Are you a geography student seeking exciting ways to better your geography skills? Are you a parent that wants to introduce your kids to the exciting world or geography but don’t know how? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, this article is for you. In this article, we will talk about everything you should know about studying geography. We will also discuss some studying techniques that will help arouse your interest in geography while preparing you for post-school life. Read on to find out how to learn geography for adults and kids.
What is Geography?
As a word, geography directly translates to Earth’s study. Therefore, geography is a branch of science that describes the surface of the Earth. It’s popular to see people confusing geography for cartography (the study of maps), but geography entails more than that. It does not only involve investigating what is where on Earth. It goes on to explore why things are where they are and not somewhere else.
As a subject, Geography also studies whether each location is natural or human-caused while looking at the consequences of the difference of each element. The study of geography is divided into two main areas: physical geography and human geography.
Physical geography is a branch that focuses on understanding Geography as earth science. It typically involves aspects like using biology to understand fauna patterns of global flora and using physics and mathematics to understand how the Earth moves as well as how it relates with other bodies in the solar system.
On the other hand, human geography is a branch that focuses on the non-physical, social science aspects of the Earth’s arrangement. It takes a broader look at how humans can adapt to their land and other people they live with. It also examines the macroscopic transformations that humans enact on the world.
Why Study Geography at School?
It’s a known fact that Geography is a broad-based academic subject with the potential to open up numerous options for anybody now and in the future. Employers and universities are already seeing geography for its robust educational benefits, especially improving skills, knowledge, and understanding. Perhaps, it’s worth knowing that there are numerous reasons why you should study geography in school. However, most people’s most significant reason is the availability of several courses in geography and the range of career areas that geography graduates can access and choose from. Not ready to take our words for it? Here is a detailed review of some important reasons to study geography.
Provides case employment prospects
Geography graduates are well equipped to go into a range of occupations and areas of further study if they desire. For instance, students who major in human geography can seek a career in urban and regional planning, a department in both government and private sectors. Additionally, students will acquire skills that can be marketed on their own. Such skills as Geographic Information System, Cartographic (maps), and data presentation skills are becoming more relevant in the 21st century. Additionally, geographers can also pursue a career in consulting firms. So you can see that the list of opportunities available for Geography graduates are almost endless.
To make a difference to the world
Another reason to study Geography is its ability to equip you to make a difference in the world. We all know that Geography teaches a spatial perspective that can’t be found in other disciplines. Geography as a subject is also uniquely synthetic, bringing the physical aspects of the environment and its human aspects together to create vital and unique solutions to local and global problems that people may be facing. The study of Geography provides a roadmap for solving problems like uneven development and socio-spatial inequality.
To make correct decisions on resources should be used
It’s common knowledge that Earth’s resources are finite and must be managed in a responsible manner. Without responsible management, these resources may soon run out, leaving us with nothing to live on. Thankfully, the study of Geography helps us appreciate Earth as a homeland for humankind. It provides insight for wise management decisions about how we can efficiently manage the planet’s resources. The study of Geography also teaches us how to improve the status of those resources that are in danger of running out.
How Hard Is It to Learn Geography?
Geography is not very difficult to study, although it is multi-faced like most other subjects and may take many years to learn. It includes different aspects like world maps, local mapping, climate and weather, and distribution of natural resources. A student may choose to study Geography as a generic course or focus on one of the aspects of Geography. Whatever the case, there’ll be a lot to learn and remember, but it won’t be too difficult for you to pull through.
In fact, many Geography students claim that it is a very simple subject since it involves the study of day to day activities happening on Earth. The theoretical and practical aspects of Geography are interlinked, so it’s not as confusing as most other subjects. One thing is sure – Geography is a fascinating subject to study, especially with the availability of many hands-on geography activities. It involves observing and trying to give an interpretation to every phenomenon related to time and space. Students are particularly impressed by the fact that Geography helps them understand the trends of population, religion, culture, growth, etc.
What Skills Can You Learn from Geography?
The study of Geography provides students with many transferable skills that are in hot demand by employers. In addition to these skills, students are expected to develop some personal attributes that will make them better and more ready for the competition they’ll meet in the labor market. Some of the common skills that Geography students will acquire while learning Geography include:
- Creative problem-solving skills. When studying Geography, students can typically pick up communication skills that they can use to communicate with a diverse audience. Of course, you’ll need these communication skills to solve problems between employers and research on how to solve the more natural issues inherent in our society.
- Ability to read, analyze, and construct maps for a variety of audiences and purposes. Geography students can usually combine geographic information systems software with other applications to analyze and display spatial data.
