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Differing educational views on the importance of Geography

Sep 272015

We noted two somewhat differing views of Geography in recent education news.

The UK Guardian published an editorial this summer entitled, The Guardian view on geography: it’s the must-have A-level.  The editorial notes a recent Royal Geographical Society report that notes, 13% students more took geography at A-level this year than last, up to 37,100 – the biggest jump of any of the major subjects.   The editorial goes on to describe geography as a "subject for our times. It is inherently multidisciplinary in a world that increasingly values people who have the skills needed to work across the physical and social sciences".  

This perspective of the emerging importance of geography is supported by recent statistics released by the United States Department of Labor, describing job outlooks for geographers over a 10 year period from 2012 - 2022.  The report projects an increase of 29% in jobs in this occupation.

barchart illustrating growth

However, a recent item from Australia's Tech Times reports that the country's education ministers have endorsed coding to replace geography and history as part of the new digital technologies curriculum, in which students will start learning to code in Year 5 and begin programming by Year 7.

As a digital-oriented group with a passion for geography and education, we at Lizard Point have strong feelings that all these subjects are critical.  It is a shame to create a dynamic where one has to be traded off for the other.  In fact, we believe educators should be looking for ways to better integrate these subjects.  Doing things digitally, we believe, should be a natural reflex for our children - whether it be Maths, History or Geography.

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