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Essential Resources for Geographic and Environmental Educators
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Issue Vol. 67, No. 3
Publication Date: November, 2016
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Author(s): Hughes, Shawn
Shawn Hughes, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board
Welcome Back! We hope that you had a great start to the school year. Our dedicated volunteers at OAGEE have been working very on the upcoming 2016 OAGEE Fall Conference at Trinity College School (TCS) on November 11th and 12th. TCS offers a beautiful campus and an amazing facility located in the small town of Port Hope, which is situated about an hour’s drive from Toronto.
Teachers that attend the conference will receive a variety of ‘Geography swag’ and promotional materials that market the importance of Geography (and Geography courses) in their schools. We would like to thank Dr. Bob Ryerson for donating copies of his book Why ‘Where’ Matters: Understanding and Profiting from GPS, GIS, and Remote Sensing for conference attendees. Why ‘Where’ Matters explains that having the knowledge and skills to use new geospatial technologies provides a significant competitive advantage for people working in business and government.
Why Care? is the big question explored as Dr. Ryerson emphasizes that geospatial technologies are amongst the most important tools to process and analyze information in the Twenty-first Century. Students need to include the ability to utilize these Twenty-first Century tools in their individual pathways plan for future careers.
OAGEE’s Randy Wilkie revealed potential pathways in his GeoCareeers poster at the very successful 2015 Fall Conference hosted at the University of Toronto Schools. Where Can Geography Take You? is the big question that guides students’ thinking and learning as they explore a variety of activities outlined on the back of the poster. Teachers attending the 2016 OAGEE Fall Conference at TCS will receive a free copy of Randy’s latest poster celebrating the International Year of the Map!
Our 2016 keynote speaker, Dr. Helen Scott, has an amazing GeoCareer as the Executive Director of the Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (CAN-MNCH). Her role requires the ability to navigate an increasingly diverse world, with an awareness of different cultures and beliefs.http://www.can-mnch.ca/
The 21st Century Competencies: Foundation Document for Discussion (Ministry of Education, Winter 2016) identifies a need for the global awareness and cross-cultural skills exemplified by Dr. Helen Scott, as a global competency that will allow students to respond “constructively in changing or challenging circumstances” (p. 17). It is our hope that this recognition of the importance of students’ global competency will eventually receive the same attention and commitment as the strategies to improve students’ literacy and numeracy.
This is a crucial time for Geography in Ontario. You can make a difference! We hope to see you at the 2016 OAGEE Fall Conference @ Trinity College School on November 11th and 12th. We need your help in Ontario so that Geography can SURVIVE & THRIVE. Take an active role in your profession by becoming an OAGEE member today at www.oagee.org
Author(s): Abbotts, Torie
GeoGeek Talks - thoughts from an aspiring Geographer
Torie Abbotts, Geography Teacher, York Region District School Board
Getting Our Hands Dirty for the Love of Geography
While spending time with my children on the southwest shore of Georgian Bay this summer I got to relive the joy and wonderment of touching and experiencing geology first hand. My boys found fossilized shells while playing along the water’s edge. It was their excitement at discovering a piece of geologic history that made me feel certain that I had to recreate this learning experience for my students in the classroom.
I am teaching Grade 11 Forces of Nature for the first time. This course has never run at my school before. I therefore, feel a little pressure in making a lasting impression. The idea of making this course as tactile as possible struck me as a good way to generate an emotional connection to the content. I also feel the need to add some elements of nostalgia, as this course was one of my personal favourites in high school. I assigned my students a 3D model of a tectonically active location as the first assignment. I want to share with you my experience with this assignment and how I feel learning and assessment opportunities like this are intimately connected to the work we do in geography.
Author(s): Wilkie, Randy
CGC1D: Locating Data Centres
Randy Wilkie, GEOGRAF/X design, OAGEE Regional Councillor
A1.1 Formulate different types of questions to guide investigations into issues in Canadian Geography;
A1.2 Select and organize relevant data and information on geographic issues from a variety of primary and secondary sources;
A1.4 Interpret and analyze data and information relevant to their investigations, using various tools, strategies, and approaches appropriate for geographic inquiry;
A1.6 Evaluate and synthesize their findings to formulate conclusions and/or make judgements or predictions about the issues they are investigating;
C3.4 Analyze the main factors that need to be considered when determining the location of sites for different types of industries.
