There I was, clearing out the attic, like you do, and I came across all my files of Geography notes from University and from 20 years of teaching the subject. I realised it was probably 20 years since I had taught a Geography lesson. About three hours of browsing later I’d made up my mind, "They've got to go!”
But what about the 300 Geography text- and reference books? "Do you think the Geography Department at your school would like them?" I asked my wife. "You'd have more luck with the History Department", she retorted. I thought that was a bit harsh, but of course her school is well into this eLearning malarky with iPatches and VILEs and the like. As it turned out, they did take about a third of them and the Head of Department was delighted with the reference books for her Sixth Form, especially the Physical Geography, because that doesn't date; loads of theories on glacial geomorphology, pool and riffle sequences, and of course plate tectonics, which everyone knows about now because of the frequency of TV docs which have covered that over the years. There was a bit on LSD on the telly last night - did you know that it was good for insomnia? I'll come back to that.
All this coincided with a meeting I had with Professor David Lambert at the London Institute of Education, who was also Chief Executive of the Geographical Association until a few months ago. There I was, not only in exalted company, but surrounded by the familiarity of Geography classics - Norman Graves sat on the desk, Bill Marsden (my old tutor) on the shelf, and was that Arthur Holmes in the corner? The aroma of a University Geography Department was intoxicating. We reminisced for a while, then got down to business…
...15 months later we have a Geography Short Course, written by staff from The Geographical Association and brilliantly illustrated and designed by our own ASDAN team. What a cracking job it is too – wish I was teaching Geography again. Not only is it full of the usual skills and credits, but there are Geography-specific skills to identify and develop; the challenges are active and interactive, and bang up-to-date across nine modules. Who or what are The BRICS, for example? I didn’t know, I’m ashamed to say – do you? Looks like you will have to get one of these books to find out. The great thing about this course is that it is written by Geographers, for Geography teachers and students, for Key Stage 3 or 4, for GCSEs, EBAC Certificate, or just for fun. Check it out at www.asdan.org.uk/geography
And what about LSD? Ah, Longshore Drift… well if my wife can’t sleep she asks me to explain it to her. After all these years she still doesn’t know what it is, because she has not stayed awake long enough. Mind you it may not be the subject matter, because it is fascinating – Google it!
Brian Hobbs, Director of Accreditation