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“Synopsis: Mark Enser has been teaching geography for over a decade and is currently a head of department at Heathfield Community College. He contributes articles to TES and to the Guardian Teacher Network and often speaks at education conferences. Mark also writes a blog called Teaching It Real and tweets @EnserMark.
In “Making Every Geography Lesson Count: Six Principles To Support Great Geography Teaching” Enser effectively maps out the key elements of effective geography teaching and shows classroom teachers how to develop their students conceptual and contextual understanding of the subject over time.
What sets geography apart from other subjects is the value placed on seeing the connections between the different parts of its broad curriculum, on building links between different topics, and on thinking like a geographer. Writing in the practical, engaging style of the award-winning “Making Every Lesson Count”, Enser has set out to help his fellow practitioners maximize this value by combining the time-honored wisdom of excellent geography teachers with the most useful evidence from cognitive science.
“Making Every Geography Lesson Count” is underpinned by six pedagogical principles challenge, explanation, modeling, practice, feedback and questioning that will enable classroom teachers to ensure that students leave their lessons with an improved knowledge of the world, a better understanding of how it works and the geographical skills to support their learning.
Each individual chapter looks at one of the six principles and begins with twin scenarios which illustrate some of the real challenges faced in geography classrooms. Mark then delves into a discussion on the underpinning theory and offers a range of practical, gimmick-free strategies designed to help teachers overcome these obstacles. Furthermore, each chapter also ends with a case study from a fellow geography teacher who has successfully employed the principle in their own classroom.
Critique: An ideal curriculum guide for classroom teachers working with students ages 11-18, “Making Every Geography Lesson Count” is thoroughly ‘user friendly’ in organization and presentation. While unreservedly recommended for school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted for all middle school through highschool geography teachers that “Making Every Geography Lesson Count” is also available in a digital book format.”
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