Give us debate, not prejudice

7th January 2005 at 00:00
Alex Standish complains that geography has lost its bearings due to a narrowing of the geographical content of the curriculum. Bizarrely, he claims this is partly due to too much teaching of global issues and that this is a retreat from geography's intellectual foundations.

Standish should know that knowledge and understanding of the world has always been at geography's core: it has also had an interest in global citizenship, whether in the service of Empire, in the interests of international peace in the 1930s, or more recently concerned with development and environmental issues.

He offers no evidence for his claims that teachers are failing to keep up with a changing world and "turning away from the discipline's ideas and knowledge".

We need a serious debate about what geography can offer the 21st century - but this collection of half-baked theories and prejudice dressed up as fact is not it.

Dr John Hopkin. 30 Greenhill Road. Moseley, Birmingham

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