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Challenging Assumptions: Whatever has happened to 'understanding' in geographical education?

Trevor Bennetts

Understanding is a prime goal for students' learning in all the subjects that contribute to the secondary school curriculum. However, while this is recognised in the formal subject requirements for key stage 3 (KS3) of the national curriculum and for GCSE and AS/A-Level examinations, the revised programme of study for KS3, issued in 2007 for implementation from September 2008, have given greater emphasis to the notion of 'key concepts' than to the more fundamental and overarching idea of 'understanding'. This article argues that it is necessary to give more careful consideration to the characteristics of 'key concepts' and 'understanding', the relationship between them and their relevance for the geography curriculum, than is evident in the current national specifications.

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Page Numbers: 38-41

Volume: 95

Issue: 1

Date: Spring 2010

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