Regional geography in the undergraduate curriculum: a review and case study.

Simon K. Haslett

The Registry, University of Wales, King Edward VII Avenue, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NS, UK

Summary

Regional geography was, until the 1970s, an important component of undergraduate geography programmes. Due largely to increased specialization within geography, regional geography was subsequently pushed to the margins of the discipline. This paper briefly reviews the changing status of regional geography. Some authors argue that regional geography is the main public perception of geography, but that it has been undervalued by geographers resulting in limited engagement with regional issues and participation in global debates, such as globalization. Regional geography can provide a context for geographical concepts and help students appreciate and understand interconnections. A UK case study illustrates one approach to reinstating regional geography at the core of the curriculum, with student views supporting pedagogic benefits of regional geography. Whilst regional geography appears to be slowly returning, other disciplines are developing similar sub-disciplines, such as place-based learning focused on place, community and sustainability. Clearly these are central to geography, but to what extent are geographers involved?

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Haslett