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Put geography back on the map

Images of high drama, pathos, stunning beauty, disaster and passion flood our TV screens daily. In other words, images of geography. We watch in shock and awe as volcanoes explode, floods destroy communities, thousands demonstrate against globalisation, millions starve because of failing crops and the Inuit seek new paths to their hunting grounds as the snow melts beneath their feet.

How can geography be boring? Yet, somehow, the real, immediate world is absent from many lessons. Inspectors report dull teaching, the national curriculum hampers up-to-the-minute relevance, and the numbers taking the subject at GCSE are falling. Proposals to reverse geography's fortunes, expected from a government working party, cannot come soon enough. As the effects of global warming become clear, it is more important than ever to harness tomorrow's adults' natural fascination and concern for the world they live in.

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