Developing Your Own Geographical Knowledge

As you begin to consider the requirements of the National Curriculum Geography Framework, you might benefit from taking a moment or two to consider your own geographical knowledge in relation to aspects of the Key Stage requirements. When you are planning your sessions or lessons, the development of children’s geographical knowledge is an essential ingredient. We would never advocate simply teaching a list of terms, or a list of places de-contextualised from developing meaning or considering the purpose as to why you are teaching about certain places and environments. Our guidance piece on ‘curriculum making’ will engage you with some of the dilemmas that we would encourage you to consider when planning for high quality geography learning in your school or setting. We hope that the piece on ‘what effective geography teaching looks like’ might also stimulate some useful discussion and dialogue that will inform and empower your thinking.

Building a knowledge of places, what they look like, how they came to be formed, what happens there and where they are, are all essential aspects of a geographical education for children (and adults). By developing your own knowledge you will be enabling yourself to develop high quality lessons and sequences of learning. These in turn will enable the children who you teach to be able to use their knowledge to think carefully about their world. We would encourage you to audit your own knowledge and to use a variety of informed sources including the Geographical Association’s and Royal Geographical Society’s (with IBG) websites to help to inform yourselves. We have also developed a ‘Glossary of Terms‘ that we hope you may find useful.

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