1st Edition

The Geography Teaching Adventure Reclaiming Exploration to Inspire Curriculum and Pedagogy

By Steve Puttick Copyright 2024
    140 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    140 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Children are born explorers, full of wonder and hungry for stories about the world. What role might geography teaching play? What geographical stories do we tell about the world? What stories do we tell about geography itself? The book revisits an older vision of geography that is much bigger than exams and memorising information: dreams of adventure and discovery. But where geography’s imperial past used these tools for domination and control, this book reclaims exploration to nurture wonder and tell better stories that work towards more just, equitable and sustainable futures.

    Positioning geography teaching in relation to major global challenges, author Steve Puttick argues that the subject has a unique role to play through its ability to think across natural and social sciences in equipping young people with the skills and knowledge they need to respond. The book offers a critical and accessible analysis of geography’s entanglements with colonialism by exploring the striations of Empire in the subject. Each chapter draws on a wide range of research in geography, and finishes with practical activities and questions for reflection that can be used individually and collectively to support teachers’ ongoing professional development.

    The book is essential reading for all geography teachers at any stage of their career, as well as geography teacher educators, subject leads and school leaders with responsibility for curriculum development.

    1. The Adventure   2. Exploration and Geography  3. Striations of Empire in School Geography 4. Power, Knowledge and Prisoners  5. Journeys of Information  6. Where should we start from?  7. What stories should we tell? 


    Steve Puttick is Associate Professor of Teacher Education. He is a curriculum tutor for the Geography PGCE and MSc Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, UK.

    “When I was at school, I wanted to study geography because I was curious about the world, but the geographical knowledge, which I was introduced to, produced within me a sense of alienation and feelings of being outside of the community of scholars – a colonized object to be studied.  As a black student, I was not expected to be an explorer or a researcher. This brilliant book removes the curiosity of geographers from its racist foundations and opens up new and inclusive ways of seeing and knowing the world.”

    Professor Patricia Daley, Professor of the Human Geography of Africa, University of Oxford

    “Taking inspiration from postcolonial theory, Black studies, critical geography and beyond, Puttick poses the everyday and the local as sites and concepts with the potential to reanimate geography teaching and revivify children’s geographical imaginations. In the wake of the decolonial turn, this engagingly written, fascinating and thoroughly compelling book is an essential read for geography teachers, teacher trainers, or indeed anyone involved in geography education research. A vital contribution.”

    Professor Tariq Jazeel, Professor of Human Geography, University College London

    “This book undoubtedly weaves together significant ideas and stories, in insightful and thoughtful ways, for geography education. Though, the real joy of reading 'The Geography Adventure' is the space it opens up for the reader to actively participate in enriching conversations about the imperatives and possibilities for reclaiming exploration. The book serves as a potent reminder of why the often invisible intellectual endeavours of teachers are so vital to sustaining the ways in which geography as a subject evolves, across time and space, as it is brought to life in classrooms with and for children and young people.”

    Grace Healy, Education Director (Secondary) at the David Ross Education Trust, University of Oxford

    “An inspirational call to action for a new way of seeing the world and learning and teaching in Geography - how to help change one of the subjects often seen by children as being boring at school to become the most interesting.”

    Professor Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Human Geography, University of Oxford