Learning Primary Geography : Ideas and inspiration from classrooms book cover
1st Edition

Learning Primary Geography
Ideas and inspiration from classrooms

ISBN 9781138922976
Published December 10, 2015 by Routledge
244 Pages 171 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Learning Primary Geography: Ideas and inspiration from classrooms celebrates children’s learning in primary geography. It is a book for all student and practising teachers who would like children to learn about their world in an enjoyable and stimulating way. Every page presents inspiring examples of children’s learning, and explains how and why creative approaches such as enquiry learning, learning outside the classroom, and using imaginative resources work so well in primary geography. Using illustrated case studies from a range of schools and classrooms, each chapter showcases the fantastic work all children can do in primary geography.

The book explores a wide variety of geographical learning, with chapters focusing on key aspects of the subject, including:

  • primary geography through the school grounds
  •  topical geography through issues and events     
  • learning about places in primary geography        
  • children’s agency and action through primary geography

Throughout the chapters, the role of primary geography in helping children develop all types of literacies, including spatial, critical and digital literacies, is explored.

Written by a highly experienced teacher and lecturer in education, Learning Primary Geography is underpinned and illustrated by examples from a wide range of primary classrooms. It will be a source of support, guidance and inspiration for all those teaching geography in the primary school.

Table of Contents

1. A world of geography – past, present and future of geography education 2. Learning through enquiry - the pedagogies of learning in geography  3. Learning through experience - the literacies of geography4. Fabulous geography – avoiding dull learning in geography 5. Our school, our world - primary geography through the school grounds 6. Our geographical locality – primary geography through the locality  7. Real geography – topical geography through issues and events  8. Connecting geography - learning about places 9. Go geography – children’s agency and action through geography   10. Making geography work – planning for learning in geography

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Susan Pike is Lecturer in Geography Education at St. Patrick’s College, a college of Dublin City University, Ireland.


Learning Primary Geography: Ideas and inspiration from classrooms is enticing, informative and full of ideas, topics and approaches that provide active and stimulating geography teaching and learning. Well illustrated by a very wide range of classroom case studies, it shows how geography engages and motivates children. Geographical enquiry is well explained and fully underpins the book's thesis and structure. Susan Pike demonstrates how enquiry approaches deepen and extend children's knowledge and understanding of the local and wider world and of geography. This is a book that every primary teacher should read, be excited by and draw on constantly to create vigorous and invigorating geography teaching and learning for their children.’

Professor Simon Catling, Professor Emeritus of Primary Education, Oxford Brookes University, UK

‘In Learning Primary Geography: Ideas and inspiration from classroom’ Susan Pike has created a must-have resource for primary teachers, whether geography subject leaders or general practitioners. The chapters take us through a carefully structured approach to understanding the changing nature of primary geography, to pedagogical approaches that are grounded in the subject and also in understandings of how children learn, to insightful sections on the value of children’s own knowledges of the places and spaces they are familiar with, and finally, sections which connect to the content of geography. The book provides many real-world, practical examples of how to put ideas into practice, based on research with teachers conducted over a number of years. I can see that this is going to become a core text for the PGCE Primary Humanities specialist course that I lead.’

Dr Fran Martin, Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Exeter, UK

‘This book is an asset. The title of the book illustrates exactly what the book does: it connects theory and practice and it gives (student) teachers ideas and inspiration to make their pupils wonder and learn about the world around them.’

Marian Blankman, Senior Lecturer in Geography, Department of Education, Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Haarlem, Netherlands

Learning Primary Geography links up theories and practices in primary geography very effectively. It provides a strong framework for teaching geography through enquiry for all children. The numerous illustrated examples from classrooms will inspire many teachers of geography.’

Professor Daniela Schmeinck, Professor of Science Education and Social Sciences, University of Cologne, Germany

‘This book is a practical and progressive aid to both student and practising teachers, providing a framework for delivering Primary Geography curricular in a creative and engaging manner.’

Joe Usher, Lecturer in Education, St Patrick’s College, Dublin, Ireland

‘This book acts as both an inspirational and teacher-friendly resource. It offers a comprehensive overview of the pedagogy of discovery in relation to geography and, crucially, provides teachers with the instruction necessary to adopt such an approach. Children’s position at the core of the learning experience is highlighted from the outset and throughout. With Susan’s book at their disposal, teachers can banish dull and tedious geography from their classrooms for good!’

Amy Kelly, St Brigid’s Infant School, Dublin, Ireland

‘A thoroughly enjoyable and knowledgeable book surrounding learning experiences in geography. Concisely and clearly expressed, and very rich in concepts and ideas. I believe this one of the best books to support teachers in their teaching and in children's learning of geography.’

Caoimhe McCarrick, St Agnes National School, Dublin, Ireland

‘A collection that makes geography fun, worthwhile and doable! A gem of a resource for any teacher, well researched and filled to the brim with inspiring and engaging ideas! This book encapsulates the essence of geographical enquiry and shows how children's own geographies can create rewarding and meaningful exercises in citizenship. This is now my ‘go to’ book for geography.’

Caitríona Ní Cassaithe, St Joseph’s Co-Educational School, Dublin, Ireland

'Learning Primary Geography is highly practical with a hands-on approach; using the book will give teachers confidence and help them make the most of the subject.'

Sarah Brew, Parents in Touch