CGC1D: Syrian Refugee Conference - Comparing the Weather and Climate of Selected Syrian and Canadian Cities
Author(s): Ellis, Amanda
CGC1D: Syrian Refugee Conference - Comparing the Weather and Climate of Selected Syrian and Canadian Cities
Amanda Ellis and Anne Sagar, Sutton District High School
The Canadian government announced that it had admitted 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the
end of February 2016.
You have been selected to be a delegate at the Canadian-Syrian refugee environmental preparation meeting. You will be presenting your findings to the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, in a written format geared towards the refugees.
1. Research and understand the weather, climate and pressuring climatic issues of a Canadian and Syrian city.
2. Critically think and communicate about the needs of Syrian refugees in terms of Canadian weather/climate.
3. Complete a weather and climate guide for refugees showing the comparison between Canada and Syria and all they would need to understand the climate of their new city.
CGW4U World Issues: Canadian Geopolitics - Part 1
Katherine Radcliffe, Alanna Nagy, Cao, Huiqi (Wiki), Joseph Miller, Ross (Van) Bailey, Tirzah M. Keffer, and Jeremy Wielenga, Pre Service Students, Lakehead University
Editors Note: This is one of 3 curriculum packages developed by Pre Service Students of Randy Wilkie at Lakehead University. They outline units or lessons that relate to different Geography courses from Grade 9 to 12. Due to their length, they will be divided into smaller packages and included in upcoming issues of The Monograph. This article is Part 1 of a package entitled Canadian Geopolitics and includes the first 3 of the following 6 lessons.
Lesson #1. What is Geopolitics?
Lesson #2. Canadian Demographics
Lesson #3. Natural Resource Development
Lesson #4. Natural Disasters
Lesson #5. National Parks
Lesson #6. Canadian Geopolitics
Author(s): Johnston, Jennifer
Cartography in a Digital Era
By Jennifer Johnston, Cartographer with Inspirit Cartographics
Cartography is a profession that is often forgotten or misunderstood. “Cardiologist?” “Scientologist”, you take pictures of cars?”…but really cartography is the art and science of creating maps. “But hasn’t the entire world already been discovered?” The world is always changing and it is impossible to show all information at once. Maps should be clear, easy to read, and symbolically intuitive enough to be understood by
anyone regardless of their literacy or language ability. Cartographers simplify their representations of the world to show only the information that is relevant to the map’s purpose or aid the reader in navigation or orientating themselves. For example, a tourist map shows very different
information then a map produced to explain the usage of oil.
Author(s): Fletcher, Jonathan
Geospatial Technology: Trails and Trials - 1
Jonathan Fletcher, OAGEE VP Geotechnologies
Editor’s Note: Jonathan, the first OAGEE Vice President of Geotechnologies is beginning an ongoing series of columns to share his experiences and knowledge of Geotechnologies with Geography teachers. This is his first column.
Let me start off by saying I have had no formal training in GIS. I didn’t go to school for it. In university, I had to do contour profiles by hand. I had an amazing teacher/mentor when I started teaching who helped set me on my path: Gerry Bell. Along this path, I have had some amazing successes. But I have had many failures too. Note the word MANY. That is why I decided to name this column, “Trails and Trials”. As teachers, it is easy for us to keep our teaching safe, habitual and easy. Who wants to continually create new lessons from scratch when we can pull something out that we have done every semester? However, if we want to remain relevant in our education system, we have to embrace things that showcase our relevancy. Geotechnology provides that vehicle.
Author(s): Alexander, Angela
Esri Online: Five Reasons Why Geographers Should Use ArcGIS Online
Angela Alexander, Esri Canada. K-12 Team
ArcGIS Online offers a wealth of ready-to-use resources such as basemaps and templates that integrate maps, text, and multimedia to tell a story. Here are five reasons ArcGIS Online is worth integrating into your teaching this year. Using ArcGIS Online, you can explore the areas contained in Canada’s Ecozones or Natural Regions.
