- BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In recent decades geography has been undergoing major changes in its concepts, methodology and techniques. The “new” geography, can be describe as a recent development and changes as a revolution.
For instance, with regard to the concept of geography and the unit of study, it is becoming widely accepted that a geographer can today study a unit area as small as a single farm, a river or stream, a classroom or even a teachers table. The organization of space and the processes operating within a classroom, such as the relationship of space and distance between the students through their seating arrangements or between the class and the teacher.
To be a good geographer, one has to be very sound in the practical aspects of geography. Practical work is an essential method used to realize the objectives of geography teaching, some of the objectives includes:
- Developing the students ability to understand and explain natural phenomenon and marvels of nature.
- To develop in students, the ability to think critically and to have respect for accuracy as well as orderly and objective method of investigation.
The deductive approach of starting from a problem for study and a set of reasoned hypotheses to be tested and accepted, rejected or modified for further testing is favoured. Scientific methodology or approaches, which can be tried and reproduced elsewhere, with similar or stated varying conditions and premises now mark the science of geography.
Geographical techniques are therefore improved and new tools of geographical investigation and testing are being developed in order to meet the demands of new trends in the subjects. Without a knowledge of practical work in geography all the skills and techniques that are required in the new geography cannot be acquired.
Local geography, field work and map work as suggested by Majasan have come to form core areas in practical work in geography. In local geography, students are made to study their home environment by assembling and analyzing its physical and human resources with a view of assessing its potentials and problems in development.
Map work is another major theme forming a subsection of practical in geography, just as field work is also a major theme and similarly a subsection of practical work. According to Amosun (1994), the need for cartographers is being taken care of by practical work in map work. Map work in geography can be subdivided into map making and aerial photography.