Why you should study geography!

In an article published in Geographical magazine (Dec 2013 edition), Noel Castree, who is a professor of geography at the University of Manchester, argues the merits of studying geography at all levels and states that the subject gains “strength in diversity”.

Page 77:

“(Students) need to know the benefits of opting for geography as opposed to other academic subjects.

First, in a world where there are no more ‘jobs for life’, students need a wide range of skills and to be comfortable with diversity and change. Geography’s breadth and lack of a narrow ‘canon’ caters to this.

Second, many of the most interesting and challenging problems that lie ahead involve working in the interstices between areas such as art and scicence, the local and the global, facts and values. Again, this is goegraphy’s bailiwick.

Third, although it has a ‘real world’ focus and many applied aspects, geography is also about the statisfaction of curiosity and broadening the mind. More than 50 years after CP Snow’s famous complaint about the estrangement of ‘the two cultures’, geography tries hard to enrich students cognitively, morally and (at times) aesthetically.

In short, geography’s broad scope and intellectual variety are precisely its strength rather than – as the ‘jack of all trades’ saying would have it – a weakness. It treats students as whole people, not merely job-seekers.”

(Reference: Geographical magazine, December 2013 edition, article ‘Strength in diversity’ by Noel Castree page 77)



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