- The ability to use geographic perspectives and techniques to address several contemporary issues such as economic inequality, demographic changes, urbanization, environmental justice, and more.
- The ability to understand and appreciate other cultures and perspectives.
How to Improve Your Geography Skills?
As a Geography student, you probably understand the need to improve your Geography skills. Apart from becoming better in the field, improving your geographic skills helps you stand out in school and out of school when you’ll start to put your knowledge into practice. If you are wondering how to improve your Geography skills, here are some tips that can help you.
No doubt, reading is the one sure way to improve your skills in anything. If you truly want to become a better geographer, then you must be ready to read. We recommend spending many hours on resources like encyclopedias, picking up essential tips like names of world capital and how rivers affect Earth’s dynamics. Thankfully, there are many resources available for geographers these days, so there won’t be a shortage of materials to read.
You can start by reading books about countries, oceans, landmarks, and weather. These books would introduce you to the exciting part of the subject, therefore arousing your interest to study more.
Start using maps
Yes, Geography goes beyond using maps, but that doesn’t take away the importance of maps to the subject. Therefore, at every opportunity, you should be learning how to use maps. This is one tip that improves your Geography skills and gets you ready for the application of Geography. If you can, get yourself a good atlas. Thankfully, you’ll find quality atlases at reasonable prices in some larger bookstores. Maps can be of significant help to you when you want to familiarize yourself with the major mountain chains around the world. You can even post a world map on your room’s wall and refer to it every time you discuss a country or location around the world.
Leverage on other activities
Nothing improves your geographic knowledge and skills more than constant practice. Thankfully, you can practice with almost everything so it won’t be too hard for you. Switch your TV to channels discoursing weather reports from time to time. Also, make it a habit to watch discovery and history channels to learn more about other geographic locations.
Other activities, like eating foods and wearing clothes from different cultures, can help you learn about those cultures. If possible, create and play games based upon the names of other countries and regions.
Having international experience
Finally, experiencing the cultures you learn about can help sharpen your Geography skills. Both local and international travels can help expand your knowledge of how Geography is shaping the world. For instance, touring a historic town nearby can motivate you to check in with their museums, where you can learn about geographical features that influenced their existence.
Traveling to other places can also help you learn new agricultural methods to apply to improve crop production in your area. Get a book and pen when traveling and write everything you observe while traveling across different regions.
5 Best Ways to Learn Geography
No doubt, the study of geography opens up the world to you right in your location. With many career opportunities available for geographers, people are asking how they can effectively learn basic geography. To help, here is a review of some of the best ways to learn and become better in geography.
People learn better when they can see, hear, and touch the things they are learning about. It makes their studies relatable. Studying about a place where you’ve lived can make geography come alive. This is why teachers often make provision to take students on field trips to rivers, mountains, deserts, oceans, etc. At least it helps them put the things they are learning into perspective. If you desire to understand geography better, you should pay more attention to registering and going on field trips.
Another exciting way to learn and become better in geography is through map work. Students generally find fun in knowing how to create and detail maps. As a student, you’ll have a great time adding borders, mountains, and other things to your map as part of your geography lessons.
The famous saying that photographs tell thousands of tales is especially true in geography. Photography can create a desire to learn about a particular place. Therefore, if, as a teacher, you want students to become interested in learning about a specific location, perhaps you should show them beautiful pictures of that place. These pictures will make them know that these places don’t just exist in their textbooks’ pages. Another thing is to make taking them to the places they’ve seen and are interested in a priority.
Although generally underrated, family vacations are one effective learning method that geographers should explore. A great way to expose students to the world and get them interested in studying geography is through family vacations. It helps them see the places they’ve been studying in their geography classes. You’ll be doing your kids good if you make the next place you’ll visit somewhere that they want to learn in geography. This way, they’ll hear, see, and touch places they’ve always learned about, therefore making beautiful educational memories that will last forever.
Kids enjoy playing games. Geography teachers around the world are already leveraging on kids’ love for games to bring fun into the geography learning process. There are so many fun geography cards and board games that kids can play while learning more about places. Check your local bookstore for one of such games that you can use to get your kids interested in learning geography.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Learning Geography
Geography is a great subject for anyone to learn. It opens up exciting career opportunities for students and gets them acquainted with their environment. However, despite the subject’s exciting nature, students still need to pay maximum attention while studying it or face the risk of losing interest in the subject. To help make studying geography easier, we’ve reviewed some of the effective learning methods you can try, including geography enrichment activities. The information in this article should help you learn steps that you can adopt to become better in your knowledge of geography.