Geography – its dynamic nature

Geography, simply put, examines the relationship between man and the natural environment. Physical and Human Geography serve as the basis for understanding this complex relationship, which is expressed in the dimensions of time (temporal) and space (spatial). These dimensions make Geography unique from other disciplines.

Geography is constantly evolving- changing with recent developments in technology. Today, the study of Geography is gradually taking a different dimension, emanating from the complex  relationships currently existing between humans and the natural environment. The use of technology has affected the way we relate to and understand our environment.

IB Geography, therefore, takes these factors into account by focusing more on the developmental aspect of the subject. Thus, most the core topics relate to human Geography and globalization. Physical Geography, which played a key role in the study of traditional Geography, has less emphasis. These topics are studied as optional themes. Map reading, which also used to be the fundamental aspect of the study of Geography, has little emphasis in the new syllabus. With the advancement in technology such as Google maps and Google earth, students are only expected to develop map reading skills in order to enhance their understanding of maps. Now, there is emphasis on topics such as tourism, transport, agriculture, development, climate change, technology, resource management and issues of sustainability among others.

More importantly, the Geography syllabus also highlights the importance of globalization as an important dimension through which the world is becoming interconnected. These could take the form of trade, socio-cultural exchanges, technological globalization, political outcomes and the effects these may have on human societies.

Equally important is the internal assessment component of the Geography syllabus. This gives the student inquiry skills necessary for undertaking research at the tertiary level. Students choose a topic that it geographically inclined and present a written report of about 2500 words.

In summary, Geography has become multidimensional, cross-cultural at a local, national, regional or international scale. It employs knowledge from various subjects such as economics (development economics), sociology, political science and agriculture to demonstrate the extent to which humans interact with one another and the environment.