A vital link to the world's issues

7th January 2005 at 00:00
I was horrified by the suggestion that the Geographical Association should be thought to be "openly" calling for teaching less "geographical content"! As a head of geography, and a member of the Guildford branch of the GA, I feel that this is not the case.

David Lambert, chief executive of the GA, at a recent meeting for teachers, spoke passionately about the "power of geography" as a subject in its own right. During his presentation, he stressed the central importance of "geographical knowledge" to education and the secondary curriculum, and stated how vital are geographical concepts. Above all, he emphasised how important an understanding of the interdependence between the physical world and human environments were, in relation to place and space, scale and pupils' own lives.

His focus was clearly on how geography provides the ideal tool for challenging students to make better sense of the diverse and changing world in which they live, as informed citizens.

David also discussed the potential of geography for initiating a critical understanding of "sustainable development", through the links that geography provides between the social, economic and environmental study of global issues from different perspectives.

Sophie MacDowall. Head of geography. Guildford high school, Surrey

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