Author(s): Collier, Linda
Geography Travels - Fortune Head Geology Centre, Newfoundland
Article Prepared by Linda Collier, Fortune Head Geology Centre Supervisor, submitted by Linda Gollick, OAGEE Councillor, Region 14 Metropolitan Catholic - Toronto
Located on the southern tip of the Burin Peninsula in Fortune, Newfoundland, the Fortune Head Geology Centre is a gateway to geological history. With guided tours from Geology interpreters, you can learn the unique history of “The Rock” and take in the exhibit on Earth’s
geologic features, geologic time, and evolution. An interpretation starting point for the Fortune Head Ecological Reserve and Horse Brook Trail, this hidden gem boasts its geological importance and educates all who enter on various aspects of geologic, and local, history.
Author(s): Smith Mansfield, Anne
OAG…Environmental Education for the Future
Anne (Smith) Mansfield, Adjunct Instructor, Geography Programs, Faculty of Education, Queen’s University
This past June, I had the privilege of attending the first National Roundtable on Pre-Service Teacher Environmental & Sustainability Education at Trent University in Peterborough Ontario. Upon arrival, my first thoughts were “Wow…what a gorgeous campus to go to school”. This campus was the ideal back drop for a gathering on environmental education. The National Roundtable brought together teacher educators, researchers, policymakers, Aboriginal scholars, K-12 teachers, graduate students, and community partners to establish a new national network of educators and researchers dedicated to strengthening Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) in pre-service teacher education.
Author(s): Mansfield, Dick
Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About The World
by Tim Marshall
ISBN 978-150112 1463, 263 pp, Paperback
$C 22.75 Amazon
I guess I am a sucker for books which have the word “Geography” included in the title. This one is no exception. My expectations were limited, given a title which promises “all the answers”!!! Nevertheless, I thought I would give it a read. I have to say, given it’s stated scope, I wondered how much depth/substance might be in it.
From the outset, I can say that from my perspective, the book has offered a number of interesting/useful/new insights for me. I must caution that from a strictly Canadian point of view, the insights related to our country are limited - except for ch. # 10 on the Arctic and to a limited degree ch. # 3 on the United States. From a “global” perspective, the book does offer useful background on the “geographical” influences, along with the ”human made” influences which shaped and continue to influence the countries/areas that Marshall has elected to examine.
As indicated, Marshall has decided to focus his attention on selected individual countries(3) or combinations of countries(2), as well as particular regions/continents (5).
ch.# 1 Russia - country
ch. # 2 China - country
ch. # 3 United States - country
ch. # 4 Western Europe - region
ch. # 5 Africa - continent
ch. # 6 The Middle East - region
ch. # 7 India and Pakistan - countries
ch. # 8 Korea and Japan - countries
ch. # 9 Latin America - region/continent
ch. # 10 The Arctic - region
As you can see, Marshall has bitten off a great deal to interpret. Nevertheless, the areas he focusses on are indeed key areas in terms of understanding contemporary world geopolitics. In each instance, Marshall provides some comments on the natural landscape of the area in question. He references the usual stuff of mountains, arable land, navigable rivers,coastlines, and climatic factors which have helped shape the evolution of the political makeup of today’s world. He does not credit only “Geography” as the determining factors producing the current makeup of these nation states. He sketches the significant role of people and politics in shaping our political landscape as well. His selection of maps, both national and regional, are useful, although more would have been helpful! His commentary is current - including significant comments made by previous Canadian Prime Minister Harper relating to the Arctic in summer 2015.
I found that there was something to learn in each of the chapters. Clearly some areas of the political globe are more familiar to Canadians
than others. In this rapidly changing, interconnected world we live in, it is important that we, as educators, be aware of, and have some understanding of, issues related to what is going on around the world - and not simply glean our understandings/opinions from the daily media!!! For example, the Arctic is an area in our own back yard that is rapidly growing in geo-political influence. Who knows what is going to happen next in Korea - a flashpoint which goes back to the early 1950s when many Canadians served and sacrificed under the leadership
of the UN? Clearly an understanding of the underpinnings of the Middle East situation is important not only in terms of supporting Syrian refugees but overall Canadian foreign policy. We, as teachers, have an important role in helping our students gain some depth of balanced/unbiased understanding of what is going on around the world - something more than just “sound bites” on TV, radio, or You-tube!! Although I do not think that this book offers “all the answers”, I feel it does offer a number of very useful/helpful insights for educators as we all try to guide the next generation into a reasoned and well balanced understanding of what makes our natural, economic, cultural, and political world function.
Review by Dick Mansfield - retired Geography educator