National Curriculum Framework 2005 stresses upon learner centered environment, which means ‘paying careful attention to the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs that learners bring with them to the classroom’
‘Geography is the study of earth as abode of mankind’. But over the period of time the scope of the subject has widened. It is now an integrative and interdisciplinary subject with sub-fields from other branches of science and social sciences. Likewise many new branches of study came out of it. It was Prof A Z Harbertson who made it interesting with scientific outlook. The Cause and Effect relationship was incorporated in the subject. Thus it was provided with a rightful place in school curriculum after 1905.
It can not be denied that ‘teaching is an art’ where the success of a teacher lies in his/her ability to make a subject lucid and intelligible to pupils. Geography has also some general as well as specific objectives of teaching, which is driven by prevailing social, political and economic factors. Bloom’s taxonomy classified instructional objectives into cognitive domain, affective domain and psychomotor domain. The cognitive domain objectives include knowledge, understandings, applications, analysis, synthesis and evaluation where as the effective domain objectives include the appreciation, values, attitudes, interests, feelings etc. and the psychomotor domain objectives include skills. Realisations of these objectives are under specific aims of teaching geography.
Choosing a method of teaching depends upon available resources, psychological re-quirement of pupils, environment and above all feasibility of implementing it. Some methods such as Socratic Method or question-answer method, descriptive method, observation method, regional method, lecture method etc. are more frequently used where as some others like project method, Dalton plan method, laboratory method, excursion method etc. are neglected. The latter types of approaches are gaining much importance now a days. This has been realised in National Curriculum Framework 2005 stressing upon learner centered environment, which means ‘paying careful attention to the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs that learners bring with them to the classroom’.
In this circumstance of inevitable change challenges are many. The digital age concept of global village is being established firmly. Now the access to information is no longer a personal property of individual or organisation; rather everyone is flooded with it. To cope with this situation adoption of new technologies is essential in education. The solution is the Information and Communication Technology (ICT). In educational context it includes me-dium of mass communication like radio, television, computer, Internet, telephone etc.
Radio and Television programmes are in use for educational purposes either as direct substitution for teachers temporarily or as complementary teaching since long. Use of satellite technology has made it possible to use this medium for teaching extensively. Interactive Radio Instruction is one such programme which intends to substitute class room teaching to some extent. This has been successfully used in Africa, Latin America and in Thailand, Bangladesh and Indonesia of Asia. Likewise TV programmes of IGNOU in India are designed in this regard. The programmes of National Geography channel, Discovery channel, Animal Planet, History channel etc. are highly informative and interesting to captivate audience irrespective of their age group. But its availability at fixed time and not accessible at remote locations are main drawbacks. But a TV tuner card in computer can enable to record the programme to display at the time of convenience. It is also possible to gain access to these programmes even in remote location through DTH technology. The participation of private players in this field is expanding its horizon rapidly.
Computer is the catalyst to bring about a paradigm shift in education from teacher-centered pedagogy to learner centered. This can be integrated more appropriately in teaching geography than any other subject. There are a number of readymade educational CDs available. Those possessing an artistic sense and knowledge of some advance drawing tool like ‘Adobe Photoshop’ can prepare presentation with beautiful maps, diagrams and photographs for effective classroom teaching. It is also the most acceptable tool for self-directed learning.
The Internet is a vast source of information available through a network of millions of computers around the world. There are a number of ways to use the information in classroom pedagogy delivery. The simplest way of using it is to search data, information, images, videos, animations etc. and presenting a given topic in the classroom in an interesting way through regular methods of teaching like lecture method, discussion method etc. There are three main types of Internet search tools, such as:
Specialist search tool: It aims to help a particular audience find high quality websites for their particular need i.e. Geosource: (www.library.uu.nl/geosource) which is a guide to web resources in human geography, planning, geo-science and environmental science.
Library websites: It provides information on library catalogues, access to full text databases or tutorial to use the resources i.e. British Library Integrated Catalogue (http://www.bl.uk), European Library (http://search.theeuropeanlibrary.org) e-journals like CyberGEO: (http://www.cybergeo.eu) European Journal of Geography.
Teaching is an art’ where the success of a teacher lies in his/her ability to make a subject lucid and intelligible to pupils. Choosing a method of teaching depends upon available resources, sychological re-quirement of pupils, environment and above all feasibility of implementing it
Research papers, government publication, databases, images, videos and maps are available in abundance. There are a few extremely popular web sites for videos of different kind, Google images for pictures, Google Earth for searching places on earth, Wikimapia for maps etc.
Like wise membership to professional bodies and research bodies also help one to keep track on the latest development in the field of interest i.e. ESRC: (www.esrc.ac.uk) society today- our research, National Environment Research Council-UK, National Research Council (U.S), Royal Geographical Society (www.rgs.org), Association of American Geographer (www.aag.org ) etc.
Further Internet also provides audio and video connectivity which is facilitating virtual classroom in far off places. Educational games and puzzles available online or the option to download has played a vital role in teaching school children some of the elementary concepts easily like the location of places on map.
Through Internet one can contribute video to youtube, article to wikipedia or present messages to blog pages. There is an ever-growing number of geography-related blogs available on the web like geo blogs, geography matters, geography blogs etc.
DRAWING OF OUTLINED MAP BY USING PHOTOSHOP
No doubt, ICT plays a major role in modern teaching learning process. It has brought a sea change in the communication of teacher and the taught. It certainly can be an essential aid for an effective teaching, but it can never replace a teacher completely. Thus the teacher and the ICT should be complementary to each other. So far as the modern educational system is concerned a teacher without ICT will be fruitless and ICT without a teacher will be rootless.