Originally published in 1980, the aim of this book was to help the A-level student make the most of the opportunity to undertake a local project. The general increase of student-activity work in schools was making the project option an increasingly popular part of A-level studies in geography, but there are many problems facing the student in this, the first independent piece of work that he or she is likely to have done.
The most conspicuous difficulty is the time needed to collect data for analysis, but there are many others ranging from the fundamental question of the choice of topic to such subsequent matters as techniques of hypothesis testing and methods of presentation. The author examines all the questions that the student should ask in the course of this type of work, and he does so very much from the student’s point of view. The first half of the book deals with selecting the project, setting it up properly and carrying it through to analysis and presentation. The second half consists of a wide range of example projects which illustrate what can be achieved and the problems that arise. They are presented not as models to be copied but as illustrative examples of the general principles and problems discussed earlier in the book.
The range of opportunities available for project work will vary widely from school to school, and no book could provide comprehensive coverage. The author has therefore chosen his material carefully in order to throw light on principles and strategies. The examples are of work actually done by some of the several hundred candidates supervised by the author and they are impressive evidence of the variety of projects that can be undertaken from one home base.
This book has been prepared with the student’s point of view very much in mind. It should serve as a valuable source of ideas and guidelines for all those who choose to undertake a project at A-level and it will be useful background reading for students doing similar work in institutions of higher education.
Table of Contents
Preface. 1. Some Strategies Used in Selecting a Topic 2. The Definition of the Problem 3. The Formation of Hypotheses 4. Comments on the Collection of Data 5. Techniques Used in Hypothesis Testing 6. Conclusion and Presentation. Example Projects Study 1: The Origins of the Minor Landforms of a Scarp Slope. Study 2: Structural Influences on Valley Orientation. Study 3: An Analysis of Sound Patterns. Study 4: Local Changes in Rural Settlement Patterns. Study 5: A Test of Christaller’s Central Place Theory. Study 6: The Distribution Pattern of Monastic Estates. Study 7: An Analysis of the Changes in Connectivity of a Road Network. Glossary. Useful Sources of Data. Selected References. Index.