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The 5 Subjects In Geography Essay, Research Paper

GY202 Geographic Thought

Essay # 1 & # 8211 ; The Five Subjects in Geography

September 6, 1995

John Doe

During the 1980 & # 8217 ; s the United States showed intolerably low trial tonss on simple Geographic trials. The point Committee on Geographic Education could merely impute these consequences to Geographic Illiteracy, non merely on the portion of the pupils, but more significantly on the pedagogues themselves. By 1984 it had become inexplicably clear that immediate action must take topographic point to antagonize this on-going job in our educational establishments ( Journal of Geography 89 ) . In response, the Joint Committee on Geographic Education produced a landmark publication entitled & # 8220 ; Guidelines for Geographic Education & # 8221 ; . This papers contained a range and sequence in Geography with suggested larning consequences for the states primary and secondary school systems, every bit good as suggested educational schemes for analysis on the portion of the pupils and instructors. Most significantly, this article provided the Five Fundamental Themes in Geography, which have evolved to go an built-in component of societal surveies instruction, because they take the universe of geographic survey beyond the kingdom of basic memorisation, and into a new plane of analysis and execution. These five subjects include location, topographic point, human-environment interactions, motion, and parts.

Location answers the inquiry of & # 8220 ; where? & # 8221 ; . If you plan to run into person at a specific clip, and a specific topographic point, the inquiry of & # 8220 ; Where will you run into? & # 8221 ; must foremost be answered. To decide this state of affairs, Geography employs Absolute Location, and Relative Location.

Absolute Location applies a grid-matrix system to the Earth & # 8217 ; s surface in the signifier of co-ordinates. These co-ordinates, longitude and latitude, allow geographers to nail exact countries of the Earth & # 8217 ; s surface, and other planetal organic structures as good. If Geographers wish to use satellite engineering to detect an country of the Earth & # 8217 ; s surface, co-ordinates are used to nail an exact location.

Relative Location replies the simple inquiry of where you would run into a individual. For illustration: & # 8220 ; Let & # 8217 ; s meet at Martin Hall, the edifice next to the Library. & # 8221 ; But, comparative location is much deeper than simple location. It besides involves mutuality of a location based upon its resources, people, and environment.

If one wishes to construct a ski resort, the location of that resort must be comparative with the environment of the location. It would be unlogical, and non-profitable to construct a ski resort in the Mojave desert. However, it would be logical to construct a resort in the higher lifts of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Idaho, or Montana.

Every country on the surface of the Earth is defined by some type of characteristic. Siberia is known to be really cold, but besides a portion of the Soviet Union, a once communist state. Belize is known to be really warm, but it is besides an English speech production state which houses a tropical rain wood. To specify these basic geographical features, Geographers have placed them into three classs under the header of & # 8220 ; topographic point & # 8221 ; & # 8211 ; Physical, Human, and Observed Characteristics.

Physical Features are those features which define the physical environment of a topographic point. This environment includes the clime, physical terrain, and works and carnal life.

Human Features are those things which people have done to an environment to alter them. People concept edifices in which to populate, store, work, pray, and play. Peoples are besides defined by their faith, race, languages they speak, and doctrines and political orientations in which they live.

Observed Features are in portion an flood of human features. Peoples change their environment, this alteration can be observed in mundane life ; the roads we use to acquire to work or school, the power lines used to heat our places, the pollution exuded from our mills to pro

duce the luxuries we crave, all of these represent alterations to our environment. These physical alterations represent the ascertained features of a topographic point.

Human- Environment interactions are the manner people react with their environment ( Guidelines for Geographic Education ) . Populating with the environment is non a one manner street, we can non continually anticipate to take from mother Earth without giving something in return. We take for granted the air we breathe, the H2O we drink, the nutrient we consume, and the houses in which we live. The of import thing to retrieve is where did these comfortss come from?

The human population continues to pour 1000s of dozenss of burning emanations into the atmosphere every twenty-four hours, these emanations include non merely C dioxide, but chloroflourocarbons from refrigerants as good, which escalates the depletion of the ozone ( O3 ) bed exponentially ( movie & # 8211 ; Geography coach ) . Merely late did our authoritiess pass a jurisprudence censoring the usage of chloroflorocarbons. Sadly, worlds continue to consume one of Earth & # 8217 ; s greatest natural resources which could help in the natural fix of the ozone bed, our rain woods. The list of misdemeanors people incur upon the environment everyday is eternal, but it is the most of import of the five subjects in geographics & # 8211 ; Human/Environment interactions & # 8211 ; and the ground is really simple. If our population continues to ravish the environment in the manner in which it has over the last two hundred old ages, really shortly, there will be no environment left. Mother nature is really forgiving, but her resources are being pulled out from under her at a rate in which she can non mend herself. If she dies, we all shall certainly die every bit good.

Motion is merely the migration of people, merchandises, information, and thoughts within or between parts ( Journal of Geography 1990 ) . Peoples on Earth are now linked in virtually every manner via transit, communicating, and technological webs which allow for the sharing of thoughts, doctrines, goods, and services within virtually every corner of the Earth.

The last of the five subjects of geographics consists of the thought of parts. A part is non merely a topographic point where a group of people of similar nationality, race, or spiritual belief reside. A part can besides be a defining physical feature of a topographic point. The Sahara and Sahel of Africa is a desert part. Defined by its systematically hot and dry clime. Great Britain of old encompassed one of the greatest regional imperiums of the universe, which extended from Australia, to Belize, to the North American Continent, and eventually to her ain islands. A part merely put, is a topographic point which has a alone physical, racial, cultural, or environmental characteristic which defines it individually form other parts.

The five cardinal subjects of geographics offer educators a new and alone position on the universe of geographics. This position breaks down the huge array of cognition contained in the universe of geographics into its simplest simplest signifier, leting instructors to convey the basic constructs of geographics. These basic constructs are the cardinal to understanding. Once the pupil learns the five basic subjects, he or she can so use the subjects to virtually every facet of our physical and cultural environment. Which in the terminal will supply a much deeper apprehension of geographics, every bit good as extinguishing the job of geographic illiteracy in our schools. After all, instruction is non memorisation, instruction is understanding.

1. & # 8220 ; The Four Traditions of Geography & # 8221 ; , The Journal of Geography, May 1964, pg. 211 & # 8211 ; 213, William D. Pattison

2. & # 8220 ; The New School Geography: A Critique & # 8221 ; , The Journal of Geography, February 1990, pg. 27 & # 8211 ; 30, Robert Harper

3. & # 8220 ; An Amplification of the Fundamental Themes in Geography & # 8221 ; , Social Education, May 1994, pg. 211 & # 8211 ; 213, Richard G. Boehm and James F. Petersen.

4. & # 8220 ; Guidelines for Geographic Education & # 8221 ; , National Council for Geographic Education and Association of American Geographers. , 1984.

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