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Regional first for geography teaching

Dr Simon Carr, University of Cumbria (photo credit: Terry Abraham)

Geographers from across the northwest are being called to represent the area in a launch event for an internationally renowned institution for teachers.

Cumbria and North Lancashire are about to join over 40 branches of the Geographical Association at a critical time for the subject and profession.

Spearheading the move for representation is University of Cumbria’s Simon Carr, Geography lead at the Ambleside campus.

He explained that recent changes in GCSE and A-level curriculums meant many teachers felt less equipped to deliver high quality education.

Dr Carr added: “In particular, the new emphasis on fieldwork means many feel under-skilled to provide suitable experiences for their students.

“Along with Field Studies Council (FSC), we want to bring professionals together and help stem the current feeling of geographic isolation amongst Geography teachers. Until now, there has been no support network for them in the region.

“The timing is particularly important on the fieldtrip front too as the Lake District is one of the most popular destinations for schools and universities, yet many don’t make use of this iconic landscape.

“We’re now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and as a National Park, the Lake District offers a lens through which Geographers can explore many of the major global challenges.

“Climate change, environmental impacts, pollution, development and inequality can all be directly observed and analysed.”

Issues and agendas will be discussed and support systems established in a launch gathering aimed at trainees, teaching assistants, as well as teachers.

“This is a long-term initiative to develop closer partnerships across the region,” said Dr Carr.

“We want to bring geography visibility to conservation, forestry and outdoor programmes to help key influencers across the region.

“One of the key things I’d like to develop are ‘fieldtrips in a box’, with equipment and resources available for school use, aiding high quality teaching.”

Future meetings will be at the Ambleside campus, or at FSC Blencathra.

The Cumbria and North Lancashire branch is being launched at the Ambleside campus on Thursday, June 20 between 5pm and 7pm. Find out more and register HERE.

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