1st Edition

Powerful Primary Geography A Toolkit for 21st-Century Learning

By Anne M. Dolan Copyright 2020
    268 Pages 96 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    268 Pages 96 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Powerful Primary Geography: A Toolkit for 21st-Century Learning explores the need for children to understand the modern world and their place in it. Dedicated to helping teachers inspire children’s love of place, nature and geographical adventures through facilitating children’s voice and developing their agency, this book explores the way playful opportunities can be created for children to learn how to think geographically, to solve real-life problems and to apply their learning in meaningful ways to the world around them.

    Based on the very latest research, Powerful Primary Geography helps children understand change, conflict and contemporary issues influencing their current and future lives and covers topics such as:

    • Weather and climate change

    • Sustainability

    • Engaging in their local and global community

    • Graphicacy, map work and visual literacy

    • Understanding geography through the arts.

    Including several case studies from primary schools in Ireland, this book will help aid teachers, student teachers and education enthusiasts in preparing children for dealing with the complex nature of our contemporary world through artistic and thoughtful geography. Facilitating children’s engagement as local, national and global citizens ensures geography can be taught in a powerful and meaningful manner.


    1. Powerful primary geography: Setting the scene
    2. Powerful geographical thinking: Initiating investigations and enquiry-based learning
    3. Teaching powerful geography through place
    4. Playful approaches to powerful geography: Games, artefacts and fun
    5. Teaching geography powerfully through topics: Weather and climate change
    6. Teaching powerful geography through graphicacy, map work and visual literacy
    7. Teaching powerful geography through the arts
    8. Powerful geography: Teaching citizenship, global learning and the Sustainable Development Goals

    Appendix 1: Card-sorting activity for teaching about volcanoes

    Appendix 2: Weather glossary



    Anne M. Dolan is a lecturer in primary geography with the Department of Learning, Society and Religious Education in Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland. Anne is passionate about primary geography and she is keen to share this passion with her students and primary teachers. She is particularly interested in creative approaches to geography, interdisciplinary collaboration and the use of the arts in geographical explorations. As a researcher, Anne focuses on outdoor learning, geoliteracy, children’s concepts of place and creative approaches to geography.

    "This is a book which is excellent on many different levels. It sets out a broad vision of geography as a learning journey which will take today’s pupils to the final decades of the present century. The text is well structured and underpinned by a clear sense of values and purpose." - Dr Stephen Scoffham, Teaching Geography

    "I look forward immensely to using this book. Anne Dolan and all the schools ho contributed to this wonderful book are to be commended for their vision, commitment and hope to make teaching geography personal, political, and powerful." - Paula Galvin, INTOUCH

    "This book stands as a ground-breaking contribution to the teaching, learning and researching of primary geography education. It aids educators to reflect critically on their own practices, current global and local issues, and how these can be addressed meaningfully in their future educational practices. It should make for essential reading for all interested in geography education, climate change education, sustainability education and in education which positions children’s agency and action to the forefront more broadly." - Joe Usher, Irish Educational Studies