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Geographies of Education and Learning

Module titleGeographies of Education and Learning
Module codeGEO3140
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Professor Sarah Dyer (Convenor)

Dr Matt Finn (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

What role do space and place have in educational experiences? How do we learn? And, how do we communicate the geography we learn to different audiences?

In this module we will:

  • explore key concepts that geographers use to understand education and learning at different scales, from the local sites/spaces of learning to the international.
  • examine different concepts and theories of learning and how these might influence understandings of our own educational experiences and how we communicate geographical knowledge to others.

Although relevant to those seeking future employment in education the module will also be of interest to those who wish to learn about education, learning and communication more broadly.

Assessment is 100% coursework and there are guidance and opportunities for feedback and developing your work as part of the module structure.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module has two central aims:

  • To help you understand how geographers make sense of education and learning. This involves engaging with key concepts and theories used by geographers of education and learning.
  • To help you develop your ability to communicate geographical knowledge to non-expert audiences. This involves engaging with learning and educational theory.

The module has two parts which link to these aims. In the first part of the module we explore the geographies of education in a variety of contexts in the UK and globally through key concepts including power, space and place and mobility. We explore how and why educational spaces vary and consider their importance in society.

In the second part of the module we draw on educational theory and literature from geography educators to understand how we learn and so how to better communicate relevant geographical knowledge in a variety of settings. The module has a strong focus on developing our communication skills.

Through attending the seminars and completing the assessments, you will further develop the following academic and professional skills:

  • problem solving (developing own ideas with confidence, identifying and using appropriate sources of information, selectively collecting and collating appropriate information)
  • managing structure (identifying key demands of the task, setting clearly defined goals, conceptualising central issues within the task, developing strategies to ensure individual and group progress)
  • time management (managing time effectively individually and within a group)
  • collaboration (respecting the views and values of others, taking initiative and leading others, supporting others in their work, maintaining group cohesiveness and purpose), and
  • audience awareness (presenting ideas effectively in multiple formats, persuading others of the importance and relevance of your views, responding positively and effectively to questions).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Evaluate key debates in the geography of education and learning
  • 2. Explain how different geographical concepts are implicated in education and learning
  • 3. Write clearly about geographical knowledge for an non-academic audience
  • 4. Provide an academic and evidenced-based commentary about communicating geographical knowledge

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Take responsibility for independent learning and articulate and communicate informed views about geographical issues
  • 6. Use a range of academic skills such as analysis, synthesis, argument and critique in assessments
  • 7. Communicate geographical ideas, principles and theories effectively

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Develop independent/self-directed study/learning skills, including time management
  • 9. Formulate a sustained and reasoned argument for different audiences
  • 10. Identify, acquire, evaluate and synthesise data from a range of sources
  • 11. Formulate and evaluate questions and identify and evaluate approaches to problem-solving
  • 12. Use ICTs effectively and appropriately to select, analyse and present information

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Introduction to geographies of education and learning – indicative structure

Part 1. Geographies of education

Conceptual-focused exploration of geographies of education including:

  • A global historical perspective
  • Mobility – what moves in education?
  • Power (1) – what does it mean to become an educated subject?
  • Space – what difference does place make?
  • Power (2) – what is the power of choice?

Part 2. Learning and communicating geographical knowledge

Introduction to geography education in school and beyond

Drawing on educational concepts and theories including:

  • Author/audience – how do we communicate in learning?
  • Acquisition/participation – how do we learn?
  • Knowledge/skills – what do we learn?

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching10Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching4Seminars
Scheduled learning and teaching16Workshops
Guided independent study40Lecture and seminar preparation and reading
Guided independent study80Assessment preparation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group posterDigitalAllOral and peer feedback
Forum postsUnspecifiedAllOral, peer and written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 1 501500 words1-3, 5-12Written
Essay 2502000 words1, 2, 4-12Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay 1Essay (1500 words)1-3, 5-12August Ref/Def
Essay 2Essay (2000 words)1, 2, 4-12August Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to complete a new assessment. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Hanson Thiem, C. (2009) Thinking through education: the geographies of contemporary educational restructuring, Progress in Human Geography, 33 (2): 154–73
  • Holloway, S. L., Hubbard, P., Jöns, H., and Pimlott-Wilson, H. (2010), Geographies of education and the significance of children, youth and families, Progress in Human Geography, 34 (5): 583-600
  • Holloway, S. L., and Jöns, H. (2012) Geographies of education and learning, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 37 (4): 482-488
  • Holton, M., and Riley, M. (2013) Student geographies: exploring the diverse geographies of students and higher education, Geography Compass, 7 (1), 61-74.
  • Kraftl, P. (2013) Geographies of alternative education: Diverse learning spaces for children and young people, Bristol: Policy Press
  • Madge, C., Raghuram, P., Noxolo, P. (2015) Conceptualizing international education: From international student to international study, Progress in Human Geography, 39(6): 681-701
  • McCreary, T., Basu, R. and Godlewska, A. (2013) Introduction. Critical Geographies of Education, The Canadian Geographer/ Le Géographe canadien, 57, 3: 255-59
  • Morgan, J., & Lambert, D. (2011) Editors' Introduction: special issue on Geography, The Curriculum Journal, 22: 279-287.
  • Pawson, E. (2016) Classrooms without borders. New spaces and places of learning, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 40(1): 14-30
  • Pawson, E. (2015) What Sort of Geographical Education for the Anthropocene?, Geographical Research, 53 (3): 306-312
  • Simandan, D. (2013) Introduction: Learning as a Geographical Process, The Professional Geographer, 65(3): 363-368

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

See also the journals published by the Geographical Association (

  • The Geographical Teacher
  • Teaching Geography
  • Geography

Key words search

Geography, education, learning, communication, geography education, subject formation

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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