Exploring Geography 2
Exploring Geography is a primary school textbook focusing on physical and economic geography, reflecting the aims of the 1971 Curriculum. The first book in the series focuses on Ireland, while this second book introduces Britain, Europe and the world and contains ‘sample studies’ on particular areas that ‘typify the region… and illustrate the contrasts within that region’. The response of the text to the new curriculum is evident from the introduction with its reference to content and presentation ‘designed to stimulate the child’s interest’ and on the child ‘discovering basic geographical concepts for himself’. There is likewise an emphasis on active and discovery learning in the questions and projects suggested. The variety of these latter components is designed to meet the child-centred aims of the curriculum, with the introduction noting that ‘it is important to cater for children with different interests and different opportunities for activity’. The sample studies from each region are at times presented in a semi-narrative form. The section on ‘A Glasgow Shipyard’, for example, features ‘Mr Adams and his three sons’, though this narrative device is not always sustained effectively. The use of individualised case studies (even fictionalised case studies) may reflect the new curricular emphasis on the relationships between people and their environment, which was one of the key changes introduced with the 1971 Curriculum. In general, the text does not pass any political judgement on other parts of the world or make comparisons with life in Europe. The account of the collective farm in the U.S.S.R. is informative and positive, noting that ‘[m]uch of the profit made… in the last few years has been put to improving the health and education service on the farm’ (58). The sample studies for the regions outside Europe perhaps focus on the ‘exotic’ – the Secoya tribe, an ‘Eskimo’ settlement in Canada, an oilfield in Libya and a village in South India. However, while the sections on the Amazonian tribe, Eskimo settlement and Indian village focus on traditional ways of life, the text does note that ‘Many changes are taking place in the life of the Eskimos’ (66) and that ‘The government of India, helped by loans from other countries, is trying to improve the life of the people. Many new factories have been opened and dams, roads and school have been built’ (77). The text is heavily illustrated with black and white illustrations including photographs, maps and diagrams. The diagrams attest to the ‘scientific’ tone of the work. There are figures depicting monthly temperatures and a map of mainland Britain showing the main coalfields, iron ore regions and iron and steelworks, for instance. The text frequently interacts with the accompanying illustrations by posing related questions.
Cover design: John Skelton. Maps and diagrams: Bob Rogan
Place of Publication:
The Educational Company of Ireland Limited incorporating Longman Browne and Nolan Limited
Date of Publication:
85p. : ill.
Geography, Textbook, 1971 Curriculum, Child-Centred, Active Learning, Discovery Learning, Britain, Europe, U.S.S.R., India, Eskimos, Representations of Nations and Nationalities
Schoolbooks Collection - CICE