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Geography and the Future Author(s): Rex Walford Source: Geography, Vol. 69, No. 3 (June 1984), pp.

193-208 Published by: Geographical Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40570839 . Accessed: 16/09/2011 05:04
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and Geography theFuture


Rex Walford
President 1983-84

" is with premise the that"geography everywhere. ABSTRACT. Thisaddressstarts must and about their Human beings'innate surroundings environment be curiosity on are not stimulated teachers, repressed. Briefreviews presented thestateof by in corecurriculum debate,and inpublicpercepgeography schools, in thecurrent treads precarious a tionand themedia: geography pathand seemsto be nowadays with in of geographical poorly represented thecorridors power. Those concerned education in thefuture face threechallenges:theneed to respondto curricular initiatives fromoutsidegeography;theneed to improvegeography's originating and teachers the and theneed to integrate community geography of public image; more action. The importance thefuture academicsfor moreeffective impinges of in and more on the geographyof thepresent:thistoo should be reflected our teaching. It is ironicthat in 1984 the Big Brotherwhom we cannot escape appears to be George So Orwell. Articlesabout him are everywhere. let me make the necessaryobeisance and of thanthefirst searchno further (Orwell, 1949,p.5): Eighty-Four paragraph Nineteen his Winston thirteen. were and cold It was a bright dayinApril theclocks Smith, chin striking doors the in to nuzzled hisbreast aneffort escapethevile into wind, through glass swiftly slipped dust of a toprevent swirl gritty from notquickly ofVictory Mansions, entering enough though with him. along

on at Address a conference is Whatpossiblerelevance thisbrief quote to a Presidential of lexicon theelements is The relevance. paragraph anexemplary Every possible geography? form basisofoursubject. the which The bright dayin April(ah, an anti-cyclone theNorth cold over striking Sea); theclocks our has institution beenchanged cherished British thirteen yetanother following entry (yes, Mansions(the of Smith(the case study humankind); into the EEC); Winston Victory of the of dust, tower-blocks, townscape); swirl gritty thevile symbol theemergent regretted textual Is base and synoptic wind(the environmental - geology weather). suchsimple on near recorded a bridge I withthegraffiti deludedoverclaim? respond only analysis is in Bedworth Warwickshire: "Geography everywhere". into is that If we translate sentiment "Geography everywhere" somekindof realistic on to we be that ought baseourteaching it for education, might this: principle geographical is of andideas,theessence thesubject inthe all therealisation for itstheories, that, concepts an and and us of around as wevariously elements theworld them, that interest perceive order
of the Conference theAssociaon address 17th this RexWalford delivered presidential during Annual April1984, Association 1984. tion. TheGeographical

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intheseelements of Howextraordto person. ought be a fundamental curiosity an educated if to contrives maketheworld unreal worse still, or, inary ourteaching boring. of Most of us are geographers geography and teachers becauseof thenurturing that we it or about our surroundings, however dignify intellectually, however we curiosity both role moral socialpurposes. essential inschools, and Our shapeittowards subsequently in and that and and to too, primary secondary, incolleges isatleast stimulate inform curiosity thosewhom teach.Perhaps greatest know tohavestudents is we the sadness should we pass who from classesunmotivated further our students in to the around them; investigate world laterlifewillbe sedentary tunnel-visioned, or cocoonedin weekly Bingo,and who will to of a respond thestories thelately-travelled with bland only inconsequence. Sometimes stimulation this than of, happens quitenaturally inspite rather becauseof, theteaching do. As W. J.Turner's we it: "Romance" (1939,p. 1) simple puts poem
WhenI was butthirteen so or I wentintoa goldenland Chimborazo,Cotopaxi Took me bythehand too died, mybrother My father dreams Theypassed likefleeting I stoodwherePopacatapetl In thesunlight gleams

I dimly heardthemaster's voice And boys,faroff play, at Chimborazo,Cotopaxi Had stolenme away . . .

I likea landscape with mountains. viewto meis wholly No somedistant without satisfying For several elevation. Mountains thebeautiful in yearsI enjoyedtheMourne constituency in I to but them which, mydeclining years, havetheprivilege represent; I enjoyed passively, Then it one visually, uncritically. suddenly I think waswhen contemplating daythecomplex of "There wallson a mountain - I saidto myself side geometric patterns thestone boundary must somecomprehensible be discoverable for explanation allthat". From that moment nature my the of pleasure altered enhanced; landscape was was and the with I became enthusiastic an amateur field of doubts, peopled problems, questions, puzzlements. settlement in in to a a of answers patterns, history,dabbler geology, traveller search evermore evermorequestions. very The for wallsthemselves become objects niceinspection have the of thesakeofthehistoric economic and I can no queries they raise.Nowprobably question could askhasnotbeenaskeda hundred let times The of hitting a newquestion, on before. chance my alone a fresh mustbe remote. Nevermind, am stillin enjoyment a newand I of answer, inexhaustible (Powell, zest. 1983). - though seemshe stilldoes notknowitbyname- Enoch Powellhas come Thus belatedly it to add geography hislove of theclassics. to Powell's articulate of recapitulation a singlemoment maynotbe thewaythatmostofus can describe the genesis of our interest geography, thereis surelya moment a period in or but somewherein our liveswhen something us. stirred Or at least, I hope thereis. Otherwiseit and pragmatic attachment whichwe have to thesubject. maybe a verypedestrian Was it the exhilaration a hill-top of or view,a youthful passion forrailways aviation,the stimulus an overseasholiday,a travel of book recommended an enthusiastic or teacher, an by old book ofmaps discoveredin theattic?Somewhere therehas been alongtheway,I suggest, a formative influence mostofus; and thesubsequent for of rationalising ourcareerintentions and our progress that. stem,in some part,from If I searchmyown life-history go as farback as an earlychildhoodmemory having I can of The Windin theWillowsread to me, and ofseeingthemap which was itsfrontispiece (Fig. 1). I remember how itcaughtmyimagination. was probably It beforeI could readproperly an 1984 Geography

To others maynothappen school, much it in from the at but later life. this Consider extract of a well-known whoseeducation schoolwas orientated towards at writings publicfigure, LatinandGreek, rather togeography: than

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to Fig. 1.- Frontispiece The Windin theWillows(Grahame, 1938) of undertheBerne convention, Map by E. H. Shepardcopyright by reproduced permission CurtisBrownLtd.

