Geography in education: exploring a definition
Geography in education: exploring a definition

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Geography in education: exploring a definition

5 Summary and conclusion

In this unit we have considered questions surrounding the future of school geography. This may at first seem an odd question, but it is salutary to remember that the advocates of geography had to work very hard to make the case for the subject's place in the English National Curriculum.

As the unit sought to show, even if we can agree that geography has an important role to play in schools, opinions vary as to the purpose of the subject:

  • Is it a vehicle for developing basic skills needed to meet the needs of industry?

  • Does it fit into a liberal vision of education?

  • Is it a vehicle for social change?

Our answers to these questions will, ultimately, affect the ways in which geography is taught in schools and are therefore important to consider, since presumably they will affect the ways in which we plan schemes of work, select curriculum content and structure teaching and learning activities.

Activity 4

  1. Devise a way of collecting students' ideas and views about the aims and purposes of geography lessons:

    • What do they like and dislike about the subject?

    • What do they see as its purpose?

    A good starting point is to read about the results of a competition in The Guardian. Click here to read the article ‘The school we'd like’ (Birkett, 2001).

  2. Share your findings with colleagues in your department.

  3. Think about what you have learned about young people's views on geography teaching that might inform the way you plan your geography courses in future.

Skip Your course resources

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371