The experience of Geography provides students with an understanding of the world and how it changes. The subject allows students to understand processes in the physical and human world and to focus particularly on their local environment. Geography students study issues as diverse as migration, traffic management, urban sprawl and soil erosion. These and many other topics are synthesised within a number of over-arching themes including sustainable development, positive attitudes to the physical and human environments and active informed citizenship.
The Junior Certificate Geography syllabus and the Leaving Certificate Geography syllabus have contextualised Geography in the life experience of the Irish, European and global citizen. Students engage with interdependent local and global issues. The skills used and applied are skills for life. Students no longer concentrate on answering the traditional geographical question of Where? But now confidently ask the questions What?, Why? and Why not?.
This report, Looking at Geography, provides a detailed insight into post-primary students’ experience of Geography. It provides an analysis of the quality of teaching and learning in geography classrooms throughout the country. It also addresses provision, uptake, planning and assessment of Geography in our post-primary schools. It affirms the good practices observed in classrooms and highlights a number of areas for improvement. It also examines recent developments in the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the teaching and learning of Geography and the impact of the resources provided to teachers by the Leaving Certificate Geography Support Service that has been working with teachers since 2003.
This report will be of interest to all teachers of Geography, to those involved in leading and managing schools, and to those involved in teacher education and school support services.