone want to buy some second-hand England 2018 geography resources ? Hardly used ? An interesting resource is this movie below: the short movie used as part of the England bid. Would be good to look at it for cultural / global references... - the power of the brand of some Premiership teams...  What are the messages coming across ? Or how about this one for showing the scale of football in terms of its economic importance to the country, and our culture ? You can also see the bid  movies from the other countries on YouTube... Could be good for comparative work.

David Lambert at the SSAT Conference #nc10

David Lambert gave a keynote lecture to the 2010 SSAT annual conference on Friday 26 November.  He addressed round 1500 school leaders on the question: are subjects in crisis?  Obviously he focussed on geography and made some positive remarks about the recent White Paper The Importance of Teaching and its intention to recentre the school curriculum on 'knowledge'. You can see a video of David's lecture on the SSAT website (take a look at Dylan Wiliam's session while you're there....) The slides that David used (you might want to listen to the presentation while watching the slides, or put them side by side on the screen...) are available via SLIDESHARE ... and have been embedded below... November 2010 SSAT Presentation View more presentations from GeoBlogs . If you're snowbound today & your school is closed take a look... Think of it as a little impromptu CPD

Derbyshire Poetry Walk

If you live within reasonable travelling distance of the Peak District, you might be interested in a poetry / geography / history event being organised by my friend Rob Hindle. Blitz A descent in the traces of the first bombing raid on Sheffield, 12 December 1940 Longbarrow Press invites you to join Rob Hindle on a walk in the traces of the Blitz: Sunday 12 December Meet at 1.30pm prompt on Platform A, Sheffield Bus Interchange The walk will start on Hathersage Road near the village of Dore at 2.30pm Total distance approximately 6 miles. There is an opportunity to join the walk at Cafe #9 in Nether Edge (see below) at 4pm. The walk from this point is a little under 3 miles. For the 70th anniversary of the Sheffield Blitz, Rob Hindle has devised a poetry walk that will illuminate the attack on the city by German bombers on 12 December 1940. The journey will begin at Dore Moor and end in Fitzalan Square (Sheffield City Centre), with Rob reading and discussing poems th

GA Conference Programme 2011

Geographical Association Conference & Exhibition 2011 Programme

Coming in 2011... Decemberists album and UK tour :)


Vaughan Cornish : geographer

Vaughan Cornish was one of the most influential geographers of his time. He was born in the 1860s in Suffolk, and had a career spanning 60 years. He was President of the Geographical Association during that time. Last Friday, while putting some boxes down in the warehouse at Solly Street in preparation for the official opening (of which more later), I found a brown cardboard box, which was labelled "Vaughan Cornish Original Prints" and excitedly opened it to find about 50 large prints on thick card, several of them stamped as being entered for the 1904 St. Louis photographic exposition. Took a few images of some of them... Some of them featured pictures of wave forms , an area which Cornish was particularly interested in. I loved the silvered blue finish on some of the prints, which had faded in the century since they had been made, and then hand labelled by Cornish himself. There was also a print taken after an earthquake in the Caribbean, which I had read about him

Pakistan Flood Relief music, featuring Peter Gabriel

SAGT Conference 2010

Up to Glasgow for the last few days for the 6th consecutive SAGT conference, this year held in the city for the first of its 3 year residency. The weather was mixed, and the journey up was not without its delays either, but the actual day of the event was bright and cold, and managed to get some nice pictures taken in the evening, as above - looking along the Clyde from the Crowne Plaza hotel and SECC. My presentation was part of the overall conference programme, which included a number of familiar names from previous events, and from English geography circles... I arrived the night before the conference, and over to Hutcheson's Grammar school via a jammed M8 to set up the GA stand. The school was a nice mix of ancient and modern, with a wonderful church for the keynotes. Our hotel was next to the SECC, and the Finnieston Crane  and made my way back there eventually after various diversions to meet with Dan and Noel, and out for a meal with Val Vannet at the City Cafe, overl

Michael Palin's love of Geography

taken from the ATL Magazine " is renewing itself 24 hours a day...  [and] remains for me the freshest and most exciting of subjects. Geography is about understanding our world. It illuminates the past, explains the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?"

