Improving Geographical Thinking in the Classroom with the Curriculum Making Model, pp. 7 of 8


Curricula for subjects are developed in consideration with a country’s economic, political and social contexts, and geography education in various countries has been crafted with similar contextual considerations. The debates academic geographers have raised with regard to geography education in the UK are applicable to teachers everywhere. Regardless of country, teachers of geography need to reflect on the geography being taught in the classroom as they have the sole ownership and full responsibility of what and how students learn in their classroom (Brooks, 2006). Teachers constantly use curriculum artefacts in their teaching and learning of geography. In this paper, I have examined and evaluated a curriculum artefact vis-à-vis the curriculum making model developed by the Geographical Association in UK, to evaluate the geographical thinking that students experience in the classroom. The curriculum making model allows teachers to balance the powerful knowledge within the subject, student experiences and teacher choices when planning for a series of lessons.

A curriculum artefact used by a teacher could be an essential resource in learning a geographical topic or an issue when a teacher carefully uses it with students’ experience and with appropriate pedagogies to allow students to think geographically in the classroom. Teachers need to think geographically first before developing the ability in their students to do likewise. As Catling (2013) aptly describes, teachers need to continuously reflect on their personal perspectives and practices, as a basis for enhancing their teaching and learning in the classroom. If teachers want geography education to happen in their classroom and their students to think geographically, Morgan (2011) reiterates that teachers themselves must believe that they have a bigger role to play in the classroom than just being “deliverers” of the curriculum (p. 200).

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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