Teaching of geography at primary school level:
There is a lot of diversity in the subject-matter of geography. Different portions of this subject matter are taught at different stages of education.
Geography, as already pointed out, is a link between natural sciences and social sciences.
As a natural science it lays more stress on certain things that form a part of teaching of natural sciences and as a social science it has to take certain methods that are a part of teaching of social sciences.
In natural sciences individual work is emphasized and for this the subject is taught by Experimental Methods, observation method etc. Oral work is stressed in case of social sciences and for teaching of social sciences oral work, practical work and method of observation are used directly. The observation method is used in lower classes.
Primary school stage (5-10 years of age) is the formative age and the habits formed during this period are likely to continue for the rest of the life. Thus the student be properly trained, at this stage keeping in view the student’s psychology.
At this stage a student can learn better by seeing and acquiring the knowledge through personal experiences. At this stage the formation of curriculum needs a good deal of thought and discretion. More over the teacher of geography has to use a lot of discretion and intelligence for teaching at this stage of education.
A primary school child is highly interested in play and in fact plays forms an integral part of the personality of the child at this stage of education. The child is highly interested in making toys, models, charts etc. and in listening to stories.
At this stage we can mould the child in any frame according to our liking. An all out effort be made by the teacher to teach the students at this stage through games, keeping in mind the interest of the students.
Since at this stage of education the child is also highly interested in his environment to the local and neighboring environment should form the basis of teaching the students in primary schools. The knowledge given to the child should have a direct bearing on his environment. The student is acquainted with rain, wind, sun rise, sunset etc.
This helps them to understand various natural phenomenons and helps in awakening their imagination. At this stage it is also desirable to tell the stories, about geographical life of the country, to the students.
In these stories they are told about elephants, lions, wild life etc. Tours and excursions may be organized so that students can observe certain facts and get an opportunity to see things themselves. In this way they learn by direct method.
In class I and II no formal method be adopted for teaching geography as a separate subject. In these classes it is taught as a part of nature study. The teaching at this stage be confined to the natural things that lie in between the home and the school. The teaching be based on cause and effect relationship.