Geography is the study of human and physical environments, combining topics related to physical and human processes over space and time.
With the use of Geography, we can better understand our complex world. There are many branches of study in Geography. For example, in Physical Geography, we examine natural processes and features, including the atmosphere, landforms and ecosystems. In Human Geography, we investigate the activities and impact of people on Earth. The concept that unifies Geography is space: All geographical phenomena have a spatial dimension and operate in a continuously changing environment.
During Grades 10, 11 and 12 learners are guided towards developing the following knowledge, skills and attitudes:
- Explaining and interpreting both physical and human geographical processes;
- Describing and explaining the dynamic interrelationship between the physical and human worlds;
- Developing knowledge about where places are, and the nature of a range of different places at different scales;
- Practicing essential transferable skills;
- Promoting the use of new technologies, such as Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS);
- Developing a commitment towards sustainable development;
- Creating awareness and sensitivity to inequality in the world;
- Fostering empathy, tolerance and fairness; and
- Making and justifying informed decisions and judgments about social and environmental issues.
Principles of Geography
Geography is the study of man and his environment, with particular emphasis being given to the relationship between the two. The subject is divided into two broad categories:
- Human Geography
- Physical Geography
It thus covers a particularly wide range of topics and, as such, is ideal for inclusion in the curriculum for most High School pupils.
Human Geography covers such aspects as Population and Settlement Geography, while Physical Geography focuses on Climatology, Geomorphology and Oceanography. Regional Geography is also studied (although with less emphasis than was the case in the past), and presents an ideal opportunity to combine the physical and human aspects of Geography.
The subject amounts to more than the mere learning and retention of facts. Today, High School Geography is designed to develop in pupils a much wider range of more stimulating skills, such as the interpretation of maps, diagrams and statistics, and the application of geographical concepts – concepts which are very relevant to the pupils’ own experience. Geography may be continued at University and has direct application in a number of vocational fields, e.g. Meteorology, Geology, Town Planning and Teaching.