Let me start by introducing myself. I’m Cath. A Geographer, a teacher and most recently an employee of Rayburn Tours. For me this is a really exciting opportunity – the chance to share my love of Geography and fascination of the world with young people and those people privileged enough to teach them. (Yes I do mean privileged. I know teaching can be a relentless and exhausting task but the personal rewards and satisfactions are immeasurable.)
So “what is Geography”? A question often asked by teachers at the start of a course as they welcome keen and enthusiastic students to their lesson on the first day of a new school year. How do we engage young people, exposed to so many media influences, with a subject like Geography? That is the challenge we face but if we are to educate the current generation of young people to solve the world’s future problems then Geography must be at the heart of that education.
A recent lecture given by Professor Ian Stewart at the GA conference raised the point that the physical and human worlds can’t be separated if students are to be able to think critically and take a holistic approach to global events. A question I was often asked by students in the classroom was “Are you a physical or human Geographer Miss?” My response was always the same – I’m a Geographer. The two go hand in hand and should not be isolated from each other.
This is a time of immense change in the world of education and Geography teachers are faced with the challenge of delivering the new National Curriculum from September whilst looking forward (in a futuristic sense rather than a gleeful one) to the new GCSE and A Level specifications once confirmed. Whatever delights they contain I hope that developing critical geographical thinkers with a deeper understanding of global issues will be at their core.
A Geographer is someone who always has to sit next to the window when they’re travelling so they can ask questions about the landscape in front of them and try to find answers (or is that just me?).
For now though it’s all about the World Cup! I’ve drawn Iran in the office sweepstake. (I think they might be picking on the new girl.) Can’t say I know much about them but even with Carlos Queiroz as their manager I’m not sure they stand much of a chance of getting out of the group stages. Oh well – bring on the football!
By the way I know grammatically Geography shouldn’t have a capital letter but in my mind it’s too important not to.
Catherine Rule Geography Tours Development Manager