Changing place; changing places

About this core theme

This core theme explores key theoretical concepts and perspectives in order to identify and research the geographical nature of place. The topic requires students to investigate a local place in which they study or live and at least one further contrasting place.

Place can be understood as a geographical nexus of connections and linkages between flows of people, resources, information, investment or capital, which all come together in and define a geographical location or locality. Students must have an awareness of how these shifting connections shape the demographic, socio-economic and cultural characteristics of a place and how this accounts for places to be so dynamic at all geographical scales.

Place can also be understood in terms of the cultural meaning attached to it by particular individuals and/or groups. How and why people perceive place in different ways may be based on their own identity, age, gender, sexuality or class, but it can also be based on the previous heritage or the current nature of a certain place. Students must develop an awareness that representations and meanings of place are constantly being remade over time and help to shape the actions and behaviour of individuals, groups, businesses and institutions in these places.

Resources to support your teaching

Top Spec Geography: Changing Places by Emma Rawlings Smith, Simon Oakes and Alastair Owens

This book meets the requirements of the 2016 A levels in England and Wales. The book includes:

  • how meanings and representations that are attached to places help to shape human actions and behaviours that affect places. These meanings include attachment to landscapes, and why one place looks and feels very different from another
  • how relationships that exist between people, economy, society and environment can explain why places are constantly changing. This includes ways in which people change places through local actions, or ways in which change is ‘done’ to them, e.g. regeneration schemes. Places are not shaped solely by local factors; they are connected in economic, cultural and political ways in an increasingly globalised world.

Article bundles

Changing Place; Changing Places: article bundle (Geography Matters)

This bundle of articles have been written by members of the GA’s Post-16 and HE Phase Committee and published in their annual ‘Geography Matters’ newsletter. These twelve articles (download contents page) have been selected to support teachers when planning ‘Changing Place; Changing Places’ for the 2016 A level. The bundle is free for GA members to download.

Changing Places: journal article bundle (Geography)

This bundle of six articles were published in the journal, Geography, an internationally renowned academic journal which publishes high-level research. These six articles (download contents page) have been selected as they offer subject knowledge for teachers on changing place. The bundle is available to buy with substantial discounts for GA members.

Changing Places: journal article bundle (Teaching Geography)

These articles were published in the journal, Teaching Geography, the GA’s journal for secondary geography teachers. These six articles (download contents page) offer advice and guidance for teaching the ‘Changing place; Changing places’ theme. The bundle is available to buy with substantial discounts for GA members.

Changing Places case studies: journal article bundle (Teaching Geography)

These articles were published in the journal, Teaching Geography, the GA’s journal for secondary geography teachers. These six articles (download contents page) offer provide relevant case studies for teaching the ‘Changing place; Changing places’ theme. The bundle is available to buy with substantial discounts for GA members.

Changing Places Resource booklet

This booklet was produced for a GA CPD event on changing places by Emma Rawlings Smith. It aims to develop an understanding of place; it looks at how and why places are changing and explores some teaching strategies for teaching about place. It is free for members to download.

Videocasts

These short videocasts can be used in lessons with students.

Population change

In this five-minute video aimed at A level and university students, Professor Danny Dorling talks about population growth and decline, immigration and the prospects for the UK if the No vote win a majority to leave the EU in the forthcoming referendum.

Connections and thinking across scales

In this three-minute video, Professor Peter Jackson explains how geographic thinking can be used to find connections in the world which are not immediately apparent. For example, areas that many people see as separate (the global north and the global south, or urban and rural areas) are in fact connected. The video would be an excellent introduction to A level thinking about connections, and begin a discussion on how factors like demography, food production and energy production are truly global systems.

Urbanisation

In this seven minute video, Dr. Charlotte Lemanski discusses urbanisation. Specifically it’s meaning and common misconceptions of this, where it is happening, key terminology and finally data used to measure the process.

Urban poverty

The expansion of cities and towns due to global urbanisation has led to increasing rates of urban poverty as those with low skills struggle to cope with the daily challenges of city life. In this six minute video, Dr. Charlotte Lemanski discusses urban poverty. Specifically the effects of urbanisation on poverty in the Urban South, defining poverty and urban poverty, how urban poverty differs from rural poverty and finally the wider implications of urban poverty.

Other teaching resources

Population and housing in the UK

This section provides the outlines for ten lessons, which are fully resourced and provides an excellent introduction to this theme. They could slot into units of work on urban areas or rural change.

Thinking Global, Looking Local: Teaching the new Human Geography from 2016

Dr. Simon Oakes delivers an exciting session at the 2015 Geographical Association Conference in Manchester. His session supports the Eduqas AS/A level Geography qualifications first teaching in September 2016. Part 1 and Part 2 videos are all about the ‘Changing place; changing places’ core theme.

Part 1

Part 2

Sample assessment materials

Here are the Sample Assessment Materials (SAMs) for the four Awarding Bodies for the Changing Places theme, can be downloaded by GA members. They include sample questions and associated mark schemes and notes for answers.

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