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Geo-cube: an international toolkit promoting Geography for all Thematic Pillar 2: HERODOT Network Karl Donert National Teaching Fellow Liverpool Hope University.

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Presentation on theme: "Geo-cube: an international toolkit promoting Geography for all Thematic Pillar 2: HERODOT Network Karl Donert National Teaching Fellow Liverpool Hope University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Geo-cube: an international toolkit promoting Geography for all Thematic Pillar 2: HERODOT Network Karl Donert National Teaching Fellow Liverpool Hope University

2 HERODOT Thematic Network An EU funded network project, since 2002 Grass roots - bringing geographers together 242 partner institutions from 55 countries Addressing the Bologna Process … Improving quality of learning and teaching Geography in higher education 4 interest groups (TPs – Thematic Pillars) European-wide research Publications – workshops – training -seminars

3 Context of this research State of Geography in Europe - Report (Donert, 2007) Decline of Geography in European schools Not perceived by decision makers as important as lifelong learning Need to communicate Geography into Society How? Information gathering Promotion, lobbying Ambassadorship of the discipline Donert K (2007), Aspects of the State of Geography n Europe,

4 Research and Development Objectives 1.Assess current and future promotion of Geography Country reports and European perspective Method - questionnaire to collect information regarding current practices, future measures and the preferred tools. 2. Create a product (toolkit) to support the promotion of Geography Method – workshops and meetings

5 Research Survey sample

6 yes92% no8% Department78% Individual academics67% non-academics/University PR31% Students33% Others8% Is there promotion of Geography in your higher education institution? Who is doing it? Funding27% Attracting students82% Raise awareness of subject51% Department survival33% Public awareness of subject41% Other4% Why is it being done?

7 Promoting Geography University and department Web sites Organising events media and lobbying (relatively low)

8 How Geography is promoted Funding Attracting students Raise awareness of subject Department survival Public awareness of subject postcards4%12%10%2%8% Leaflets / Prospectus6%57%33%16%20% Poster6%47%37%14%25% School network12%33%25%14% Website14%67%45%20%47% Marketing Gadgets0%2%0% Lobbying22%4%18%16% Competitions4%20%10%2%6% News/press releases2%16%18%6%24% Events16%65%41%20%39% Others4%6%4%0%2%

9 Marketing Geography Attractiveness of subject90% Employability46% Success of graduates64% Other12% What is stressed in the promotion of Geography? Main messages: fieldwork importance for everyday life and environment sustainability wide applicability of geography knowledge and skills public service - importance of geo-knowledge stress the value of the subject

10 Who promotes to whom?

11 Country analysis: Malta Growing popularity at tertiary level. Geography Division relatively young (15 years) Interactions with other departments, major employers, local government, consultants, NGOs and schools. Despite this, geography has only recently been acknowledged by a number of employers (MEPA, Agriculture, ADT, MRA). Problem of definition, promotion of geography by UOM staff has produced good results. Problem of employability as number of graduates are increasing in a relatively small market.

12 Country analysis: Lithuania Geography promoted between students, who eventually disappear in society. Difficulty of defining a geographer. Geography as a school subject, not a profession Very little effort to promote the job in the media No professional status associated with geography.

13 Country analysis: Netherlands Royal Dutch Geographical Society PUTTING GEOGRAPHY ON THE MAP Focus of KNAG on bringing together the geography education community –publication in popular media –visits to museums and centres –recruitment strategies to attract students (linked to funding) Masters in Geography & Communications

14 Country analysis: Poland No public promotion of geography. Polish Geographical Society formed Geographers seen on TV as experts, particularly promoting tourism Public events related to geography / science (marching with compasses) More focused events for geographers –Geographical Olympic Games (for schools) –Increased participation in GIS day

15 Research Conclusions (1) Need to: Target geographers and society in general Promotion focus on decision-making agencies Share good practice on geo-promotion Develop a toolkit to help promote Geography A single recognisable multimedia web site Enhanced by translation to meet local needs

16 Research Conclusions (2) Train students of Geography about the geographical skills they have and why they (as geographers) are important in society. Encourage graduates to promote themselves as geographers by: –creating a social and professional alumni community would help meet this goal. –building an international contact database of key government, business leaders and other high-status individuals who have connections to Geography

17 Recommendations Aim high, target politicians, governments, EU, Council of Europe, UNESCO etc. – how? –Need a lobbying agency – European Association, IGU –Use famous/important geographers – who are they? –Better projection of the skills of a geographer –Change geography curriculum to include/attract para- geographers to geography Share good practices on geo-promotion –How? Who? Where? Toolkit to promote geography –single place (website) to promote Geography

18 Geo-cube: re-inventing the way to explore Geography HERODOT response

19 Branding Geography Focus on target audience Researched ways Internet was being used to promote Geography Dutch Canon – web site as a window on the topic (Nagel, 2009) Cube chosen as interface Nagel, M. (2009), Windows on the World: Global Citizenship in Dutch Education, 37-41, Paper presented at the Geographical Diversity, EUROGEO-HERODOT Conference Ayvalik, Turkey May 2009,

20 The GeoCube ( Based on the principle of the Rubik Cube Easily accessible website Available online for free. An attractive online statement about Geography Multimedia resources (1000+ high quality images, 100+ video clips) Text produced by volunteers from 16 countries Edited and standardised

21 6 themes 9 topics 54 subjects

22 Branding Geography Geocube provides the world of Geography at your fingertips and just a mouse click away! Geocube helps you understand what Geography is and what geographers do Powerful message Build image

23 Earth from All Angles

24 Exploring Our World

25 Fascinating Earth

26 Living Together

27 Shrinking Planet

28 Useful Geographies

29 Geocube…… an accessible way to read, see and watch Geography at work. 54 windows on what Geography is and what geographers do

30 Building the brand

31 Final Conclusions (1) Research indicated professional bodies, associations and international organisations need to become more involved – HOW? departments of higher education and teacher training have an important role to play we must encourage our students and alumni to be advocates and ambassadors for Geography Further challenges for HERODOT Must widely promote and inform different audiences of the existence and usefulness of the Geocube toolkit?

32 Final Conclusions (2) Why should we care? If we care - whose job is promotion any way? Question of scale –international - national – local – regional Who promotes Geography worldwide? What is the role of the IGU? How can you get involved? –Join HERODOT – –Join EUROGEO – European Association of Geographers

33 GeoCube is a European initiative developed by HERODOT the European Network for Geography in Higher Education and is available to anyone who is interested in Geography This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. The Web site reflects the views only of the network, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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