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Teaching environmental geography

The environment is very central in geography because it is at the interaction of physical and human worlds. Environment as a concept is a powerful way of understanding, explaining and thinking about the world. It also includes aspects such as values and change that are fundamental to geography, as well as the key concepts of place and space. ‘Environment’ encompasses most of what we consider to be ‘geographical’.

Teaching about the environment provides geographers with an opportunity to teach students about pressing global issues, such as how human activities are threatening the biosphere and the world’s resources and how this is resulting in inequalities and poverty that adversely affect the quality of life for billions of people.

Students need to have a secure understanding of the underlying human and physical geography processes before they are asked to apply them to environmental issues and questions.