Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Geography
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Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Geography

Edited by Helen Walkington, Jennifer Hill and Sarah Dyer

This exemplary Handbook provides readers with a novel synthesis of international research, evidence-based practice and personal reflections to offer an overview of the current state of knowledge in the field of teaching geography in higher education. Chapters cover the three key transitions – into, through, and out of higher education – to present a thorough analysis of the topic.
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Chapter 16: Conveying geographic concepts through issues-based inquiry

Phil Klein, Karen Barton, Jessica Salo, Jieun Lee and Timothy Vowles


Part of becoming a geographer is learning the discipline’s conceptual framework. This chapter illustrates several inquiry-based activities designed to help geography majors develop understanding of essential disciplinary concepts and perspectives. The methods employ varieties of a structured, issues-based inquiry pedagogy, in which short in-class activities present essential concepts through analysis and interpretation of diverse forms of geographic data. As supplements to lectures, such brief inquiry activities can help students make connections among geographic concepts and foster development of a geographical perspective. Examples from a mid-sized, public university in the USA illustrate the diversity of attainable issues-based approaches within introductory and advanced geography courses. Designing effective inquiry activities necessitates situating them within the local geographic context (cultures, politics, environments, and economics) of the university and its students. Informal responses from students indicate consistent approval of these types of activities as memorable and effective parts of the courses. Brief inquiry activities help make geographic conceptual structures relatable for students, connecting them to their own local experiences as well as to their future professional development.

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