The purpose of this course is to introduce teacher candidates to basic knowledge, skills/techniques, attitudes and methodologies applicable in the successful teaching of geography and social studies at the J/I level. The course will, therefore, deal with both the practical and theoretical issues related to the teaching of geography and environmental education in Ontario's schools.
The course is an enabling process to help you develop your own teaching and learning beliefs through experiencing and experimenting with the ways geography's concepts and skills can help students learn. It stresses that reflection and analysis about their own teaching are critical elements in the life-long developmental process of being teacher first, geographer second.
Geography is not a collection of arcane information. Rather, it is the study of spatial aspects of human existence. People everywhere need to know about the nature of their world and their place in it. Geography has more to do with asking questions and solving problems than it does with memorization of isolated facts.
So what exactly is Geography? It is an integrative discipline that brings together the physical and human dimensions of the world in the study of people, places, and environments. Its subject matter is Earth's surface and the processes that shape it, the relationships between people and environments, and the connections between people and places.
The world facing students on graduating will be more crowded, the physical environment more threatened, and the global economy more competitive and interconnected. Understanding that world, that environment, and that economy will require high levels of competency in Geography, because Geography means a sensitivity to location, to scale, to movement, to patterns, to resources and conflicts, to maps and geographics.