Teaching Secondary Geography as if the Planet Matters
By John Morgan
Routledge – 2012 – 192 pages
'Teaching Geography as if the Planet Matters provides a timely outline of powerful knowledge and arguments that will be needed to counter a strengthening of current curriculum orthodoxies. Not until school geography undergoes the revolution that this book outlines can it honestly claim to be contributing to more sustainable futures.' - John Huckle, Visiting Fellow at the University of York and was formerly Principal Lecturer in Educaton at De Montfort University.
We are surrounded by images and warnings of impending environmental disaster. Climate change, famine, population growth and urban crisis coupled with more recent financial chaos all threaten our sense of what it will be like to live in the future.
This thought-provoking text looks at how Geography teachers can develop approaches to curriculum and learning which help students understand the nature of the contemporary world. It sets out a model for teaching and learning that allows teachers to examine existing approaches to teaching and draw upon the insights of geography as a discipline to deepen students’ understanding of urban futures, climate change, ‘geographies of food’ and the ‘geographies of the credit crunch’.
The true worth of a school subject is revealed in how far it can account for and respond to the major issues of the time. The issue of the environment cuts across subject boundaries and requires an interdisciplinary response. Geography teachers are part of that response and they have a crucial role in helping students to respond to environmental issues and representations.
'Critical school geography has found in John Morgan a persuasive advocate well able to guide geography teachers through a much needed conceptual revolution in their subject. By focussing on the interface between society and nature he reveals the continuing influence of ideology on curriculum content; introduces a wide range of alternative ideas from academic geography based in political economy and social constructivism; and challenges teachers to once again become curriculum makers rather than transmitters of prescribed knowledge His grasp of curriculum history and politics, academic geography, and contemporary culture will impress the reader, as will his ability to render difficult ideas accessible and relate them to the teaching of such topics as the economy, transport, food, and climate change.
'As we face a continuing double crisis of economy and ecology, the Geographical Association’s manifesto urges the teaching of ‘powerful knowledge’ and a Conservative led Government seeks to raise the profile of knowledge and subjects within debates on curriculum change. Teaching Geography as if the Planet Matters provides a timely outline of powerful knowledge and arguments that will be needed to counter a strengthening of current curriculum orthodoxies. Not until school geography undergoes the revolution that this book outlines can it honestly claim to be contributing to more sustainable futures.' - John Huckle, Visiting Fellow at the University of York and formerly Principal Lecturer in Educaton at De Montfort University.
Chapter 1. Geography Teaching and the Battle for Ideas Chapter 2. From Environmental Geography to Education for Sustainable Development Chapter 3. Geography, Society, Nature – Changing Perspectives Chapter 4. Inescapable Ecologies? Chapter 5. A Question of Food Chapter 6. The Nature of Cities Chapter 7. Changing Economic Geographies Chapter 8. Climate Change, mobile lives and Anthropocene Geographies Chapter 9. Teaching Geography as if the planet matters: let’s be realistic References
John Morgan is Reader in Geography Education at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol and at the Institute of Education, University of London.