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Teaching about Geographical Thinking

Call it a pedagogical bestseller. Teaching about Geographical Thinking — a resource book for geography teachers co-published in 2008 by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and The Critical Thinking Consortium at the University of British Columbia — has been so popular that a revised edition is due to be published in May.

The book outlines ways in which teachers can encourage students to think critically about geographical issues. “Rather than just passing on information, it’s about presenting a problem that students have to solve,” says Bob Sharpe, editor of the second edition and a geography professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, Ont.

Teaching about Geographical Thinking draws on current and vital geographical problems, such as climate change. One of the suggested activities challenges students to assess competing beliefs about this global concern.

To help teachers apply critical-thinking concepts in the classroom, a companion resource kit, containing a series of lesson plans on themes such as migration, natural disasters, and international aid is being developed for release in the fall.

— Monique Roy-Sole

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Canadian Geographic magazine is an excellent resource for teachers and students. It provides posters in both official languages, such as the St. Lawrence Seaway map, as well as short geography related news items suitable for current events. In addition, the June issue each year is devoted to environmental issues such as wind energy.”

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