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Global learning in Geography


A geography of hope

Vol 99, No 1, Spring 2014, pp. 5-12, by David Hicks
This article raises questions about the future that learners are currently being prepared for. The author argues that geographers in school and teacher education need to become more knowledgeable about climate change, peak oil and the limits to growth, because such issues promise to create a future very different from today. The article also draws attention to the need for teaching approaches that can help learners face such hazards in a spirit of optimism and hope.


A sustainable view of sustainability?

Vol 99, No 1, Spring 2014, pp. 47-50, by Alaric Maude
Sustainability is a widely-used concept in geographical education, yet its meaning is often difficult to pin down: it is frequently equated with sustainable development and defined in terms derived from the Bruntland Commission’s influential report as, ‘the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations’ Alaric argues that, ‘sustainability’ and ‘sustainable development’ are very different concepts, and outlines an alternative way of describing sustainability that is intended to help students in understanding what the term means and how it can be applied to the evaluation of environmental conditions.


Challenging Assumptions: Controversy in Bangladesh: what sort of knowledge for what sort of flood management?

Vol 93 Part 2 Summer 2008, by Brian R. Cook
This article compares three different ways of understanding flood management in Bangladesh: the engineering paradigm, the behavioural paradigm, the development paradigm and the hidden assumptions that underlie them.


Challenging Assumptions: Wake up and smell the masala: contested realities in urban India

Vol 96 Part 2 Summer 2011, by Carl Lee
In this article Carl Lee looks at Bengaluru (Bangalore), India, and questions whether India’s economic liberalisation has led to a more just and equal society.


Challenging Assumptions: World poverty – what can we do about it?

Vol 94 Part 3 Autumn 2009, by Anna Barford
Anna Barford argues that the way poverty is framed in mainstream politics and the media illuminates some aspects of the issue, while obscuring others, so efforts to alleviate poverty may not be addressing its real causes. Rethinking how we talk about poverty, can help us to see what is missing from dominant explanations of poverty.


Children and young people on the move: geographies of child and youth migration

Vol 97 Pt 3 Autumn 2012, by Caitríona Ní Laoire, Allen White, Naomi Tyrrell and Fina Carpena-Méndez
This article explores migration processes, as they are experienced and constructed at both global and local scales, from the perspectives of migrant children and young people. It highlights the important roles played by children and young people in global population movements and explores the spatiality of identity, belonging, mobility and settlement as these are shaped and experienced by migrant children and young people.


Deadly diets: geographical reflections on the global food system

Vol 95 Part 2 Summer 2010, by E.M. Young
This article considers the contemporary food system and suggests that it is deadly in several respects. It fails to feed approximately one billion people adequately each year yet manages to overfeed approximately 800 million people worldwide. It fails to protect the environment upon which we all depend for sustainable food production.


Development: geographical perspectives on a contested concept

Vol 99, No 2, Summer 2014, pp. 60-66, by Katie Willis
This article is the first in a series which critically explores key concepts in global learning. It introduces three main ways in which geographers have approached the concept of development: modernisation, Marxist analysis and poststructuralism. First, it lays out why ‘development’ is such a challenging term to define. It then draws out how the three approaches differ from each other in terms of their definitions of development, their explanatory power and the questions they pose, arguing that in order to understand different approaches to development, networks of economic resources, ideology and political power need to be recognised. Finally, the article uses Malawi as a case study to highlight the range of perspectives that current geographical research brings to the study of development.


Development and fieldwork

Vol 96 Part 1 Spring 2011, by Cheryl McEwan
Cultural difference and identity tend not to be a feature of many books on development. Consequently, generations of students in the global North have been socialised into particular modes of thinking about the ‘Third World’ or the ‘less developed world’. In response, this article focuses on the ethical issues raised by the practicalities of fieldwork in development.


Ecotourism in Amazonian Peru: uniting tourism, conservation and community development

Vol 96 Part 2 Summer 2011, by Cheryl McEwan
Cultural difference and identity tend not to be a feature of many books on development. Consequently, generations of students in the global North have been socialised into particular modes of thinking about the ‘Third World’ or the ‘less developed world’. In response, this article focuses on the ethical issues raised by the practicalities of fieldwork in development.


Female genital cutting: crossing borders

Vol 99, No 1, Spring 2014, pp. 20-27, by Hazel Barrett
Over 140 million girls and women globally have been subjected to the harmful practice of female genital cutting (FGC). While FGC is concentrated in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, the practice is spreading to other parts of the world – including Europe and the UK – as international migration continues to increase. This article explores the ‘Mental Map’ of FGC using examples from research undertaken with Somali and Sudanese communities in the UK and Netherlands. The article explains how the continuation of FGC is motivated by a complex mix of inter-related socio-cultural factors and how beliefs associated with religion, hygiene and female sexuality combine with social norms and community enforcement mechanisms to perpetuate the practice, despite negative health implications and the fact that the practice is illegal in the EU.


Geographies of interdependence

Vol 100, No 1, Spring 2015, pp. 12-19, by Joe Smith
Interdependence is a powerful conceptual tool that can help make sense of complex social, economic, cultural and ecological interrelationships. The article summarises the political, policy and cultural uses of the term, the range of different disciplines that have worked with interdependence and some of the hazards of working with the concept. The concept is a valuable reference point in developing thinking about the geographies of vulnerability and responsibility. The article concludes that thinking in terms of interdependence not only helps to sketch out relationships and consequences in ways that respect complexities, but also informs any action.


