The Development Of Geography As An Academic Discipline Sociology Essay Essay

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In this essay I will be looking at the development of geographics as an academic subject, and so I will be discoursing the function that theory has had in the development of geographics. I will research past events and influences, to see how they have affected geographics as an idiographic topic and changed the topic into a spacial scientific discipline and efficaciously into a nucleus academic subject.

The subject of geographics is among the most ancient of scientific disciplines. Geography can be traced back to Eratosthenes, a Grecian bookman who lived around 276-196 B.C and who is frequently called ‘the male parent of geographics ‘ . Alexander Von Humboldt was a German geographer from 1769-1859, normally known as ‘the male parent of modern geographics ‘ . Equally good as Humboldt, Carl Ritter is besides considered as one of the laminitiss of modern geographics. Both Humboldt and Ritter shared similar positions. The naturalist Charles Darwin wrote a book called the ‘Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection ‘ in 1859. It “ proved an inspiration to many geographers, who saw in Darwin ‘s thought of natural choice the possibility of a general theory of man-land relationshipsaˆ¦ so adult male needed to follow manners of life which were harmonic with the environment in which he livedaˆ¦ ” ( Graves, 1975 )

Geography branched out as a new visible radiation and the idea procedure was now in topographic point. Yet Darwin ne’er claimed to be a geographer, with his chief concentration being botany. Humboldt and Carl Ritter so co-founded a Geographic Society in Germany in 1874, conveying together Humboldt ‘s rule of a systematic attack and Ritter ‘s regional attack which were cardinal methods of geographics at this clip. Regional geographics is the survey of universe parts. It looks at cardinal features and how one topographic point is specific and alone compared to another.

Another German geographics, Freidrich Ratzel was the first individual to utilize the term Lebensraum, which was used by Adolf Hitler. One of Ratzel ‘s pupils Ellen Semple studied under Ratzel and was to a great extent influenced by his thoughts, printing ‘Influences of Geographic Environment in 1911. Another one of Ratzel ‘s pupils, Ellsworth Huntington besides applied Ratzel ‘s theory of regional geographics to the logical thinking behind the rise and autumn of civilization. Despite being one of the oldest subjects, in today ‘s society, geographics battles to specify itself as an academic topic. Over the past few decennaries, geographics has had to hammer its manner to stand as a cardinal scientific topic.

In the early nineteenth century, many geographics bookmans believed that environment had a cardinal function on the life wonders. The theory of Environmental Determinism – the position that the physical environment sets limits on human environment – was being questioned due to claims of its deficiency in the rational relevancy and mistakes in its descriptions of certain locations. This led on to the theory of environmental possibilism. Possibilism states that the environment does hold an consequence on society, nevertheless it is non deterministic and worlds can to a great extent act upon the environment around them. By the 1950 ‘s environmental determinism was virtually history and environmental possibilism had now taken over as cardinal theory.

The first few stairss frontward for geographics were the gap of the first geographical establishments, such as the constitution of the first establishment by Humboldt and Ritter in Germany in 1874, The National Geographic Society in 1888 and besides the Royal Geographical Society, founded in 1830 in Britain. The Royal Geographical Society is an establishment to promote the patterned advance of geographical scientific discipline. “ The Society besides devoted much of its energy to instruction, and was responsible for both the incorporation of the survey of geographics in schools at the bend of the twentieth century, and for the first university places in the subject. ” ( Royal Geographical Society website. ) The Society is the largest Geographic Society in Europe and one of the largest in the universe. It supports and promotes geographical research, field preparation, instruction and instruction. These associations were the foundation for geographics to get down to turn and develop as the funded key and indispensable research. They besides promoted geographics in schools and universities, taking to the first university lector appointed in 1888. In 1919, Geography was the established as a Bachelor of Arts grade, and Cambridge University appointed its first professor in 1933, which was a great measure frontward for geographics being such an influential topographic point of larning. This assignment acted as a accelerator, and after this, many other universities started to follow suit.

By the 1930 ‘s Britain had 44 University geographics sections. However, there was a slack in the early 1940 ‘s when geographics hit crisis point. Geography sections started to deteriorate every bit geographics as an academic subject struggled to stand as a basic University topic. “ aˆ¦geography as a topic is often misunderstood by the non-geographersaˆ¦ ” ( Graves, 1975 ) This meant that other subject professors and pedagogues questioned the importance of geographics. “ During the 18th century, geographics began to be taught in certain establishments of higher acquisition, though the substance of what was being taught varied vastly in quality. ” ( Graves, 1975 ) This was followed by Harvard University get rid ofing geographics as a topic in 1948. Bing such an of import and important topographic point of acquisition, this obliteration had an inauspicious impact on the manner geographics was viewed. It lost its topographic point as a extremely regarded topic, and was get downing to be regarded as excessively descriptive with no relevancy to scientific discipline, the Greeks named it as ‘a description of the Earth ‘ .

It was at this point that inquiries were raised about the importance of geographics and whether it answers the ‘why ‘s? ‘ and ‘how ‘s? ‘ . At this clip, geographics had no documented split between the human and physical side. Besides, “ aˆ¦geography in academic establishments straddled the humanistic disciplines and the scientific disciplines. ” This made it difficult for geographics to hold a true factual definition. Society started to inquire whether it sat as a scientific discipline or a humanity topic. These inquiries and questions made it progressively hard for geographics to hold a good platform on which to turn. Basically, the topic needed to be defined, and this would imply more elaborate research.

