(Re) Imagining the Intra-connections in Geography Education through the Notion of Place

Krystle Ontong (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)

Article ID: 816

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/jgr.v2i2.816


One of the challenges facing geography educators at higher education institutions in South Africa is to prepare students by providing them with an integrated conceptual and pedagogical toolkit that would adequately equip them to teach a type of geography that is current and relevant to local (but also global) environmental and social phenomena. As an intra-disciplinary science, Geography offers multiple avenues for fostering this type of integration, yet as argued elsewhere, [1] because of a fragmented school Geography curriculum, teacher educators struggle to foster holistic and integrated learning among novice student teachers. In fact, academic geographers most often privilege their own field of specialisation rather than work towards integration [2]. Ultimately, this perpetuates a fragmented teaching practice and conceptual understanding of geographical phenomena. This paper provides a theoretical exploration to demonstrate how Geography Education could retain its holistic nature and advance integration by (re)turning to its own intra-disciplinarity. It was found that the notion of “place” (one of Geography’s big ideas) could serve as a potential point of departure for fostering integrated thinking in the discipline. The argument is made that place-based approaches offer fertile avenues to pursue in Geography Education programmes for equipping student teachers with a holistic conceptual and pedagogical toolkit.


Geography Education; Intradisciplinarity; Place; Teacher education

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