“Geography is all about the living, breathing essence of the world we live in. It explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?” (Michael Palin, 2007).
The letter also stressed that geography confronts students with issues that have spiritual, ethical and moral dimensions that provide a sound and balanced foundation for study of controversial topics. Without learning to be able to discuss, debate and make decisions about key issues we are limiting our young people the opportunity to become nurturing and active global citizens. Through developing empathy for other places and people, learners can become part of moulding a better, shared future for the world. Young people are enabled to appreciate cultural diversity, support human rights, social justice and help build peace for a sustainable future in variety of different times and places across the globe.
‘Geography helps us learn about the world we live in and the problems within it’; ‘Geography has opened up my mind about different places and cultures’ and ‘it teaches you many things that are relevant to our way of life today, we can apply the knowledge in a variety of different subjects’.
‘Geography equips students with an understanding of the world around them’ and gives them a ‘broad view of the world’; ‘Children need to know where countries are and how these countries are linked’ as well as ‘an understanding of the world we live within and the world beyond their country’. It was also stated that geography is important because students need to understand ‘terms and concepts that appear in the news’; gain key ‘skills to answer ‘why does that happen?’ and also to build ‘confidence in using different media to make decisions’.
Lambert, D. & Balderstone, D. (2000) Learning to teach geography in the secondary school: a companion to school experience. London, Routledge. Pages 20-21.
Palin, M. (2007) Royal Geographical Society Annual review 2007.
Royal Geographical Society (2013) Careers with geography. Link: http://www.rgs.org/OurWork/Schools/Careers+and+Further+Study/Careers+with+geography/Careers+with+geography.htm
Royal Geographical Society (2013) Demand for Geography: Skills, knowledge and understanding wanted by employers. Link: http://www.rgs.org/NR/rdonlyres/1422E618-F932-4F20-9500-C9C605246076/0/Employabilitydemandforgeography.pdf