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of individualcorroboration theresearchofBlaut and Stea (1974) and othersthatgraphicacy for of and can precede literacy be a potentform communication children longbeforetheygo is to school. You willnoticethatthefrontispiece notquitea map,butmorean oblique sketch I picture; whateverits graphicambiguities, rememberbeing fascinatedby it and by the 's locationsof thehomesof the animalswho peopled thestory Mole's House, Ratty home on the River Bank, Toad Hall, and deep in the heartof the Wild Wood, the home of Mr. the with it mapsand thenwith elements Badger. I think was thatwhichled me to a fascination fuelledby the verse of JohnBetjeman). I of the real landscape (later on it was plentifully circlessees The Windin structural understand thatthese days, historical analysisin literary and a plea fora nostalgic of a period'sambivalenceto capitalism theWillowsas a mediation evocationofplace it return a feudalsociety.But to me, at theage offour, was justa graphic to and a fantasy of reality. full

the Beyond WildWood

the lies is EssentiallyThe Windin theWillows a ruralidyll and heresy amongst charm: it's askedtheMole. "Where allblueanddimandone "Whatis beyond WildWoodagain?" the of or like and or seeswhat they maybe hills, perhaps mayn't, something thesmoke towns, is it cloud-drift?" only that said theRat, "And that's something "BeyondtheWildWood comestheWideWorld" if nor and beenthere I'mnever to doesn't either youorme.I'venever matter, going, you, you've to refer itagain, 1938, 13-14). pp. please".(Granarne, gotanysenseatall.Don'tever

