Maxims on the basis of which geography teaching is conducted are as follows:
In order to achieve the aims and objectives of the teaching of a particular subject certain maxims are laid down. The teaching of the subject is then planned and carried out keeping these maxims as the guiding principles. No doubt teaching is an art but the success of a teacher lies in making his subject so simple as to make it intelligible for his students.
The moment a teacher fails in this task he ceases to be a teacher. A geography teacher has to take greater pains as he has to act both as a science teacher as also a social science teacher.
Teaching is thus a most difficult task and everybody is not fit to be a teacher. Some persons may have'flair' for teaching and some other can improve their teaching if they are fully aware of different methods of teaching.
In order to make children learn effectively, the teacher has to adopt the right method of teaching. In this chapter an attempt will be made to discuss some common methods of teaching of geography.
Before taking up the discussion of various methods of teaching of geography it would be better to know about the maxims of the teaching of geography because to be successful in his task the geography teacher shall have to fall back upon these maxims. Given below are the maxims on the basis of which geography teaching is conducted and carried out.
(i) Proceed from simple to complex:
It is a well known maxim of teaching and this is the natural process of mind. It is also psychologically successful method. For imparting the knowledge of sea and ocean a geography teacher can show a pond or a tank to his students. Similarly a model of mountain can be used to explain various things about a mountain.
(ii) Proceed from known to unknown:
It is always better to proceed from known to unknown. It demands that the teacher should make efforts to establish some association with the previous knowledge of the students while imparting them any knew knowledge.
For example while teaching about forests and their qualities the geography teacher can establish association with gardens that the students have seen. Due to this the regional geography is quite important.
(iii) Proceed from concrete to abstract:
Though it is desirable to proceed from concrete to abstract but it is difficult in teaching of geography. Geographical factors, that are abstract in nature, cannot be displayed in concrete form.
However teacher should try his best to act according to this maxim. The teacher should make use of pictures, maps, sketches and diagrams and try to establish the abstract facts in the minds of the students.
(iv) From whole to part:
Such a method is more scientific and psychological. Since quite long we have been teaching the geography of different countries separately and after teaching them geography of a particular country an attempt was made to take them towards whole.
This made the learning of geography quite difficult and now we lay more stress on proceeding from whole to part. In this approach the whole of the region is taken for study first and then its various sub-divisions are explained. This makes the education scientific. The knowledge acquired in this way is more stable.
(v) Proceed from definite to indefinite:
Through concrete and definite examples we can have a better idea of abstract and indefinite things. Teacher of geography should take full advantage of the knowledge of students about certain natural things in proceeding from definite to indefinite. He can make use of maps, charts, etc. and give the students proper foundation.
(vi) Proceed from particular to general:
It is always better to cite some specific example before proceeding to general principles of a phenomenon. It helps the students to follow things easily and properly. The geography teacher should proceed from the Geography of region and then go over to the Geography of the general principles of the whole world.
(vii) Proceed from psychological to scientific:
In the beginning the geography teacher should teach his students in a psychological manner. He should also keep in mind the mental development of his students. Slowly and slowly he should shift from psychological to scientific method.
He should make an effort to divide the syllabus in such a manner that the curiosity of the students be satisfied as well as accentuated. In present age geography is taught on the basis of cause and effect which is a scientific basis. This scientific basis has to be reached through psychological manner.