Institute of Education Seminar

The latest in the Engaging Geography series, which was originated by the late Duncan Fuller, and now organised by his great friend and colleague (and fellow Geography Collective member) Kye Askins is being held on Wednesday of this week at the Institute of Education . Here are the details. I shall be 'recording' as much of the events as I can to help with my nascent MA studies, and own professional development.... If there is phone reception, I shall be tweeting from the event too... some amazing speakers... Date:  13th October 2010 Venue:  Room 836, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1 H 0AL  Convenors:  David Lambert  (Geographical Association / Institute of Education) and  John Morgan  (Institute of Education) Programme: 10.30: tea/coffee 11.00: Introduction to the day. Introductions [10 mins] David Lambert :  Do we have to say what geography is? To whom?  [10 mins] 11.20: Session one. ‘Setting the scene and whetting the appeti

New Teaching Geography now available for download...

The latest issue of Teaching Geography is now available to download by those who subscribe to it.... It features a range of inspirational articles on the theme of place by Mark Jones, Eleanor Rawling, Becky Kitchen, Margaret Roberts and others... Articles range from a teacher visit to Greenland, to the urban re-branding and renaissance of Scarborough... To add a subscription to your GA membership, or to join (and gain access to the last five years of journals in electronic format) click the JOIN THE GA link.

Commonwealth Games: geographical curriculum making...

The Geography of Sport has found its way onto many KS3 schemes of work. It made its way onto mine as I used to teach in a Sports college. The PE department had a lot of money, and we didn't so it made sense to start to make a few connections. Remember that at this time of austerity, any additional source of funding for geography departments needs to be explored. The World Cup has been and gone, the Olympics aren't until 2012 (although that is getting closer every day... literally a day closer)... Just been watching the first part of the opening ceremony for the COMMONWEALTH GAMES . The weblink above includes details on getting the bid document, for activities which involve planning a bid for the games in your local area... The idea of designing the cultural element of the opening ceremony of a similar event in your home area has already been explored elsewhere.... perhaps the giant helium balloon used in Delhi could become a giant Yorkshire pudding on which images o

Edexcel Cultural Geography resources...

One of the good aspects of the new Edexcel AS/A2 Geography course is the support in the form of additional materials (and of course the seminal NING ) It's great to hear from Jon Wolton that there are some new guides for each of the units which include ideas, and suggestions for related news items and articles. Click HERE to go the download page for the World of Cultural Diversity resource

Hurray for Nollywood....

You've heard of Hollywood , and Bollywood , and now a third country takes the stage (or screen) in the shape of Nigeria's 'Nollywood' . This has been featured in a few current newspaper articles, such as The Guardian one here. Many of the films are made in local languages, and are therefore important culturally. Cinema is an essential part of global culture, and there is a long tradition of geography teachers using films in their teaching, sometimes to teach about particular concepts, or natural hazards.

Blog Action Day: theme is WATER...

For the last 3 or 4 years now, I have been involved in posting something on BLOG ACTION DAY on the particular theme of the year. The theme this year is WATER.  The Vimeo video sets the scene... Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo . | Start Petition Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all. Our Goal First and last, the purpose of Blog Action Day is to create a discussion. We ask bloggers to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue. By doing so on the same day, the blogging community effectively changes the conversation on the web and focuses audiences around the globe on that issue. Out of this discussion naturally flow ideas, advice, plans, and action. In 2007 with the theme of the environment, we saw bloggers running en

The English seaside...

I always enjoy the latest additions to Tina Richardson's blog: Arcades / Promenades , which relate to her psycho-geographical investigations of the English seaside resorts, such as Hunstanton. Plenty of cultural connections in these places...

New books...