stimulates reflections: two Ratty'sattitude whichare on i) To ignorethe Wide World and to concentrate thosebitsof local geography is personallyappealing (and also probablyuncontroversial) to take a deeply regressive howcomplex has radicalperspectives, emphasised stance. Recentwriting, some ofitfrom of whathappenson theearth'ssurface; and deeply politicalit is to attempt explanations of issues.The recession thatis no reason forwithdrawing from consideration difficult the in the Britisheconomy,the disparity livingstandards of acrosstheworld,the particular matters situationsin the Middle East, CentralAmericaand South Africa,are significant it in the global context and are notto be avoided,howeveruncomfortable maybe to raise be. themand howeverill-prepared we withpractical classroomstrategies maypresently But in the contextof theseconsiderations, would offer caveat about the role of the I a and teacherin conducting discussionwhichinvolvesexposureof attitudes values in the a I classroom. Though neutrality impossibleand some bias inevitable, believe thatour is role as professionals a liberaleducationaltradition in requiresthatwe shouldstillstrive in forimpartiality mostof the contentious issueswhichwe handle. (I exceptopposition racismand sexismfromthis.) The zeal withwhichwe maypropagateindividual causes in our personal lives may not necessarilybe appropriateif carried direct into the classroom. And I have a similarconcernifsuch causes are espoused by local authority edict also, sincewhatis sauce fortheBrentgeese is equallysauce fortheSolihullgander. lead to muchargument The developingcentralism educationalpolicymayeventually of needs. to to as unproductive better teaching, well as to less responsiveness individual if ii) It is unfortunate geography stayson theRiverBank and in theWildWood and failsto of relatethem to the Wide World. One of the strengths the subject is its holism,its of its inter-connectedness, powerto make sense ofwholesituations itsdemonstration by In withhuman,local withregional,nationalwithinternational. relationships physical and a world now dominatedby specialists, generalist uncomfortably, he or she sits the But thegeneralist needs to beware ofgrosssuperficiality ofindigestible and gazeteering. of is needed and one of geography's assets is its long tradition most valuable current and explanationof environsynthesisand eclecticismin developingboth description mentsasa whole.
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In enlarging context geography serve whole the of we the Or One doesnot public. weshould. inunpretentious, inorder find term to the haveto search practical inexhaustibly 'geography' knows term the classrooms. use. The world the beyond school to this I For thefirst three daysintheweekpreceding address, determined keepmyears in radioand use and eyes open forthe everyday of theword'geography' newspapers, television. for evadedthepolicewaiting the miners' On Monday, 9th, Yorkshire flying pickets April in as and them thenorth at border, instead, BBC radioputit,"swept by Nottinghamshire to The like from west"(rather young the ability avoidthepolice Lochinvar). miners' surprise of of to local knowledge thegeography thearea" - an was attributed "a greater patrols of in and I indirect taught theschools compliment,take it,to thelocal study map skills and Sheffield Barnsley. with a interview an academic carried major BBC TV Newsnight On Tuesday, April10th, to which American of from He Bradford sought justify report University. wascritical a recent which he factors of The first many relative levelsofarmaments simple by weapon-counting. John and as account captioned 'geography' presenter Tusaquestioned was totakeinto sought in had that madethepoint Russia great him aboutthis. academic The anxiety needing closely he this twice century; beeninvaded had which already to defend extensive frontier an land to needed haveconsiderable that believe contended this that madetheRussians always they and a in over the USA, whomtheysaw as enjoying moreinsular superiority numbers ableposition. protect News an of the columns Motor-Cycle carried On Wednesday, April11th, correspondence Warman Lyme of MissSamantha letter from articulate Regis.I quote: can't been It was I at Whenwas school, subjects.certainly have so my geography oneof favourite stretcha to doesn't their Board. perhaps budget Or Control of Speedway for membersthe the venue Odsal at Final World would realise the that proposed If ofourisland? itdid, they map about. bear that isso out Stadium, Bradford, far ona limb itdoesn't thinking She goeson to makethequitesophisticated that is notBradford's centrality general point it in tracks Britain to 40 in but is which inquestion, itsnodality relation the orso other speedway - only of radius theYorkshire (Before consign a of lie three which within 100-mile you city. in out from is this an irrelevancy a minority-interest letmepoint that allprobability, weekly, or Guardian the than either Times, time News ofMotor-Cycle arereadinschool more copies Telegraph.) of use in These threeexamplesare eloquentvariations the everyday and perception in its local geo-political geography itsuse inproviding orientation, significancetheglobal . If for centres recreational desirable sceneanditsvalueindefining particular activity1 these for the then or interest appealtous as educators, so much worse are contexts notoneswhich let us.Thisisthewaythegeneral themselves, usremember) perceive (ex-school-pupils public the the So and use theterm 'geography'. much worseforus, ifwe do notrecognise links in Let we andwhat do inschools. us notbecome sucheveryday between imprisoned usage we And content. I think to its or of small sectors thesubject, dismiss application untraditional It to and should usageofthe Geographic. isthegeneral stopworrying learn lovetheNational of the the that idea ofgeography represents greatest hopefor continuation itinthecurricon of not should be theforcing an unwanted ulum.Teaching subject tc unwilling geography and the influences actions which in of but thegenerating interest a dimension receivers, life. ofeveryday explanations a of the and To experience worktowards understandingsucha dimension I believe, is, when theinfant In education. theyears child's fundamental of every school, beyond part the to children from dominant needsrecedes for concern personal begin explore emphasis, of to a in live world which space, they andtoconstructrelationship it.Thedimensions world and of the are and andtime, ofthespirit, respectively dominant history heritage geography, to lacktheopportunityexplore should educated and education no properly person religious
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those dimensionsin a coherentand sustainedway. That seems to me to be thephilosophical form of grounding school geography. Knowledgeabout theworldis notgainedina particular the Hirstian sense); but it coheres throughsomething more than a convenienceof (in adjacent content. us as Lawtonreminded inhis 1983Presidential Space and timeare inter-related, Professor Address (Lawton, 1983), and history and do and geography overlap,just as do geography and geography inmyjudgement, is dangerously and literature. it science, But, inadequateto believe that a timetableslot labelled 'Humanities'in the secondaryschool will necessarily identifyand clarifythese dimensionsin a satisfactory way and give insightinto them. Valuable thoughtheimpulseto inter-related integrated workis, I viewwithconcern that and of whichseeks to use 'Humanities'to supplantthe teaching impetusin curriculum planning or history. geography I also doubt thevalidity theviewwhich of is of or thatthestudy geography history suggests the than bornfrom rather acceptable from age of 14 onwards- a decisionoften pragmatism principle in hard-pressedsituations.In my opinion, both subjects are necessary,if well taught, up to the age of 16. It was encouragingto see the House of Commons' Select Committee on the SecondarySchool make the same point in subjectingthe DES (1981) document The School Curriculum analysis.Paragraph22 of the DES reporthad said: to into the natureof "History, geographyand economics serve to give the pupil an insight his own) and man's place in his environment." The Select Committee society (including commented:"We regardthiskindofstatement precisely thekindwhich as of (or government forthatmatter informed of any person)shouldavoid . . . The lumping together suchdifferent and werein some wayinterchangesubject areas as 'history, geography economics'as ifthey able does no serviceto education,norto thecredibility theauthors"(House of Commons of Education, Science and ArtsCommittee, 1982). The stateof thesubjectinschools But if we are to justify school geography the future, we do so by reference a for can to observable quality?By reference its generalhealthand vigourin schools at the present to time?In whatstateis geography? Weak and ailing?Vibrantand healthy? If examinationstatistics are any clue, the positionis tolerable. At A-level it currently standsat eighthmostpopularexamination in entry, havingdroppedone place in popularity the last twenty witheconomicsnow greatly in entry numbers thanit was in years, stronger in 1961, and biologyalso; Frenchhas droppedbelow it in popularity thattime.Relative to has its since 1961,though to many other not history, geography improved shareofthemarket withbiologyin popularsubjects. In 16 examinations (O-level and CSE) itstandsequal third availablefullstatistics2; thetwin basicsofEnglishand ity,accordingto themostrecently only mathsstandout, well ahead ofthefield.This is an improvement seventh on place in therank orderin 1961, and fifth the will trends favour subject,given the place in 1971. Whether future otherpressuresnow current theeducationsystem, muchmoreproblematic. in is But what of the image of the subject? Are we popular because a CSE in geography is perceived as a 'softoption'? Our colleague, the editorof the Americanteachers'journal, Journalof Geography(publishedby the NGCE and revitalised underthe new editorship), on commented thesituation Americanschools:"At theelementary in level, instrucrecently tionin geography, has teachers, almostceased to exist.In especiallyby specialistgeography is of . secondaryschools,geography thedustbin thecurriculum . ." (de Souza, 1984,p. 3). Could thathappen here? Adrian Mole, aged 13% , thatpopularfigure current of has some interest, provided literary recentevidence forus from secretdiary(Townsend, 1982,pp. 60-61). His references his to at geographycome coincidentally the veryend of the SpringTerm- thatfatiguing period whichwe have all recently through passed. 3rd.Gotfull marks thegeography today. in test Yes! I amproud report I got to that Friday, April
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Thereis out I of on twenty oftwenty!wasalso complimented theneatpresentation mywork. I know about Norwegian the leather nothingnowdon't industry. I to Pandora. tried take 5th. cameround morning. isstill this He madabout Sunday, April Nigel hismind herbytalking I off about Norwegian the leather but somehowcouldn't him get industry, interested . .. If geographyis like that,it is notsurprising Nigel and manyotherscan't get interested. that On the other hand, I doubt if we can build a stable or satisfactory place in the school or curriculumby constructing so full of issues or the hoped-forclarification syllabuses transmission values and attitudesthat there is littletime forthe developmentof any of the we knowledgeabout theworldinwhich live. Ifpupilsdon'tknowtheland from oceans on of a map, however can theyexercise any meaningful understanding themselvesas global citizens?If theyhave no idea of who is in theThirdWorld and who is not,how can theybe once of concernedforitswelfare?Iftheyhave no knowledge whattheAmazon environment It was and how itfunctioned, how can theybe made to care about therape ofitsforests? was a thiskindof concernwhichled theGA intosetting theWorldwise Quiz competition year up and interest. it and ithas been gratifying see how quickly has receivedsupport to ago; is But a quiz competition theright place forthatkindofbasicwork.It wouldbe unfortunate is What it represents the of curriculum. ifitwere instatedas thecentre-piece thegeography bottom layer in the pyramidof buildingblocks. And what it must lead towardsis active bothin thefieldand in theclassroom(yes,I stillbelieve in gamesand learning participatory and studyof the investigation simulations); towards the developmentof self-motivated relevantnational discussionand debate about current and towardsinformed environment; classroomsthatdoes happen, and it is that,in many and global issues. In manygeography But it doesn't happen in all in schools, whichexplains its presentstrength the curriculum. schools. who have been on the students Earlier thisyear, I wroteto over a hundredof myformer I PGCE course in Cambridgeduringthe past ten years. Amongstotherthings, geography and to tell were teaching, life asked themhow theywere finding in theschoolsin whichthey as me, as frankly theydare, whether happyabout thestateofthesubjectin schools. theyfelt butat leasta toe dippedinto testthetemperature a veryunsystematic It was, I suppose, poll, educationalwaters.It was good to findthatmostof thereplieswere positive. of the current For instance: with recently our we at moment; arepleased isbuoyant the our to I'mpleased report department us makes the and course our14-18 O-level/CSE lower-school jointsyllabus Project developed 6th most is and year. in most option popular form Geography alsothe option the4th 5th popular we and are of at A-level.The othermembers thedepartment up-to-date although all have . in islike-mindedpurpose . . the different teaching styles, department coversthisresponse It is not all wine and roses, however,The cloak of anonymity blessedly somewherein Britain: fromanotherstudent ... flame a Thank for letter; havestirredsomewhat dwindling ofenthusiasm I have you you your one. IfthePGCE it needsa goodshake-up is this but notbeenherelong, ifevera department with courses it me coursefailedto prepare foranything was to teachout-of-date regional ... in chaotic resources a totally department appalling in to It is not difficult postulatethefateof geography thesetwoschoolsin theyearsahead, if will geography make by changes. Unprotected theumbrellaof thecore curriculum, nothing of of thesubjectin each school and bythe efforts its health or lose itsway by the individual who will enable membersof staff In the first school, geography's popularity practitioners. will to will leave to be replacedbyothers;thedepartment continue innovate;and geography In maintain a strongpresence in the school's total curriculum. the second school, the in moribund teaching in will size; itwillremain style;and gradually, department contract staff
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in of geographywillbe eased fromthetimetable favour thoseoptionswhichgathersupport and enthusiasm whatever for otherreasons. Walkingthetightrope Given the current whicheffectively situationin the debates about thecurriculum, began with the James Callaghan Ruskin College speech in 1976, geography treads a precarious path. It has remained relativelyinvisiblein most of the debates. A subject which has incontrovertible value? Or a subjectof little importance? first clutchof HMI papers which was excluded fromthe much-publicised Geography in reportedon the 11-16curriculum, represented a latersupplementary thoughexcellently mentionas a paper (Geography Committeeof HMI, 1981); it had only a perfunctory (DES, supplementary subject on the last page of A Framework theSchool Curriculum for more visiblein the subsequentpolicydocumentpublishedby the 1980). It was fractionally DES The School Curriculum as of (DES, 1981), perhapspartly a result GA representations on the matter, it was again excludedfrom first but the batchof subjectsto be consideredby the Secretaryof State in relationto the 16+ examinations (and thatdespiteexcellentand the education progressivesets of criteriapreparedand widelyagreed within geographical On theotherhand,theSecondaryExaminations Councilhas recently community). agreedto includegeography one of thesubjectsto be initially as in to considered relation grade-related criteria assessment 16+. for at But theplainfactremains thatconcernaboutgeography notso farbeen a majorissuein has the debate about 'education fornationalefficiency'. This is in striking to contrast a similar debate whichwenton in thiscountry theyearsfollowing Boer War. Indeed, theLSE in the included geographyas a subject forstudyas a counterto the outmodedcurriculum the of older universities,and because the Webbs and Hewins, the firstDirector, saw it as a element in a modern education. Sir Haiford Mackinderwas one of the early significant Directorsof the LSE. In 1946, Sir Cyril Norwood was Presidentof the GA. Author of one of the major educational reportsof twentieth-century in Britain,he spoke of theplace of geography the curriculumin his 1946Presidential Address: post-war I therefore youto maketheboldclaimthat want is geography an essential ofeducation part whatever forms education takeandthere benoquestion droppinginany can of it considered may course study; is inmy of it more than or opinion, important a foreign language a science, highly as reason. . . that intelligent the must understand important theseare,forthesimple person abouttheworld and thecountry thedistrict which is set to livehislife and in he something (Norwood, 1946). Bold claims indeed, and made bya figure considerable of educationalinfluence thattime. at Should we make such claims now? Do we make them? And if so, do we make them effectively? In contrast, thecurrent in seemsto have had relatively vocal friends few debate, geography in or around the corridors power to represent or indeed to represent view which of the it; would benefit and othersubjectsmoregenerally i.e. thateducationis muchmorethana it it preparationforworkand thata debate whichnarrows to thatover-riding premiseis one whichseriously diminishes otherlong-cherished concerns individuals be preparedboth for to forpersonal responsibility activecitizenship and within democratic a society. at Geography, so to speak, walks the tightrope present- able and nimbleenough to maintainitsbalance forthemostpart,butuncomfortably aware thatthesedaysno safety net hangs below to break the fall ifa false step is made. Of course,the secretof the tightrope walkeris notto look nervously backwards overhisshoulder, to freezeand do nothing; or the secretof successis to stepforward And so itshouldbe forus momentum. boldlyand maintain or on geographyteachers.This is no timeforindolenceor faint-heartedness, freezing the rope - howeverinadequate thebalancingpoles provided.
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A schoolgeography thefuture? for


