Curriculum links

10th January 2003 at 00:00
Geography The theme of colonialism has strong links with the geography curriculum. The Voyages of Discovery and the carving up of continents into colonies offer plenty of opportunities to develop the use of atlases and globes (PoS 2c from KS2 onwards). Comparing pre-Columbus or pre-Cook maps of the world with modern maps is a fascinating stimulus. Older students can look at the consequences of "straight line boundaries" drawn across the map of Africa that ignore physical and cultural regions.

Colonialism and trade went hand in hand. "Interdependence" is a theme first explored at KS2 (PoS 3g), which is considered in more detail at KS3 (PoS 6 I iii) as a factor influencing levels of development. The unequal pattern of trade that developed between colonial powers and their colonies, with the former providing manufactured goods with "value added", and the latter providing cheap raw materials is examined as a cause of the "development gap" between more and less economically developed countries, as part of GCSE and A-level specifications.

The legacy of colonialism on world events can also be explored. For example, mapping the teams that are taking part in the cricket World Cup in February reveals the influence of the British Empire (QCA KS2 Unit of Study "Geography in the News"). Similarly, the issue of land reform in Zimbabwe cannot be fully understood without reference to the country's colonial past (KS3 6 I, j, k).

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