The term geography refers to the study of the location and distribution of living things and the earth features among which they (The World Book, 2001).
It describes its physical features, resources, climate, soils, plants, animals, and peoples and their distribution. Geography, in general, has several objectives. The main objective of the geography subject is to develop awareness of the relation between nature and the manmade environment. It provides the basis for understanding population development and the distribution of resources, explaining similarities and differences and discussing change processes.
It shall also contribute to understanding and mastering the great amount of information in our time. Therefore, this paper discuses the view that geography as a subject should be made a core subject. To begin with, geography provides the basis for understanding population development and the distribution of resources, explaining similarities and differences and discussing change processes. The subject also gives insight into how natural resources, weather and climate have provided the basis for the settlement and development of communities.
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Geography Teaching Methods: Why Should Geography
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Furthermore, Geography also creates understanding of why resources are important for global production, division of labour and settlement. Population development and global economic processes influence economic development and the global distribution of goods. The Geography subject provides an overview and explains the localisation of cities and the scope of natural and manmade conditions on earth (Tunney, 1976). Therefore, it is wise enough that the government should design a curriculum that considers geography as a core subject just like English as it is in Malawi.
The other thing is that, looking at its objectives? Geography subject is contributing to the understanding and mastering the great amount of information in these days. More knowledge motivates and stimulates the ability to analyse critically and understand comprehensively. This can give the pupils a good basis for participating in the development of society in a constructive way. An important objective of the geography subject is also to develop the pupils' ability to be tolerant and understand their global coresponsibilities.
This only shows that Geography has a wider range in the sense that it draws largely from the natural sciences and social sciences, such as, geology, meteorology, botany, zoology, economics, and history. In addition, in order to improve geographic understanding to the general public: Increased research attention is given to certain core methodological and conceptual issues in geography that are especially relevant to society's concerns. More emphasis should be placed on prioritydriven, crosscutting projects.
Increased emphasis should be given to research that improves the understanding of geographic literacy, learning, and problem solving and the roles of geographic information in education and decision making, including interactive learning strategies and spatial decision support systems. This helps the government to manage and run its affairs with the intention of developing them. Therefore, through geographical knowledge, one is able to operate in several departments of the government hence meeting the full utilization of limited resources a country could have.
What is more, the government and/or the nongovernmental organization should take part in the improvement of geographic literacy. Geography education standards and other guidelines for improved geography education in the schools should be examined to identify subjects where geography's current knowledge base needs strengthening. A significant national program should be established to improve the geographic competence of the republic of Malawi’s general population as well as of leaders in business, government, and nongovernmental interest groups at all levels.
In addition, linkages should be strengthened between academic geography and users of its research. Also concerned and non concerned parties need to strengthen geographic institutions. Since geography has a wider range in its operation, a high priority should be placed on increasing professional interactions between geographers and colleagues in other sciences. A specific effort too, should be made to identify and address disparities between the growing demands on geography as a subject and the current capabilities of eography to respond as a scientific discipline. A specific effort should be made in order to identify and examine needs and opportunities for professional geography to focus its research and teaching on certain specific problems or niches, given limitations on the human and financial resources of the discipline. University and college administrators should alter reward structures for academic geographers to encourage, recognize, and reinforce certain categories of professional activity that are sometimes underrated.
To encourage implementation of these recommendations: Geographic and related organisations should work together to develop and execute a plan to implement the recommendations in this department. Lastly, it should be mentioned, however, that geography being a multidimensional subject that is, it encompasses several subjects or disciplines. The case of History, History and History Teaching play an important role in developing national identity.
Against the background of ethnic, cultural and national conflicts in South Eastern Europe history teaching was often used as a tool for promoting nationalistic ideologies. History textbooks have, in many cases, been dominated by biased historical interpretations. Sensitive historical issues and groups, such as the history of social and ethnic minorities, the history of neighbouring countries have often been excluded from the textbooks.
Therefore, history education in South Eastern Europe has been identified as a key issue for the reconciliation and democratisation process and thus for longterm stability in the region by many key actors at expert and political level(De Blij, 1993). In conclusion, it is a matter of concern that the majority of students in the school complete their geographical education at a young age. They are normally given the chance to choose the subjects to be studied in order to acquire their certificate at the end of their first year of postprimary education.
It is usually 58 subjects inclusive of English. It is reported by school management that appropriate guidance and consultation with parents informs this choice process, it is of concern that subject choices made at such an early stage in postprimary education could have a significant impact on subject choice at senior cycle and on career paths or access to thirdlevel education. It is, therefore, recommended that school management consider restructuring the curriculum at junior cycle to widen the range of core subjects to include Geography.
In the case of Malawi, English is a compulsory subject of all students to Junior Certificate level. REFERENCES De Blij, H. J. (1993). Human Geography: Culture, Society, and Space. (4th Ed. ). Singapore: John Willey . The World book Encyclopedia(2001) "The_History_of_Geography_&_its_importance. " 123HelpMe. com. 11 Apr 2012 . Sheila L. C. (2004). Globalization and Belonging: The Politics of Identity in a Changing World. Boston: Rowman .
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