The past decade gave us theluxury debatingthekindof geography wishedto teach; of we butin theeighties focushas changed.The debate is now aboutwhether should the geography or should notbe taught all. Willtherebe a schoolgeography thefuture? at in In the second halfof thisaddressI wantto suggest withgeographical thatthoseconcerned education face a numberof immediatechallenges,and thatactionis needed to face those on challenges; it is thiswhichneeds to give us the impulseto walk forward the tightrope. whichcome thereis a need to respondpromptly particular curricular initiatives to Firstly, fromsources outside the discipline.Secondly,thereis a need to be concernedabout the terms.Thirdly, thatimage in realistic image of the subject and to be activein propagating of thereis a need to develop the integration resources within community scholarsand the of - threecrucial teacherswho have trainedas geographers. Initiatives, images,integration themes.Let me develop thema little further. The need to respondto curriculum initiatives in been conservative its in Althoughthe curriculum England and Wales has traditionally structural evolution, there is no doubt that we live in times in which an unprecedented come school. Such initiatives externalto the individual amountof change is beinginitiated fromthe not only frompressure groups of various kinds, but much more significantly bodies whichhave theirorigins(and their Departmentof Education and Science and from and the financialresources) outside the education system the Departmentof Industry Services Commission,forinstance.Whateversuspicionswe may have of such Manpower to it initiatives, is probablyimpractical ignorethemor actively oppose them.To wave back thetide of MSC moneyis to behave like Canute. of One importantinitiativeis the rapid developmentof a Certificate Pre-Vocational Education (CPVE) as a 17+ qualification.The nature of the common core of courses in advocated in theMansell Report(FEU, 1977) challenges detailthedominanceofsubjectand based courses in thissphere. Some regardtheschemeas narrowing sociallydivisive;its within the charactermayeventually depend on who validatesit. But thereare opportunities Social and Environmental Studies')and in the 'Additional proposed core courses('Industrial, a Studies' section for geographersto make considerablecontributions; recent articleby a a practical Bulletin Sheila Nuttall(1984a) in theILE A Geography examplefrom pilot gives CPVE course, and the Education StandingCommitteeof the G A also has the matter underactivereview. currently of A second initiativerelates to the fast proliferation TVEI Projects (Technical and in areas. TVEI is a five-year Vocational Education Initiative) certain by pilotschemefunded and vocationaleducationforsome 14-18year of the theMSC to stimulate provision technical of about its re-introduction selectionin the secondary olds. Again, there are reservations are school, but if the more optimistic pronouncements to be believed there is room for the workwithin Projectto broadenthescope of "Being better to equipped geographers offer to enter the world of work". Some individualgeographyteachershave already become involved- manymoreneed to do so. school leaversincludesa component The Youth TrainingScheme (YTS) forunemployed thereare whichspecifiesthattraineesshould learn about 'the worldoutsideemployment'; of checklists skills.There skillsmaybe specifically includedin future thatgraphicacy hopes are also opportunitiesfor geographersto teach in the 'off-the-job Training/Education' sectionof theproposedcourses.3 16+ and AS-level proposals are perhapscurrently overshadowed,and indeed in tension can make important but withthe above initiatives, ifthese are implemented, geographers contributions; geographywould stand to gain more than manyother subjects if the curform includeAS-levelsalongsideA-levels. to was widenedin thesixth riculum
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of The GA has soughtthrough last fewmonthsto encouragethe Secretary State to the We within curriculum. the about theplace ofgeography make some kindofpublicstatement have had littlesuccessso far,but at least some of Sir KeithJoseph'sotherrecentutterances directionwill thattheworst fearsofthosewho abhorvocationalnarrownessor central , , imply not be realised: of and The curriculum should relevant therealworld tothepupil's to be experience it;weaimto use and teachexisting inways which out bring their practical inliving working.4 subjects I seek neither prescription what a nor for but syllabus, a goeson in theclassroom, a national newframework skill within which professional the commitment free-ranging ofourteachers and canbe puttobesteffect.5 It seems to me thatthementality thelaageris inappropriate thissituation; need to be in of we not jealously defensive,but opportunistically active in seeking to teach cross-curricula modules fornew courses,and inmaking hoc contributions from considerable resource ad the of the geography curriculum. Already the considerablework of the 16-19Project in broadeningout fromits original A-level intentions and exemplarsforwork in this has provided backgroundinformation field6.The GA bookleton thecontribution geography 17+ courses(just one of a whole of to fromthe last fewyears) is essentialpreliminary sequence of usefulpublications readingto those who ventureaway fromO-level and A-level teaching thefirst for time(Geographical withconfidence a substantial to contribution Association, 1982). We can also look forward fromthe GA Geography,Schools and Industry whichis just beinglaunchedwith Project, highhopes.7 Another certainexternalpressurein the near future the proposal to identify is specific objectives forsubjects at particular ages - a cause also espoused withvigourby Sir Keith as to Joseph.You maythink, I do, thatit is byno meanseasy forgeographers do that- but we do know enough about children'smentaldevelopment and about the map of concepts whichthe 'new geography' helpedto layout forus, to be surethatsome things has must come beforeothersand to give examplesof workprogression. we cannotdo this,do we have a If subject wortha name? It would be as well if the most informed and innovative in thinkers geography their set mindsto thistask,rather thanleave itto be belatedly stitched together some bureaucratic by hacks from back roomin thesubject.The EducationStanding a of Committee theG A seeks to tackle thattaskwithimmediacy; needs yourcontribution. it The need to attend theimageof thesubject to A second immediate comesin theneed to attend theimageofthesubjectin the to challenge external on lightof thecurrent pressures it. A recentinfamous 'Stop theWeek' radioprogramme savagedthesubjectin variousways. of "Geography rankslow in the hierarchy acceptablesubjects", opined Robert Robinson; a "geographyteachersseem consumedby some inwardrage, perhapsthrough lifespentin the Doldrums. What other subject offers such a minimum speculation,such limitless of savannas of unleavenedfact?"MiltonShulmanand Laurie Taylorjoined in withtheir usual brandofjocular iconoclasmand itwas left philosopher to to RogerScruton entera defenceof thesubject- largely, one gathered, because hissister was married a geographer. to "The world'sa wonderful Only a fewdays ago, GermaineGrer on TV was commenting place; how can geographyteachersmake it so boring".This, in the midstof one of those chatshowswhichdependon personalanecdoteleavenedbyhyperbole entertain to late-night thestudio audience. Lettersto newspapers, and governors based on their viewpoints expressedbyparents past also sometimes reveala viewof thesubject experiences,unguardedasides byhead teachers, in schools whichis at best naive, and at worst, erroneousand archaic. totally
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that It is not enoughto shrugtheseoff witha sighand surmise thatitis fortunate we know betterthanthosewho make thecomments; we belatedly are becomingaware thatthepublic image does matter.As the impactof the Taylor Report and the 1981 Education Act bring outsidersintomoresignificant discussion individual of schoolcurricula (and evento influence and controlthem)thelayman'sviewcannotbe dismissed lightly. A recently formed of joint committee theRGS, theIBG and theG A has begunto address but itselfto the general problemsof the image of geography, muchneeds to be done with in to Some groupsin public lifeare assiduousin responding comments themedia, urgency. will at we the whether nationalor local level. I wishthat couldfind collective to deputeat least monitor and to of one selected officer thenationalorganisations systematically exhaustively to them.To have thembelatedlyreportedto our such commentsand to respondpositively of but committees monthslateris betterthannothing, not usuallyproductive fruitful reply. taskwhichis needed forthe At the local level we all need to be alertto the publicrelations do. If a parents'eveninggives an students good thingswhichgeographersand geography for opportunity subjects to displaytheirwares, it is worththe extra time and troubleto some of theclassroom syllabusand to demonstrate prepare a sheet of A4 on the geography showssignsof vagueness If the Headteacher or the Directorof Curriculum methodologies. is about the subject, we need to make sure thata concise memorandum on the desk next extendedto visita lessonor two aside - and an invitation to the morning refute murmured the followingweek. If students(from primarythroughto sixth-form level) are doing we local projectsand fieldwork, need to let the local radio stationor local paper interesting in of know. There are oftencolumnsor minutes blankspace to fillat thelastminute thelocal schoolshave highpriority. media, and good newsstoriesfrom to a tactics itis merely strategy ensurethatwhen All thisis notspecial pleadingor unfair in in of decisions about the future geography schools (and particularly staffing geography are takenbynon-geographers, willbe approachedon good evidenceand noton they schools) and recollection, imagination hearsay. arcane and somewhat to is The need for image-making sometimesthought be a highly so. but it is not necessarily We of sharp advertising practice, smacking unsavouryactivity, of in our have good evidencewithin own academicdiscipline recentyearsof theimportance and oflandscapesinorderto comprehend Ifwe need to understand imagesofthecity images. to so and lifestyle, too do we need to pay attention theimagesof intellectual humanactivity as perceived by other people. The subject has lacked a David Bellamy or an disciplines in too infrequently the so Attenboroughto capture the public imagination far; we figure in featurespaces or the lettercolumnsof nationalnewspapers;we show too littleinterest issueswhichcapturetheheadlinesand publicimaginsome of thespatial and environmental ation, howeverbriefly Sizewell,Sellafield,Stansted. intotheproposalto buildthethird to documentswere submitted thepublicenquiry 2,000 London Airportat Stansted;as faras I could discover,onlytwo of thesewere specifically fromgeographers.(Other geographers may have been activebehindthe scenes, but their was invisible.)The case put bythe Northof EnglandRegional Consortium participation to of regionalairports correct case urging an inherently greaterdevelopment geographical engineersand accountants.Is it thatno regional imbalance- was argued by economists, to or interested informed advise or be partof this geographerin the Northwas sufficiently were notgrasped,initiatives thatopportunities I consortium? cannotbelieve so. Is it rather not taken,in an area centralto publicconcern? the The need to integrate subject'sresources is thatthe Peanuts comic-strip the Thirdly,the need to stand together.It is well-known wisdom.There is of thefount geographical whichperiodically invigorates special ingredient one storyin which Lucy goes to Charlie Brown and politelyasks him if she can change thenthrusts channelson theTV; Charlie twicerefuses, Lucy,sizingup thesituation, curtly. her tinyclenched fistunderCharlie's nose; Charlie, taken aback, allows her to changethe