Making development work in Africa (part 1): uplifting livelihoods

Vol 94 Part 1 Spring 2009, by Jennifer L. Hill and Ross A. Hill
Jennifer and Ross Hill investigate two ecotourism enterprises that operate within Tambopata, Peru. The article highlights the intricacies of the relationship between ecotourism, environmental conservation and local community development.


Making development work in Africa (part 2): enhancing sustainability

Vol 94 Part 2 Summer 2009, by Tony Binns
In Africa community-based development has a key role to play in ensuring human survival and uplifting livelihoods. This article critically examines seven key criteria for the success of local development initiatives. Part 2 focuses on sustainability, engaging and disengaging the community, and replicating elsewhere.


Population and the future

Vol 100, No 1, Spring 2015, pp. 36-44, by Ray Hall
After examining how world population reached the current total of 7.2 billion, this article uses 2012 population projections to show how the numbers of people, their distribution, fertility and mortality might change over the next 90 years, and the consequent changes in world age structures. After a brief discussion of global migration patterns, particularly rural to urban and the resultant growth in the urban population, Ray considers demographic pressures and global challenges in the 21st century.


Postcolonial spaces and identities

Vol 97 Pt 2 Summer 2012, by Tariq Jazeel
In the second of two articles on postcolonialism, Tariq Jazeel continues to explore of what use a basic understanding of postcolonialism is for geography students. The article outlines the processes of cultural mixing that resulted from the networked spatialities produced by colonialism and imperialism, referred to as hybridity with examples from the UK and abroad.


Postcolonialism: Orientalism and the geographical imagination

Vol 97 Pt 1 Spring 2012, by Tariq Jazeel
This is the first of two articles that together outline of what use an understanding of postcolonialism can be for geography students. Tariq Jazeel suggests that ‘postcolonial theory’ offers students a valuable tool for a critical and inquisitive undoing of our received geographical knowledges, particularly to interrogate inequalities, power and privilege.


Poverty: multiple perspectives and strategies

Vol 100 Pt 1 Spring 2016, by Charlotte Lemanski
This article explores the different definitions of poverty that have dominated development geography at different periods over the past 50 years. It argues that that there is no single correct definition, that different measures of highlight different needs, and that poverty is experienced and understood differently by different people in different regions and at different times. The article focuses on urban poverty, and the implications of the contemporary urbanising world for humanity’s understanding of poverty.


Progress in geography

Vol 96 Part 2 Autumn 2011, by John Hopkin
John Hopkin argues that school geography self-evidently has something to say about progress, especially through the idea of development as applied to countries and regions. This article focuses on geographical knowledge, before arguing for raising standards through fresh thinking about the knowledge component of school geography.


Spotlight On… ‘The Spirit Level’

Vol 95 Part 3 Autumn 2010, by Lyndsay Grant and Glen O’Hara
Lyndsay Grant and Glen O’Hara review The Spirit Level, summarising the argument for a link between inequality and human welfare, particularly in ‘developed’ societies.


Taking on the world

Vol 99, No 1, Spring 2014, pp. 36-39, by Doreen Massey
Doreen argues that students need to be introduced to a twenty-first century that is utterly globalised and an earth that is thoroughly interconnected. She suggests that geography is one of the few disciplines that has the potential to bring together some of this complexity, to address this dynamic interdependent world and to address the question of what we mean by global.


Teaching about multicultural food to multicultural students in a multicultural school

Vol 95 Part 2 Summer 2010, by Daniel Mace
This article describes how the Food Stories website has been used with year 11 students to help develop their understanding of cultural pluralism, integration and assimilation.


The causes of international inequality

Vol 99, No 2, Summer 2014, pp. 104-107, by Anna Barford
This article considers international inequality in terms of the ambitions and unequal relationships that create, sustain and are characteristic of our hierarchical society. Anna looks beyond the explanations that blame the poor for their poverty and congratulate the rich for their wealth. Using examples from a study visit to Kenya, she demonstrates how a focus on the distribution and movement of resources between socio-economic groups can enable a holistic understanding of the forces that promote inequality.


The concept of race

Vol 96 Part 1 Spring 2011, by Arun Saldanha
This article provides a critical account of some of the mechanisms whereby differentiation happens along racial lines. A framework for approaching race and racism is suggested that will hopefully help to clear the confusion about the category of race in geographical education and research.


The EU sugar reform and the responses of Caribbean sugar producers

Vol 95 Part 2 Summer 2010, by Pamela Richardson-Ngwenya
This article discusses the effect of the European Union Sugar Reform for two specific Caribbean localities: Barbados and St Kitts. It highlights how political decisions made in one locality have significant ramifications for places and peoples at a distance, and suggests the importance of recognising our global interconnectivity and responsibilities.


Thinking geographically

Vol 91 Part 3 Autumn 2006, by Peter Jackson
In a landmark paper Peter Jackson argues for thinking geographically, emphasising the discipline’s grammar – its theories and concepts – and making a case for four key concepts, including their local-global dimensions. The paper applies these ideas to addressing some of the ethical complexities involved in charitable giving to development NGOs. Jackson argues that thinking geographically provides the language to help make sense of connections between places and scales.


Ugly beautiful? Counting the cost of the global fashion industry

Vol 93 Part 1 Spring 2008, by Louise Crewe
This article asks you to think geographically about fashion. It argues for a relational approach to the study of fashion, one that brings the complex connections between production, branding, retailing and wearing into simultaneous and mutually constitutive view. It shows how the global maps of clothing supply and retailing expose our complicity as consumers in the production of deeply unequal geographies of fashion.

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