With more advanced research, geographics started to ramify out with the division of both physical and human geographics into modern-day geographicss. Henderson ( 1968 ) “ the ‘adjectival geographics ‘ : agribusiness geographics, urban geographics, societal geographics, colony geographics and so on. ” These legion modern geographicss started to do it easier to for geographics to be defined. At last there were specialised countries that focused on one peculiar country of geographics. “ Parallel to this tendency towards specialisation, there developed a inclination to utilize quantitative techniques of analysis. ” ( Graves, 1975 )

The importance for engineering to develop in society had increased massively by the terminal of World War II, which meant there was a spread for geographics to turn. This spread led to the quantitative revolution, which was one of the major turning points of modern geographics. This revolution began in the 1950 ‘s, and marked a fleet alteration in the method behind geographical research – doing geographics into a spacial scientific discipline and switching from an idiographic topic to an empirical jurisprudence doing one. It made Torahs that applied to big groups of people and persons, and established wide generalizations.

It was a turning point, and geographics started to hold on attending one time once more. It brought to light new determinism theoretical accounts and mathematical equations to reply hypotheses that could be used in instruction, and helped to specify geographics, doing it able to reply the more logical inquiries and respond in more deepness. Geography could once more stand as a strong scientific subject in schools and universities. The topic started deriving popularity once more and Universities began to recognize the value of geographic survey and developing – this provided more categories and degree chances.

The usage of fieldwork started to be used in schools in the 1950 ‘s, as a cardinal method of learning. Fieldwork is an effectual instruction method in geographics – is an synergistic merriment manner for people to larn and see what they are larning at first manus. It is an of import method of larning as fieldwork Teachs things that can non be taught or learned in category. However, disappointingly the focal point on fieldwork started to weaken as it “ aˆ¦ is non promoted in educational establishments because of factors such as clip to cover comprehensive course of study, fiscal restraints, legal issues and committedness by pedagogues. ” Factors such as these had the consequence that the inclusion of fieldwork declined in some schools ; nevertheless, with the aid of support fieldwork is still a really of import and outstanding portion of learning geographics whenever possible.

Geography is alone in that it is non unreal. It is non something that text edition authors had composed for pupils to analyze. Geography is alive, and something that is relevant and we use in our day-to-day lives. Fieldwork started to do a existent impact in higher instruction in 1985. It gave people movable accomplishments, including “ Project design, organizational accomplishments, leading accomplishments, group accomplishments and pupil engagement. “ ( Royal Geographical Society web site ) This is why fieldwork is critical, it helps students understand and image the topic for them. Fieldwork besides put research and findings into practise. In undertaking field work, pupils are efficaciously transporting out advanced research over and above what could be achieved in a schoolroom.

The president of the American Geographical Society, Jerome E. Dobson, president of the American Geographical Society argues that geographic tools allow for scientific promotion and hence geographics deserves a topographic point among the cardinal scientific disciplines, but more significantly more of a function in instruction. “ aˆ¦most faculty members in the United States considered geographics a fringy disciplineaˆ¦ ” ( Jill Freund Thomas ) In May 1993, Roger Down worked towards doing research in geographics instruction to be an “ built-in portion of work ” . In his ain words, “ The demand for research in geographics instruction: it would be nice to hold some informations. ” ( Downs, 1994b:57 ) . In the UK, The Geography Education Research Collective is “ aˆ¦dedicated to the publicity of geographics instruction through research and publication. ” ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www.geography.org.uk/gtip/gereco/ ) 13 instructors come together every four old ages with the declaration of making research in geographics instruction. It is a UK based association and was foremost set up in 1893. “ The field of geographics educationA is unhappily missing in empirical informations that might inform and underpin determinations about standard scene, course of study design, stuffs development, learning schemes, and appraisal processs. Large measures of high-quality informations are necessary if geographics is to be successfully implemented in theA educationA systemaˆ¦ We need a new attitude towards researchaˆ¦ ”

In decision I believe that geographics will go on to turn and develop with the finds of new modern geographicss due to the tremendous sum of scientific research that is now able to be undertaken. The development of new engineerings has helped geography bend into an academic subject as it supports research doing research easier to transport out, and acquiring consequences which are far more precise.

In the hereafter engineering will go on to progress and therefore go on to be included and promoted in school course of studies. “ aˆ¦the most of import alteration which has occurred is the realisation that any advancement in understanding phenomena studied by geographers involves the witting usage of scientific methods and the development of a organic structure of theory to explicate such phenomena. ” ( Graves, 1975 ) With advanced engineerings, wider geographical research will besides be capable and new finds will be made.

The function of theory in the development of geographics in instruction is really important as it is the footing of acquisition and has helped geographics thrive over the last twosome of centuries. “ For, if a theory is to be developed, so some apprehension of the nature of theory and of the procedure of theory edifice was required. ” ( Graves, 1975 ) Today geographics continues to boom and spread out in instruction. Nowadays, increasing Numberss of pupils chose to analyze this topic at university, so the tendency is set for the popularity and importance of this subject to go on to travel from strength to strength in the hereafter.

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