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Reading and Writing Place; Poetry and Place in School Geography PowerPoint Presentation
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Reading and Writing Place; Poetry and Place in School Geography

Reading and Writing Place; Poetry and Place in School Geography

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Reading and Writing Place; Poetry and Place in School Geography

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  1. Reading and Writing Place;Poetry and Place in School Geography The Severn was brown, the Severn was blue………

  2. “We need myths that help us venerate the earth as sacred once again… ……instead on merely using it as a resource; this is crucial because unless there is some kind of spiritual revolution that is able to keep abreast of our technological genius, we will not save our planet” (Karen Armstrong 2005) - is school geography currently too focused on the explanatory and analytical whilst undervaluing the emotional, poetic and spiritual?

  3. Are we leaving it to Literature and English? • Ecocritical/ecocriticism – from literature/cultural • Key ecocritic/thinker =Prof. Jonathan Bate • ‘Tide of green ink’ – poems about saving the planet; re-interpretation of Romantics; novels (& films) about ecological issues (The Flood,The Road,Solar etc) • Too few examples of Geography and English departments working together (Matthewman)

  4. Why get involved now? • Developments in cultural geography – less detachment more involvement of self, body and place –Wylie, Lorimer (the ‘more-than-representational’) • New popular interest in outdoors and active recreation (running, hiking, coasteering, cycling, photography, triathlon) esp amongst the young • Nature writing and nature TV – Mabey, Macfarlane, Sheers, Cocker, Deakin. Nature/culture debates • Openings in National Curriculum –developing geographical imagination

  5. Approaches to Studying Place(after Cresswell 2004) • Descriptive –. –places a unique and distinctive (a sense of place[s]) eg regional geography • Social Constructionist –places as instances of general underlying processes (sense of process) eg radical, postcolonial, feminist geographies • Phenomenological – place as an essential part of being human (a sense of being-in-place) eg humanistic, phenomonlogical, more than representational

  6. Nature/Culture Debates • at heart of debates in social sciences incl geography, archaeology, anthropology • determinism – human response to nature • social constructionist –all nature culturally constructed • hybrid geographies – crossing the boundaries • phenomenological – being in place, in real places School geography – reaction?

  7. ‘Being in Place’ Being, belonging and perceiving are happening at the same time – not a series of detached viewings of the landscape but a constant process of dialogue between the person and the place (‘it thinks itself in me’ Merleau Ponty) Poets especially……. Ivor Gurney –stream of place consciousness; Gerard Manley Hopkins – inscape, John Clare – rush of intense knowing Recently – Oswald, Burnside, Sheers, Gross Not only the experience of being in a specific named location but also - what its like to be there in a forest, on a hilltop, on the cliffs, next to the river…..walking, moving

  8. The Severn was brown,….. the Severn was blue • Ivor Gurney 1890-1937. Glos poet, musician ‘The Severn meadows’ • Alice Oswald currently writing, ‘Sleepwalk on the Severn’ • Philip Gross, TS Elliot prize 2009. The Water Table

  9. The River Severn:the Newnham bend

  10. So what should we do in school geography? Involve young people in: • Reading imaginative/emotional responses –poetry, novels, nature writing (also film) • Expressing personal responses – creative writing • Drawing on own experiences of being in the world eg walking, sailing, windsurfing, sightseeing • Doing fieldwork that includes time for reflection, wonder and creativity as well as other strategies • Using literary materials as tools to stimulate exploration • Undertaking cross-disciplinary approaches eg with Eng.

  11. The Post-Pastoral –lessons for geography education Characteristics of post-pastoral (Gifford 1999) • Human nature understood in relation to external nature • Creative-destructive character of the earth revealed • Nature as culture; culture as nature • ‘With consciousness comes conscience’ - a first step • Exploitation of the natural world is the same mind-set as exploitation of minorities (diversity agenda) • Encompasses a spirit of awe and wonder in relation to natural world (in danger of losing this in geography)

  12. What are poets for in our brave new millennium? Could it be to remind the next generation that it is we who have the power to make the earth sing or be silent” Bate 2000