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his examines ownspread As her Charlie channel. Lucysits down watch, purpose to achieved, like five and can'tyouguys organised that?". get fingers muses "Why In of like diffficulty Exactly."Whycan'tyouguys organised that?" a time economic get for eachofustoshelter in it andunprecedented contractioneducation, iscounter-productive that to inourstock or room go on working and trying pretend the quietly, cupboard tutorial bellsarenotringing. alarm there many are I do notimply else thatgetting is everyone as hostile; organised seeing and cause with other occasionson which should,and can, makecommon we disciplines we on of which seek not but operate a broadbase. Itmay be theframe theessence thesubject to preserve within curriculum. the a needfor GA, theIBG andthe Therewasnever greater in in geography also to include within the RGS to drawtogether common and purpose from whatever discussion other for which share common a concern thesubject, organisations their is A coalition geographic of and particular viewpoints. working opinion activity necesin of Mead's(1982,p. 201)evocative sary a "cordiality geographers" Professor phrase to cohere the discipline aroundits essentials, examineits practices make them to and to it immediate action. relevant, stimulate towards And if,on theone hand, askacademic we to toschools, geographers fulfil responsibilities to the 'seed-corn' the subject,to givetimeto helpwithin-service of teachers' courses, individual so to ask conferences, schools; too,on theother hand,we must schoolteachers utilise resources their the that inhigher so education provide, that can work fully colleagues inschoolsis intellectually and But considered, well-informed. we also respectable, critically need to encourage and at solidarity mutual support the local level. Giventhe current on I of conceive a more reason geography for teachers to pressures schools, cannot cogent in activities whether co-ordinated localteachers in-service and participate localgroup by or the of that There signs statutory are centres, through voluntary organisation a GA branch. in-service is in more the provision becoming sparse someareasandso theneedfor GA itself todevelopbranch initiatives within of reach every school in becomes more Indeed, pressing. someareas,where localadviser the for is at responsible geography nota geographer all and carries other itis or of will which many responsibilities, theexistence otherwise a GA branch determine whether notnewinitiatives geographical or in education taken sustained. are and We should, think, I takesomecomfort thefact from in that a time severe of in cutbacks teacher the of in The numbers, membership theGA has risen bothof thelasttwoyears. and have will than doubled. Evengreater effort be production salesofitspublications more neededinthecoming tosustain andalsotomake that totrain, years increasing provision help andservice increasing the numbers non-specialist of who be geographers may calleduponto teachthesubject part their as of other in duties schools which desperately are to trying spread andre-deploy resources. the that The roleofthevoluntary We professional is quitecrucial. all needto recall body inSheffield, an 'us' - a six-and-a-halfGA is nota 'them' ina lofty but tucked eyrie away 'us'. and of on thousand-strong The health thesurvival theAssociation depends directly our in involved ownwillingness lift sights to to our the and beyond immediate parochial, become in committees working and andtoparticipate turning tosupport branch local activity, groups, thepurposes theAssociation of towards and ends. positive practical down sucked One hasa worrying vision wellmeaning, of enthusiastic individualists, getting or commitment but decade,'notwaving drowning' ; others lackthe may bythetideinthenext that theenergy savethat to But which on inherited appointment. I amnotconvinced we they it us. needto takea fatalistic let before shapes attitude towards events; usshapethefuture in is The question remains, whatkindofgeography itworth still however, teaching the future? Whatsortof geography bestservethepurposes theschoolsin 1985and will of that of and is to it? beyond, presuming a communityscholars teachers left teach
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The dominantthemeof thisconference an exploration thefutures branchesof the of is of to themselves subject and of elementsof it, and othersmoreexpertthanme are addressing and substantive within generalframe. wantto make justone generalplea I this specific topics - itis thatwe shouldteachinschoolsand colleges,tosome extent, geography 'thefuture. a of When geography the came intothecurriculum schools,in theyearsfollowing introducof tion of national education by the ForsterAct of 1870, it was set withinthe contextof an had an empireacrosstheseas, covering sizeable partoftheworld, a imperialheritage.Britain and itwas naturalthatthosewhowouldlead it,serveinit,fight itand visit shouldknow for it, about it. Our whole history an exploring as nationpreparedus fora global and mercantile to perspectivein national education; the Empire added a practicalutility the reasons for whichitshouldbe taught. Times change, and the supplementary rationaleforgeography (that whichderivesfrom circumstanceratherthan philosophy)must change with it. Since we no longer have an the need to knowabout theworldaroundus? Or are there empire,does it diminish practical so not new challenges?The challengeto stewardthe environment thatit remainsintactfor of futuregenerationsis one such spur, and is itselfa mainspring the World Conservation Strategyalready consideredin thisconference.Anotherchallengeis the need to establish in rational and harmoniousrelationships the abrasivecontextof the global village; thisis by alreadyansweredin one form thosewho propagatepeace education,and is also important multi-racial now thatBritainitself a moreobviously is society a questionto whichtheGA in thelastyear.8 addressed itself directly is workifthere to be to need to add one generalperspective their I suggestthatgeographers of about the geography the 1990s. It is the teachingof possible a purpose and practicality geographies of the future.There, Robert Robinson for one, would be sure to findthe "the savannasoffact". of excitement intellectual speculationamongst werea quotationfrom in wordswhichI evermanagedto getintoprint book form, The first were and still documentaries whosepre-war of JohnGrierson,thatmostgifted film-makers, are geographicalresourcesof thehighest quality.I stillfindthewordsprovocative: an of ... a is, profession It has,intheenjoyment learning, Teaching insomesenses, sheltered the in in to bring temptation dwell thepast,andeventofeelat home it.Iftheteachers especial is all to vitalities thepasttogivelife thepresent, iswell;butiftheir of emphasis suchas tomake all look their 1966). charges backwards is notwell.(Grierson, who would markdown I As a youngcollege lecturer examinedwitha venerableprofessor his in workwhichhad theelementofwhathe called 'crystal-gazing' it. I respect memory any and his work greatly,but I cannot thinkthatI share (or ever shared) his view about the is work: forthe future deeply embedded in the of undesirability speculativeor predictive I time-scales. knowthatas I look out ofmy are even ifitsmanifestations at different present, of boththelength myuncutgrassand thegrowing contemplate gardenwindowand gloomily of rustsignson thebodywork mycar. with to It is almosta clichthesedaysforgeographers speakoftheworldas highly dynamic, urban and industrialspheres in physical, vegetational,agricultural, economic, process of for therefore, forecasts the resultsof equally the subject forstudy.It seems important, and developed. But theyshould these processes to be generally considered,contemplated like the Club of Rome, or MIT or not remain a rathermystical provinceof organisations can We need to make it clear thatindividuals or multi-national companies. governments the and influence future. contemplate There are already books and journals whichcontemplatethe futurein various ways,9 and of number networks (1970, 1980) and HermanKahn, and a growing prophetslikeToffler devoted to futuresconsideration.There are also an increasingnumberof organisations of can techniqueswhichpotentialforecasters use; theconsideration data and theextrapolathe Kondratieff tionof trends , modelling, cycles) theuse ofsimulation (such as thelong-term held on 'Geographyand the As long ago as 1970,a conference so-called Delphi techniques.
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a Future' produceda stimulating of papersfrom distinguished set groupofacademics(Abler and et ai 1975). Peter Hall's London 2000 was an early example here of the intriguing contribution can make (Hall, 1963). stimulating geographers and curriculum Since we have, as yet,no centralised control,it is possibleto experiment visionsof the innovatein thisarea at variouslevels. But some of the more highly-coloured of futureoftenleave much to be desired in sound scholarship and in theirunderstanding do On thewhole, geographers not fallintothattrap;a muchmore ecological relationships. of 'down-to-earth' approach, based on knowledgeabout the presentand an understanding current basis forforward and trends, would be a morerealistic data, relationships speculation. And as we currently of teach the geography thepresent, importance thefuture of the moreand moreon it,as thefollowing impinges examplestestify: The traditional now divisions industrial of and tertiary) i) occupation(primary, secondary - quaternary have a fourth who earn a livingby generating, (those people category is That fourth transmitting, processingand usinginformation). category alreadydominantnumerically manyWestern in societies(Abler etal. 1975,pp. 35-36). the so-called 'coffin-area' ii) The industrialgeographyof the UK has long identified between London and Liverpool as the industrial axis of the country.As 'high-tech' we our towards dominant a 'sun-belt' replacesheavyindustry, now have to shift thinking from Bristolto Cambridge,rather thanthetraditional stretching pattern. We teach of London, New York, Tokyo- theworld'smajorcities.In theThirdWorld, iii) ifwe countthepeople living thefavelas,thebustees, theshanty-towns, in and some urban areas already exceed those whichnationalstatistical list digestsconventionally as the largest.For example, Mexico Citywillbe the mosthighly populatedurbanarea by the continue. year2000 ifpresenttrends and iv) We use thesea as hunters nomadsand yetalso stilluse itas a bottomless inwhich pit to tip the world's garbage. Survey vessels which monitorthe oceans warn us with that and increasing regularity thecapacityoftheseas is finite theremaysoon come a day when theconsequencesof pollutionare irreversible. These are just a rangeof the examplesin which,ifwe teach about thepresent school and in us. college classrooms,the prospectof the futureinescapablyconfronts Particularissues whichfight timeand space on thecurriculum environmental for education,educationfor education- might themselves moreconstructively less contenbe and peace, development this context. tiouslyconsideredwithin geographical Orwell's Nineteen Four has been muchquoted thisyear;perhapswe shouldsearch Eightyforitssuccessorin thespeculative literature theyearsahead. David Edgar's bleak viewof for Britainin 1997 might stimulus .... usefully provideus witha provocative
... theIndependent ControlConsole seemedto be stuckon channelchangeand so Harold went severalsnookerchannelsand some cricket theracing from and live through Munich,and sixteen and Sunscope (both announcing details of a competition)and quiz games and Mirrorscreen werebroadcasting winning the numbers a lottery of Expresseramaand The Daily Mailout(which 4Huh-communications!' Harold thought; age of information, age of universal the the contact, theworlda pulsating electronic Yet somehow,he spider'sweb with Tokyoas nearas Tottenham. felthimself, thathishorizonshad grownnarrower narrower . . and . ... all theyoungand ambitious had longsincemoveddownsouth(to populatetheshanty towns on Hampstead Heath and Clapham Common) . . . there was this kind of ghost economy in countiesto sustainthe ageingpopulationas theironce greatcities remaining the northern crumbledquietly around them ... as the Great Aunt had so oftenpointed out cities like the in infrastructuredecay, surrounLiverpool and Bradford farfrom European ports,their ded by bleak countryside were unviablein the contemporary world,and therecame a point wherenatural sentiment must realities modern of times. . .' (Edgar, 1984). givewayto theharsh 1984 Geography

