Geography

Teaching Place, “Placing” the Learner: Understanding the Geographies of Place

"In this paper, I underscore the importance of “placing” the learner, or allowing them to engage in place-based learning activities to understand the concept of place. This is in support of arguments that hold place as open and fluid. Such a view of place is particularly relevant in this globalized age where transnationality characterizes many of our social relations. I draw on a place-based class activity that I did with my AAG10D (Singapore in Asia) students at the National Institute of Education (NIE) in Singapore in 2016 to emphasize the importance of place-based activities and their implications for understanding the geography of place. We focused on two translocal places in Singapore - Clarke Quay and Lucky Plaza - which are widely held as places for, respectively, expatriates and low-waged migrant workers. Such an activity allows students to experience the social interactions and processes that make up a place, and to recognize that place is not simply a location of things nor a container of human activities. Finally, I suggest that placing learners equips geography students with basic disciplinary knowledge that challenges them to think about being-in-the-world, which is what (human) geography is about."

How High’s the Water, Mama? A Reflection on Water Resource Education in Singapore

"Iconic American singer-songwriter Johnny Cash recalled in song a boyhood experience of watching his parents monitor flood conditions at their 1937 Dyess, Arkansas, home by counting the number of front steps the water had risen; 1 step = 1 foot (0.305 m): How high's the water, mama? Five feet high and risin' In introducing his 1959 Columbia release, Five Feet High and Risin’, Cash noted (AZLyrics, 2000-2015): My mama always taught me that good things come from adversity if we put our faith in the Lord. We couldn't see much good in the flood waters when they were causing us to have to leave home, But when the water went down, we found that it had washed a load of rich black bottom dirt across our land. The following year we had the best cotton crop we'd ever had."

(Re)constructing the Nation? Representations of Public Housing in School Geography Textbooks

"Within education literature, scholars have argued that schools play an important role in social reproduction. However the literature on the role of specific subjects in this process is less examined. Within geography education, there is a growing interest and critical examination of the purposes of geography teaching. These accounts suggest that the content of school geography fulfils particular social purposes and national ideologies."

Impacts of the development of tourist facilities on the transition of villages: A case study of Gubugklakah Village, Malang, Indonesia

"Gubugklakah village is located in eastern Malang, Indonesia. The settlement grows along the main road towards the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park (TNBTS). This village has high economic potential because of the tourism activities. Lembaga Desa Wisata (LADESTA) is a local community formed in 2009 that initiated the status transition of Gubugklakah into Gubugklakah Tourism Village. This research study focuses on the development of tourist facilities in Gubugklakah. Tourist facilities are categorized as primary, secondary and conditional facilities in order to determine and analyse development since the status of the community changed. The method used was a descriptive spatial analysis based on a field survey that included observations and interviews. The results of this study indicate that the number of primary, secondary and conditional tourist facilities is increasing and the facilities are developed linearly along the main road of TNBTS. Furthermore, secondary facilities established by local people, such as restaurants, hotels, and shopping centres, also help the economy in Gubugklakah Tourism Village."

Negotiating the Role of the (Beginning) Teacher in the Classroom

"Teachers play an important role in enacting the curriculum for their students, but teachers’ classroom practice is affected by a multiplicity of influences. This paper reflects on the role of teachers’ subject knowledge in their practice of geography in Singapore classrooms. In addition, it also applies a post-modern analysis of power to this knowledge-practice relationship, suggesting that many beginning teachers may not be able to draw on their subject knowledge due to other more powerful influences on their teaching."

The “rightful place” of Physical Geography in Singapore’s School Geography Curriculum

"The role of physical geography within geography, its relationship to human geography, as well as its similarities and differences to the study of science have been topics of intense debate in geography. This article engages these debates as they apply to geography education in a highly urban Singapore context and argues that the nexus of physical and human geography provides students with the type of knowledge that best prepares them to be concerned and informed global citizens."

Radicalization of Geographical Education in Singapore through Powerful Knowledge and Powerful Pedagogy

"Debate about the purpose of a geography education is often related to what should be included and emphasised in the curriuclum. This article considers Young’s (2010) conceptualisation of powerful knowledge and reflects on its relationship to pedagogy. More specifically, it considers if students’ knowledge should be part of the formal curriculum."

Concepts as the Grammar of Geography: A Reflection

"Geographical concepts are an important means of organising an otherwise long and unconnected list of geographical places, names and topics, and arguably provide geographers with a “grammar” with which to give order to geographical content. This paper reflects on the usefulness and applicability of such a conceptual approach to teaching geography in the Singapore classroom."

Improving Geographical Thinking in the Classroom with the Curriculum Making Model

"Geography teachers often use curriculum artefact(s) in their lessons to aid students’ learning of content knowledge, concepts or skills. How effectively have artefact(s) been used in such lessons to help students think geographically? This paper demonstrates how an artefact chosen as a resource for a lesson could be evaluated vis-à-vis the Curriculum Making model introduced by the Geographical Association in UK to enhance both teachers’ and students’ ability to think geographically in the classroom. To enhance geographical thinking in the classroom the Curriculum Making model requires three essential elements to be in balance: the geographical content, teacher choices and student experiences. Through the analysis of an artefact, this paper also discusses teachers’ important role in making decisions as a curriculum maker in the classroom to allow geographical thinking to happen in the classroom."

Disaster prevention literacies: Assessing the knowledge, skills and attitude of Taiwanese students for an earthquake disaster

"Natural disaster education can play a very important role in mediating the impact of natural disasters. If it is imparted at an early age, it could yield positive results such as reducing the risks and consequences of natural disasters. In Taiwan, disaster prevention literacy begins in elementary schools. A disaster prevention framework requires all schools to impart citizens with knowledge about earthquakes, the skills to act and respond appropriately when disaster strikes, and the attitudes necessary for preparedness. Although the implementation of the framework helps equip citizens with these three integral domains of disaster prevention literacy, it is worth examining if Taiwanese citizens are in possession of the necessary knowledge about earthquakes or have the skills to act and respond appropriately to earthquakes based on their school education. This study is based on questionnaire survey data to evaluate if the implementation of the disaster prevention framework plays a vital role in Taiwan’s disaster education. The results reflect that the framework to nurture disaster prevention literacy is successful and could serve as a model to be followed by earthquake-prone countries where people’s preparedness for earthquakes is problematic."

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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