“I’ve got my full set of colouring pencils ready!”
This is the first thing a friend of mine on another course said to me after selecting an optional geography module.
It was said in a joking manner, but it reminded me of just how wrong the stereotypes of geography at university are. It’s something I want to clear up on behalf of all the geography students!
There are three stereotypes I often hear:
1. “Do you have fun playing with rocks?”
2. “Let me test you on world capital cities!”
3. “I bet you’re really good at colouring in!”
But geography is just not just a mix of the three. In all honesty, I cannot name many world capital cities and would suck in the ‘geography’ section of a pub quiz, and I’ve only made a few maps since the start of my course! There are a couple of modules that focus on the study of geology, but that is only two out of many choices! (I didn’t actually choose them either).
Having now studied a module titled Applying Geography, I’ve been considering why such stereotypes of the geography discipline exist.
The subject is said to have one of the most drastic differences between a level and higher level study, and over the years its scope has spread to include…well, almost everything.
We no longer live in the era of cartography (map making!) and discovery, so where are we now?
Geography studies different systems and processes within the world, and the responses to those systems of both human and physical beings.
With both human and physical geographies to consider, we could now say that the subject involves lots of other disciplines, from sociology, health studies and economics, right the way through to ecology, meteorology and natural hazards.
We study a diverse range of topics, learning how to use a variety of research methods and skills that can be utilised in many career paths.
Some scholars also describe the research in the discipline as ‘a conversation’ between different people.
If you consider my independent study topic, then even the unexpected can be made into geography!
GEOGRAPHY MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND!
Check out the website for more information about Geography at University of Worcester.