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It seems to me that extractsof that kind are teachingresourceswhichcan provideboth stimulusand objective for study.They are not absolute predictions but it is possible to whatmustor mustnotbe from eventstowards themand to establish extrapolate present-day done ifthevisionsare notto become reality. and The sustainedstudy a number possiblegeographies theshort-term middle-term of of of will encouragethestudent considerthoseaspectsof thefuture whichare desirable future to into and those whichare not. Hopefully can suchgeography teaching vitaliseschoolstudents which afflicts fatalism an interest their in own futures, mayhelpto assuagethepremature and largesectionsof teenagelifein the 1980s. In urging I thatwe teacha geography thefuture, do notmeanto saythatwe shouldgive of of of up teachingthegeography thepast: butwe shouldmakethatpasttheservant thefuture. intoit. If thefuture unavoidable,let us at least notwalkbackwards is Geographyhas experiencedevolutionsinceitsearliestdays,and in viewof thechangesin But theworld about whichit teaches,thatis hardly surprising. in an age in whichthefuture survivalof the planet is being called intoquestionby both physicaland humanagency,we mustsurelyrespondto thatultimate challenge.

Conclusion
Thorn Gunn, the English poet domiciled in California,wrote a poem called "On the on Move" (Gunn, 1957). It is about travelling theWestCoast:
At worst one is in motion,and at best to Reachingno absolute,inwhich rest One is nearerbynotkeepingstill.

