Living Geography


Living Geography
Nov 2008


Living Geographygold winner of the Geographical Association Publishers' Award 2010, draws from recent school focused research to provide a concept-based geography curriculum that is relevant, purposeful and exciting!


Living Geography:

  • embraces ‘young people’s geographies’ – young people’s experiences and encounters with the world
  • recognises the past yet is also current and futures oriented, encouraging young people to envision and project into the future
  • is local yet always set in wider (global) contexts
  • investigates processes that bring change to environments – physical, social, economical and political
  • encourages a critical understanding of change, sustainability and development.
Exemplar material demonstrates the role of geography in schools and provides teachers with ideas, guidance and suggested activities. Each exemplar includes a brief introduction that outlines the geographical ideas, ways of engaging these ideas and a summary of the geographical learning that should take place.

Summary of contents

Living Geography consists of 12 chapters, each of which focuses on a theme relating to current UK education policy, both in the national curriculum for geography and other overarching policy guidelines including QCA and Every Child Matters 2007.

These include:

  • ESD and future
  • Global citizenship and ICT
  • Young people’s geographies
  • Natural processes
  • GIS and virtual space
  • Human rights
  • Life, death and disease.

Each chapter contains a conceptual, research-based overview followed by practical classroom strategies that allow you to make the topics discussed accessible to your students. Living Geography captures ways in which geography in the secondary school curriculum presents young people with a basis to understand the living world.

Chapter breakdown

Chapter 1: David Lambert and John Morgan

  • Part 1: What is living geography?
  • Part 2: Why living geography now?

Chapter 2: Roger Firth and Mary Biddulph
  • Whose life is it anyway? Young people’s geographies
  • Exemplar material

Chapter 3: Denise Freeman and Alun Morgan
  • Living in the future – education for sustainable development
  • Exemplar material

Chapter 4: Douglas Bourn and Alison Leonard
  • Living in the wider world – the global dimension
  • Exemplar material

Chapter 5: Isobel Mitchell
  • Living with rights – a human rights approach to geography
  • Exemplar material
Chapter 6: Rachel Atherton
  • Living with natural processes – physical geography and the human
  • impact on the environment
  • Exemplar material
Chapter 7: Andrew Turney
  • Living and learning outside the classroom – fieldwork
  • Exemplar material
Chapter 8: David Mitchell
  • GIS: changing life and work –geographic information systems
  • Exemplar material
Chapter 9: Daniel Raven-Ellison
  • (Re)presenting places, people and lives – using digital media
  • Exemplar material
Chapter 10: Angus Willson
  • Where will young people live? – building sustainable communities
  • Exemplar material
Chapter 11: John Lyon
  • Life, death and disease – applied geographical thinking and disease
  • Exemplar material
Chapter 12: Clare Brooks
  • Teaching living geography – making a geography curriculum
  • Exemplar material


"Living Geography explains clearly the rationale behind the concept of ‘living geography’ and the significance of its approach for teachers. The ideas in the book are rooted in insights gained from research, from innovative curriculum development projects and from practice. Complex ideas are presented clearly, and practitioners will welcome the detailed examples of how the ideas have been developed in local contexts, both in the classroom and in the field.

Accompanying the book is a CD which includes pdf files of the text as well as PowerPoint presentations and links to the Urban Earth project.

This book stimulates thinking about what kind of geographical education young people growing up in the twenty-first century need, and provides a vision of a challenging, exciting, involving and relevant subject. Living Geography is an excellent resource for teachers’ professional development. PGCE students will find it very useful, as will teachers working as a department, or in wider networks, to enhance their curriculum making. The suggestions for further reading in each chapter, together with the excellent bibliography, enable teachers to pursue the ideas further, providing valuable support for those studying for higher degrees. This book takes our thinking about geographical education forward. There should be a copy in every teacher education library and in every geography department."

GA Publishers' Awards 2010 Gold Award Winner


Spiral bound, 297 x 235, 232 Pages, Published 30/01/2009


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