A personal journey through the world of GIS, teaching and development of students’ core knowledge

Adrian Manning


School geography in the United Kingdom (UK) is under pressure to justify its place in the country’s National Curriculum. It has experienced a general decline in the number of students taking it at GCSE, A-Level and University, in the face of growing competition from subjects seen as being more ‘trendy’. Thus, it has had to look within itself and find ways to appeal to, or reposition within, the student ‘marketplace’. One way has been to ‘jump on the bandwagon’ of the digital revolution, and as a result the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is becoming more common in the secondary Geography classroom. However, to get the most out of GIS a number of fundamental questions need to be addressed, for example: How can teachers harness, and get the most out of the many GIS programmes on the market? Should they simply teach about GIS? Or is there a wider and deeper approach? Can GIS be seen as part of the wider toolkit which a teacher uses to communicate geographical concepts and stimulate students to think geographically? This paper will establish the purpose, as I see it from the perspective of an experienced educator, for the inclusion of GIS as part of everyday classroom activity. I will discuss how I have gone about creating series of lessons and resources to teach students key geographical skills, knowledge and understanding through their direct interaction and manipulation of GIS resources.

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Sponsoring Organizations:

Sapienza Università di Roma University of Helsinki Università di Torino Western Michigan University


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Edizioni Nuova Cultura


Online ISSN: 2281 - 5694 Print ISSN: 2281 – 4310 © 2013 - Edizioni Nuova Cultura