While sorting things out over the weekend I came across some of the books that helped me through my PGCE all those years ago. This spurred me to think about which books had been the most helpful, and which ones I would recommend to students just starting their PGCE. This list is a combination of books I found helpful during the course and books I have encountered since:
1) Secondary Geography Handbook – David Balderstone
A good comprehensive overview of some of the key issues in geography and approaches used by teachers in the classroom, ranging from ‘What is the point of learning Geography?’ (A question I have frequently been asked, inside and outside school) to ‘Understanding ‘distant places’.
2) Teaching Geography 11-18: A Conceptual Approach – David Lambert and John Morgan
I came across this book when attending the AAG (American Association of Geographers) Annual Conference in 2009 where the authors held sessions surrounding the issues covered in the book. The book examines the nature of geography in schools examining changes that have occurred and considering new developments. Furthermore, they discusses some of the key concepts of geography more generally: place, scale, interdependence, development, sustainability and others, considering how they fit into geography teaching. While this is not a book about how to teach geography as such, it s a great book to stimulate reflexive thoughts about how geography should be approached in the classroom.
3) Learning to Teach Geography in the Secondary School: A Companion to the School Experience – David Lambert and David Balderstone
Comprehensive practical guide to classroom teaching in geography, with general teaching advice but also subject specific guidance.
4) Learning Through Enquiry: Making sense of Geography in the Key Stage 3 Classroom – Margaret Roberts
Using a range of examples, this book examines how the use of enquiry in teaching geography offers stimulus to a deeper level of student thinking.
5) Learning to Teach in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience – Susan Capel, Marilyn Leask and Tony Turner
This is quite a good companion to the Learning to Teach Geography in Secondary schools mentioned above. It provides a range of guidance for a variety of aspects of teaching from classroom management to lesson planning.
6) Reflective Practice in Teaching Geography – Ashley Kent
A great book which includes a wealth of articles from a range of teachers and academics organised in three sections: Progress in Geography: Changing Viewpoints, The Geography Curriculum: Development and Planning, Research and Geography Teaching: Case Studies of How and Why Research Matters. It encourages a critical understanding of literature and concepts in geography as well as providing professionally relevant knowledge, understanding, skills and values.
7) Teaching Secondary Geography as if the Planet Matters – John Morgan
A very recent publication (July 2011) which looks at how Geography teachers can develop approaches to curriculum, and learning strategies which can help students understand the nature of the contemporary world. It encourages teachers to examine existing approaches to teaching and draw upon the insights of geography as a discipline to deepen students’ understanding topics such as ‘urban futures’, ‘climate change’, ‘geographies of food’ and the ‘geographies of the credit crunch’.
8) A-Z Advancing Geography Fieldwork – David Holmes
9) e-Geography: Using ICT in quality Geography – Fred Martin
And finally, this book is an interesting read providing a wealth of information and guidance related to concepts used in today’s geography curriculum. The chapter focus on a range of themes in UK geography including citizenship, ICT, young peoples geographies, GIS, human rights and many more. It also provides an introduction to practical classroom strategies including thinking skills approaches, use of images, GIS, and
thinking about scale.
This list is by no means comprehensive as there are a wealth of helpful teaching books out there, but these provide a good foundation for geography teaching. Do you have any favourites that aren’t listed here?