Geography is concerned with the study of people and their environment. A study of geography will help students develop an understanding of their physical and human surroundings. It examines the changing interrelationships between the physical and human worlds. Through their study of geography, students will develop geographical skills that will help them make informed judgements about issues at local, national, and international levels.
- To develop a knowledge and understanding of a selection of contrasting physical and human (social, economic, and cultural) environments and of the relationships that exist between them.
- To promote an awareness of the spatial, structural, and temporal patterns of environmental phenomena, both physical and human, at a variety of scales, and to realise that these patterns can change with time.
- To understand the opportunities for, and challenges of, global interdependence.
- To promote the conservation and sustained management of the earth's resources for the welfare and happiness of its inhabitants and for future generations.
- To recognise, and be sensitive to other people and their culture, here in Ireland and elsewhere.
- To develop a variety of geographical skills which can be applied to the world of work and to many other aspects of life.
- To develop and promote active citizenship and to encourage informed participation, through lifelong learning, in society at local, national, European and global level.
- To encourage the use of information and communication technologies in the teaching and learning of geography.
- To assist students to become well-informed and responsible citizens and to enable them to progress to further studies or to enter the world of work.
- To provide students, through their study of geography, with an interesting and enjoyable experience and imbue in them a lifelong love of their natural and cultural environment.
The course objectives list the knowledge and understanding, concepts, skills and attitudes which students should acquire through their study of Leaving Certificate geography. They are based on, and progress from, the objectives in the Junior Certificate geography syllabus.
1. Knowledge and understanding
From this syllabus, students should acquire knowledge and develop an understanding, from a local, national and international perspective of
- basic spatial relationships
- physical and environmental phenomena and processes
- social, cultural, and economic phenomena and processes
- the interaction and inter-relationships between physical, environmental, social, cultural, and economic phenomena
- the practical aspects of these different phenomena as they relate to the student's local environment and community.
2. Course concepts Students should understand the key concepts of
- spatial distribution
- areal association
- spatial interaction
- change over time.
- Students, while developing their ability to use and apply these concepts, should also develop their problemsolving skills, and understand processes and systems relevant to each concept.
Students should have the opportunity to develop the following skills, where appropriate, as they study all aspects of the syllabus:
- information gathering skills maps of various scales including Ordnance Survey maps and synoptic weather maps
- figures (line graphs, bar graphs, pie charts, diagrams and pictorial models)
- photographs, including aerial and satellite photographs
- pictures, including cartoons
- textual sources with geographical terminology
- information and communication technology sources (e.g. computerised data and packages, TV and radio programmes, internet, audio and digital sources) GIS and satellite imagery.
- presentation and communication skills
- present and communicate information and ideas in a variety of ways (including maps, figures, statistics, written, and oral)
- investigative skills
- select and use a variety of modes of investigation
- carry out a geographical investigation using both primary and secondary sources of information
- social skills
- develop social skills (e.g. working effectively alone or in groups, following instructions, teamwork and co-operation, use of verbal communication to find out, debate and pass on information)
- evaluation skills
- synthesise, analyse, interpret and evaluate information (e.g. distinguish fact from opinion, draw conclusions, prove simple hypotheses, make informed judgements, suggest sensible solutions to problems and, where appropriate, suggest realistic plans for action).
Students should be encouraged to develop positive attitudes towards themselves, others, and their environment. Such attitudes include:
- a willingness to perceive and evaluate natural and cultural phenomena from the point of view of others
- an appreciation of social, cultural, and environmental diversity
- an awareness of the dangers of all types of stereotyping and prejudice
- sensitivity to the aesthetic quality of the natural and cultural environment, leading to a desire to maintain and enhance this quality.