but has in I have triedto suggest thisaddressthatgeography an essenceto cherish, I doubtifit has an "absolute, in whichto rest" ... It needs to be "in motion"in orderto negotiatethe immediate challenges of the present . . . But beyond that, geographyneeds to develop on as perspectives the future well as in thepast and present to look onwardsto new and "One is nearerby notkeepingstill". distanthorizons.Even on thetightrope, NOTES
locationsis of in 1. The interest the geography sporting developed in the forthcoming likely to be further Journalof SportsGeography. I. Comparisons are taken trom tables in Statistics of Education 1961-1978, London: HMSO, and from DES StatisticalBulletin 10, 1982 on EnglishSchool Leavers 1980-81. 3. As Sheila Nuttall(1984b) stressesin a paper in the 'Geo Notes' sectionof thisissue of Geography. 4. The Secretaryof State forEducation and Science, 1984. speakingon ITV's 'Weekend World',February of 5. The Secretary State forEducation and Science, in 1984. an articlein The Times,9thJanuary Courses in the 6. See Geographyand PreEmployment Form and The Geographical Componentof Sixth17+ Pre-employment Courses(Schools Council 16-19 Project, 1983). 7. The work of the WorkingPartywhichpreceded the to Project is shortly be published(Corney,1984). 8. Publications emanating from the GA's Working Partyon 'Geographical Education fora Multi-CulturalSociety'are expectedin the Autumnof 1984. 9. See for example Futures,the journal of forecasting and planning,publishedbi-monthly Butterworths by of inco-operationwiththeInstitute theFutureUSA.

