Presentation on theme: "What is Geography? This presentation will discuss What is Geography from the perspective of the classroom teacher. First, take a minute and jot down."— Presentation transcript:
1What is Geography?This presentation will discuss What is Geography from the perspective of the classroom teacher. First, take a minute and jot down your definition of What is Geography. Please do not use any books, dictionary, or the internet.
2What is Geography?MacMillian Dictionary: the study of the characteristics of particular places on the surface of the earth, and of all the physical and cultural factors affecting these characteristicsIf we look at a middle school level definition, you will see that a definition of geography will include the terms of places on Earth. It will also include the terms of physical (created by nature) and cultural (created by humans) factors. How does your definition compare to this one?
3What is Geography?National Geographic Society: the science that deals with the earth and its life--especially descriptions of land, sea, air, and the descriptions of plant and animal life including man and his industries with reference to the mutual relations of these diverse elementsNational Geographic Society was created for well-schooled individuals. So you can see from their definition that we have raised the level of understanding. Did your definition include science, land, sea, air, plants, animals, and man and his industries?
4What is Geography?Pat Gober, Past-President of Association of American Geographers: Geography is more than a repository of place facts. It encompasses the dynamic interactions that give character to places, the spatial organization of human activity and natural processes on the surface of the Earth, and the influence that places have on a wide range of natural and human events.I like Pat Gober’s definition because it clarifies that geography is NOT factoids: the highest mountains, the longest rivers, capitals of nations, etc. Instead, it is the spatial organization of human activity and natural processes on Earth. If it is a Jeopardy game question, it is NOT good geography.
5What is Geography?College Textbook: study of the interaction of all physical and human phenomena at individual places and of how interactions among places form patterns and organize spaceThe college textbook brings in that geography shows patterns. The patterns can be in natural processes (where volcanoes are formed) or in human activity (where people will migrate to in the next century).
6What pattern is shown here? This is my favorite illustration for looking at Population Density. Where do you see the most people (white dots)? Why would more people live there? Why don’t people live in the black areas? Over time, does the population density of a country change? Why do people move? This is the kind of thinking you want to build in students. NOT which city has the most people in the US? NOT what is the capital of New York? Kids will remember the large concepts. They will forget the factoids.
7What pattern is shown here? Now you can think on a larger scale. If this is a picture of the world taken at night, what patterns can you see? Does Africa seem dark due to few people or lack of electricity? Which hemisphere do most people live in--south or north? Why do more people live along the coastlines? How can a little country like Japan feed all of those people?
8What is the pattern?I’m guessing that the laws about divorce might have changed and this explains the spatial pattern but who knows????
9What is the pattern?You can map just about anything. Do you call it pop? Soda? Or Coke? But notice how the color gives you an immediate answer.
10What is the pattern?Can you guess what this is showing? It is deforestation…..The lines are roads where the logging trucks have taken away the logs. The gray used to be forests.
11What is the pattern?This shows rice paddies and terracing of land to hold in the water for the young rice plants. Why the bright colors? It has to do with the kind of remote sensing used. The camera lens is picking up heat or some chemical that makes the paddy look that color. This is why we have scientists. They understand the way the data was collected and what it is showing.
12What is Geography?Junior High Textbook: the study of earth and all of its variety. Physical geography includes land, water, plants and animals. Human geography includes where people live, how they live, how they change and are influenced by their environment and how different groups compare to one another.Geography really does encompass just about anything you wish to teach. That is what makes the teaching of geography so fun.
13“Geography is the study of Earth as the home of people.” What is Geography?Yi-Fu Tuan (1991)“Geography is the study of Earth as the home of people.”This is an excellent definition to give students in grades K-2.
14Three Dimensions to Geography Geography Methods Human GeographyGIS-Cartography EconomicField Studies PoliticalStatistics CulturalRemote Sensing HistoricalDemographicsPhysical GeographyClimatePlants and AnimalsGeologyLandWaterThere are three dimensions to geography. Geography Methods are tools used by geographers like making maps (cartography) and remote sensing. Usually you find geographers divided into Human (people created) or Physical (created by nature) Geography. In the K-12 classroom, we may use some of the tools like map making. We also tend to do more human geography than physical which we tend to leave to science classes.
15Why Study Geography? to be a good traveler to be able to use the tools of geographersto have an understanding of dominant characteristics of placesto be literate, “to know”to make sense out of current eventsto be able to relate to other peopleto be able to link history, economics, civics, and geography togetherGeography can be one of the most important subjects in a student’s life. It can shape their patterns of behavior. It can prepare students for the world of work. It can enhance students’ economic well-being. And it allows students to see the connections between the social studies subjects.