In short, early years geography is fundamentally about the development of the concepts of ‘space’ and ‘place’ and, entirely depends upon a wide range of classroom tasks and related learning activities that can contribute to effective learning of these concepts.
Practical tasks with which children may engage to promote meaningful learning in geography draw upon a complex theoretical framework. Present space clearly does not allow for a comprehensive overview and analysis of this. Thus it is intended to highlight a number of key elements of the framework and to illuminate these with recent and relevant research evidence. (Birch & Palmer, 2004, p. 8)
While the content of the National Curriculum for Schools in England underpins and guides the structure of the forthcoming text, it also discusses general principles of teaching and learning in geographical education that are transferable and applicable to all ‘early years’ children of nursery and school age. It is relevant to teachers, student teachers, policy-makers and all other providers of field trip education for children aged 5 to 11 years; that is, the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 in the language of the National Curriculum.
We consider it to be both a difficult and inappropriate task to pursue any discussion of learning experiences relating to the subject matter of geography in the early years of schooling without making reference to the cross-curricular theme of education for sustainable development, closely allied to the area of learning which many know as environmental education. These learning experiences refer to a large extent of Geographical field trips which are inextricably linked in the work of primary education ranging from nursery to early primary classes. Therefore, their inter-relationships are considered with field trips and practical examples that take account of teaching and learning across the whole spectrum of geography and what might be termed
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Geography in the early years is concerned with children’s developing understanding and appreciation of the human and physical dimensions of the world in which they…
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