REFERENCES
A. Abler, R., Janelle, D., Philbrick, and Sommer,J. (1975) Human Geography in a ShrinkingWorld, NorthScituate,Mass.: DuxburyPress. Blaut, J. M. and Stea, D. (1974) "Mapping at theage of three", Journal Geography, 73(7), pp. 5-9. of Schools and IndusCorney,G. (ed.) (1984) Geography, The GeographicalAssociation. Sheffield: try, Geography 1984 DES (1980) A Framework the School Curriculum: for London: HMSO. Proposals for Consultation, London: HMSO. DES (1981) The School Curriculum, de Souza, A. (1984) "Editorial , Journal Geography, of 83(1), p. 3. Edgar, D. (1984) "1977", Marxism Today, 28(1), pp. 24-29.

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GEOGRAPHY of Mead, W. R. (1982) "The discovery Europe", Geography,67(3), pp. 193-202. Norwood, Sir C. (1946) "Address to the Geographical Association", Geography, 31(1), pp. 1-9. Nuttall, S. (1984a) "ABC: the geographer'scontribu18, tion", LEA GeographyBulletin, pp. 29-32. education: Nuttall,S. (1984b) "New courses in further the geographer's contribution",Geography,69(3), pp. 244-249. Orwell, G. (1949) Nineteen Eighty-Four,London: Seeker & Warburg. Powell, E. (1983) "Findingout", Sunday TimesReview, 17thJuly1983. Toffler,A. (1970) FutureShock, New York: Random House. A. Toffler, (1980) The ThirdWave,London: Collins. Townsend, S. (1982) The SecretDiary of Adrian Mole Aged 133A,London: Methuen. Turner, W. J. (1939) SelectedPoems 1916-1936,London: OUP.

FEU (1977) A BasisforChoice: Report a StudyGroup of on Post-16 PreCourses. London: FurEmployment therEducation Curriculum Review and Development Unit. of Geographical Association (1982) The Contribution GA. Geographyto 17+ Courses,Sheffield: in GeographyCommitteeof HMI (1981) Geography the School Curriculum 11-16,London: DES. Grahame, K. (1938) The Windin theWillows,London: Methuen. in Grierson,J. (1966) "A mindforthe future", Hardy, F. (ed.) Griersonon Documentary, London: Faber& Faber, pp. 382-393. Gunn, T. (1957) The Sense of Movement,London: Faber & Faber. Hall, P. (1963) London 2000, London: Faber & Faber. House of Commons Education,Science and ArtsCommittee(1982) The SecondarySchool Curriculum and London: HMSO. Examinations, Lawton, R. (1983) "Space, place and time", Geography,68(3), pp. 193-207.

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