Thanks to the good folks at the Princeton Architectural Press for sending me copies of two rather wonderful new mapping books... "The Map as Art" by Katharine Harmon ( I already have a copy of her excellent book 'You are here') and "from Here to There" by the Hand Drawn Map Association.. . More to come on these books shortly.... "I sense that humans have an urge to map - and that this mapping instinct, like our opposable thumbs, is part of what makes us human...." Katharine Harmon

Cape Farewell: a voyage around Svalbard

The Cape Farewell voyages aim to bring a cultural response to the issue of Climate Change. Previous voyages involved Anthony Gormley, and Rachel Whiteread , who was inspired to fill the turbine hall at Tate Modern with white cubes. When teaching the now sadly ex-Pilot GCSE Geography course a few years back, I used the Cape Farewell pack that the Geographical Association produced. The blog posts that relate to my studies of this EXTREME ENVIRONMENT are available by following THIS LINK to the blog: you'll see student work and a range of other resources which I hope you might still find useful... The latest Cape Farewell expedition is going to follow the route shown on the map above, and it has JUST SET OFF ... you can follow if for the next few weeks by visiting the CAPE FAREWELL WEBSITE , or following CAPE FAREWELL on TWITTER.

This blog in the Top 50...

Thanks to Samantha for getting in touch to tell me that this blog has been listed in a recent list of 50 best blogs for Geography Geeks In at no. 6 :) Thanks for the inclusion... Welcome to any visitors who may be here because of my listing... You might also find my LIVING GEOGRAPHY blog interesting: it has over 1800 posts now on all things geographical... Best wishes GeoBlogs

Professor David Lambert in the TES

Just caught up with the p ublication of a piece by Professor David Lambert in the TES , published on the 27th of August, while I was away on holiday. I saw the original piece, and haven't checked yet for any possible editing of the piece for publication. It was titled "Crack curriculum's core and open a world of opportunity" If politicians want more focus on knowledge, subject teachers should decide what is crucial The Government appears determined to reform the school curriculum again. This is something that some teachers may resist - it will appear as yet more change, when not enough time has been allowed for the last alterations to settle. And because of the return to "knowledge" as opposed to "skills", changes could be accompanied by much Gradgrind-sounding rhetoric about facts and old-fashioned subjects. It could sound like a rush to restore a golden age of subjects past, and undo the curriculum reforms of the last government. However, if w

Hans Rosling at GA Conference 2011

There was some exciting news earlier this week ! Hans Rosling is the Director of the Gapminder Foundation , and produced one of the most exciting tools for geographers in recent times: GAPMINDER (now in a desktop version too) Thanks in part to some work by our colleague Bob Lang earlier in the year, it is now confirmed that Hans will be doing the keynote lecture at the Geographical Association's conference at the University of Surrey in Guildford in April 2011. One for your diaries: for the chance to see Hans in action - get a flavour of his presentations by watching this TED TALK . Online booking for the conference is now available! GA members get substantial discounts! Full time and PGCE students get FREE registration! Delegate fees have been frozen to 2009 levels ! Follow the GA on Twitter (@The_GA) with the hashtag: #gaconf11 This year, the conference will also be raising money for ACTION AID : the President's chosen charity.

On the Road

An excellent photo project by Sam Mellish. On my travels up and down the 'A' roads (and quite a lot of the 'B', 'M' and 'C' ones as well...) of Britain, I've often thought about the roadside vans and cafes that spring up in laybys at the side of the road. Often named after some eponymous owner, or girlfriend, and offering " credit crunch breakfasts " or "big baps"... Sam has been documenting some of these places in East Anglia, in an exhibition, which can be seen HERE . Sadly I just missed seeing the exhibition of actual images just down the road in Ely . A book of his WIDER wandering is also available, which I notice focuses on the A303 which I've driven along 4 times in the last few months too... The one I pass most frequently, which is just north of Sam's main area of focus, has a table with a nice view across the Nar Valley towards Castle Acre. I saw the owner packing up in the rain the other day - probably not a good