Geography Directions posts apply geographical insights to better understand and explain contemporary issues. Each post is written by a relevant expert geographer and many draw directly on the latest research, as published in the RGS-IBG journals, book series, and beyond.
Designed in collaboration with the RGS-IBG Education and Outdoor Learning team, this page filters Geography Directions content into easily accessible streams, based on topic areas at A-Level and GCSE, which can be used by teachers to enhance their knowledge, or shared with their students as part of their course materials and to provide stimulus for their NEAs.
The streams will live update as new posts are added, so make sure you check back regularly for new materials and insights.
Physical & Environmental processes and issues
Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the planet, climate change is a key topic for any geographer to engage with.
Understanding the relationship between humans and the environment is key to managing and mitigating disasters, preventing them from becoming catastrophes.
Water is one of the most powerful natural forces. It shapes not only the physical aspects of our planet, but is also key to human societies, politics and economics
The presence or absence of ice not only shapes the places in which it is found, but also influences many factors at a global scale, from climate change, to geopolitical struggles.
Carbon is a key element to everyday life on our planet. Yet because of this it is also a resource that has profoundly affected relations between people and the planet.
The interactions between state and non-state actors, their environments and borders, shape international politics profoundly. Geographers are central in understanding these power relations and their implications.
These topics have increasingly become key political flash points around the world. As geographers we can apply unique perspectives to better understand how and why these issues arise, and how we might resolve them.
As the world pushes through a global pandemic, studying global health and disease has never been so important.
‘Changing places’ is a varied topic covering many aspects of human geography and human-physical processes. We have split up this content into more manageable streams below.
The majority of the world’s population live in urban areas, and that number is constantly growing. As geographers, we play an important role in ensuring our cities expand in a way that is sustainable and accessible for all.
Neighbourhoods are often seen as particularly special places in the city. Yet neighbourhoods are constantly changing through processes of migration, gentrification and regeneration. Geographers play a key role in understanding and mitigating these processes.
Differences in wealth, health, crime, access to education and exposure to pollutants often depend hugely on where a person lives. With political agendas now focussed heavily on the idea of ‘levelling up’, understanding the geography of these inequalities will be very important.
Humans are not alone on this planet. We are part of a complex global ecosystem, and understanding our relationship to nature is crucial to creating better lives for all of us.
Capital and international finance are hugely important to understanding why the world is organised as it is. From international politics right down to day-to-day experience, money has an impact on all aspects of our lives.
Moving beyond the syllabus
There are some key geographical categories not specifically covered within the GCSE/A-Level modules but which will extend teachers and their pupils geographical insights and perspectives. These may be useful for pupils reading around their subject and, if applying to study geography at university, pupils may wish to include their reflections on these and other articles within their personal statements.
Geography is prevalent at even the smallest of scales. Looking at the geography of the home is important for many reasons, but it also allows us to understand and answer some much bigger questions.
Differences within and between our identities dictate how we understand and live in the world. As geographers its crucial that we understand and apply this knowledge.
For more information, resources, podcasts and activities from the RGS-IBG Schools Team, please visit the website, here.