Reclaiming pedagogy



Publication Details

Castree, N. (2003). Reclaiming pedagogy. Geoforum, 34 (3), 283-285.


In geography, as in so many other disciplines, teaching has been a sorely neglected subject for debate and discussion. When I say 'teaching' I do not mean the nuts-and-bolts of how to give a good lecture or how to use computers in multiple-choice assessments. Instead, I am referring to two deeper issues. The first is what a university education is and should be about. The second is how that education is shaped by and influences the social formations in which it is embedded. It is a peculiar fact that the many people who spend so much time designing and delivering degree courses spend so little time reflecting on the means and ends of pedagogy. I include myself here. Since 1995, when I landed my first university post, several hundred students have encountered me, my reading lists and my assessments. Yet I have rarely paused to reflect deeply on quite what my teaching practices are designed to achieve. Instead, I have operated with a definite but (crucially) unarticulated philosophy of learning. And I have done so under institutional conditions over which I have only partial control. I am surely not alone. Geography is marked by a conspicuous non-debate over pedagogy. It is rarely discussed at conferences and professional meetings, let alone in print. Symptomatically, the few journals devoted to a formal consideration of teaching and learning--such as the Journal of Geography in Higher Education--are preoccupied with 'technical' matters (such as formative assessment, virtual field-classes, student-centred learning and the like). Missing is an articulate discussion of the why and wherefore of university teaching in the current conjuncture.

Please refer to publisher version or contact your library.



Link to publisher version (DOI)