Geography turns the corner

1st September 2006 at 01:00
Despite being dogged by lack of status, a dated curriculum and falling pupil numbers, geography is on the up, says a key speakspeaker at this week's Royal Geographical Society conference.

Eleanor Rawling, from the department of educational studies at Oxford university, told The TES that the subject was "on the cusp" of change after years of neglect.

Mrs Rawling was due speak at the society's international conference in London this week about challenges the subject has faced and its future. She said a pound;2 million action plan to invest in better support, communication and development for the subject, along with positive feedback from a pilot GCSE in "more relevant, real world" geography, showed the subject was in a good position.

She said teachers and geographers had battled for more than a decade to improve the subject's status after it was sidelined in the Government's drive to focus on the core subjects of English, maths and science. Mrs Rawling said: "Kids were switching off. The subject didn't relate to what was going on around them."

The number of pupils taking geography at GCSE has been in decline for a number of years. This year, 213,469 students took the subject, down 1.5 per cent on last year. Rival humanities history and religious education enjoyed increased numbers with a 1.9 and 8.2 per cent year-on-year rise respectively.

More than 1,300 delegates were due to attend the three-day conference which ends today at the society's headquarters in Kensington Gore. Topics for debate included contemporary urban childhood, travel to school initiatives, and what children thought adults should be doing about the environment.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now