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How can a school trip help your students to think like a Geographer?

Apr 11, 2022


Geographical issues are wide ranging, important and complex. Geography should promote an awareness, interest and understanding of the world’s people and places, helping students understand the world more fully. Whilst what you do in the context of a classroom is extremely valuable, taking your students to new and exciting destinations can ignite a geographical passion which is hard to replicate in a classroom setting.

Visiting any of our destinations will cultivate curiosity in your students with the desire to learn more, seek out evidence and be open to new ideas. Here’s just a taste of how some of our trips can challenge students to address the big issues and promote geographical thinking as they start to see the world through the eyes of a geographer.

Switzerland

Switzerland

The awe-inspiring Swiss landscape is dominated by glaciers. The terrain certainly stimulates an awareness of the importance of ice, in terms of glacier formation, the effect of erosion and deposition on shaping the landscape, the significant role glaciers play as essential sources of water and renewable energy and the debilitating effects of glacial loss as a result of climate change.

First-hand experience allows students to express feelings about places and landscapes and enhances the conceptual understanding gained in the classroom, allowing connections to be made between different parts of the curriculum which can often appear unrelated in the classroom.

Morocco

Morocco

Travelling to Morocco provides a wonderful opportunity to explore the reality of a developing country. It allows students to consider how we measure development and make comparisons between countries around the world and, as a result, review and reconsider what they think they already know about development and inequality.

Being warmly welcomed into a Berber village is a memorable experience. Sharing everyday chores, separated by gender, gives an awareness of the challenges faced by the residents and an understanding of cultural attitudes and traditions. Students are able to make comparisons with their own lives, appreciate differences within places, regions and countries and engage critically with real world issues. They will learn to question, to empathise and to consider their roles in society in the future.

Netherlands

The Netherlands

Not many countries in the world are more aware of the dangers of rising sea levels and overflowing rivers than the Netherlands. Over the course of history, the country has learned to successfully mitigate the hazards of both coastal flooding and overflowing rivers by building dykes, dunes, dams and barriers.

As students visit both hard and soft engineering projects they will start to ask and pursue critical geographical questions. Why is the Netherlands vulnerable to the effects of climate change? What geographical processes are relevant in considering this issue? How is this linked to urbanisation and demography? What are the social, economic and environmental impacts of these flood defences? Are they sustainable? Students will be guided to identify connections between different aspects of geography, both physical and human, whilst developing a coherent sense of place.

South West USA

South West USA

Las Vegas is big, brash and bright and may not be the first city to spring to mind as an educational experience. Built in the desert, with the reputation of gleeful self-indulgence, this 24-hour city consumes vast amounts of energy, water and food resources and at first glance appears to offer little in the way of eco-friendly practices. Can such a city be sustainable? You might be surprised by the answer.

Las Vegas and its surroundings allow students to make real world links between physical and human geography and the ability to see things in context. As active learners there is much to investigate in terms of geographical issues: urban growth and urbanisation, water resource management, hot desert environments, sustainability. Visiting the city with your students will raise countless questions, challenge what they think they already know and create a questioning attitude about information they are presented with.

This barely scratches the surface

to see more examples of how a school trip can help your students to think like a geographer, check out the links below

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