Geography Fieldwork is Not Mission Impossible, pp. 6 of 6


In conclusion, having an appreciation of the shifting paradigms in the construction of geographical knowledge will help teachers address the apparent disjuncture in the theory and practice of fieldwork. The latter has lagged behind the rapidly changing developments in geographic thought from 1970s onwards. Changing pedagogical models (such as Inquiry-based Learning) has also rendered much of the practice of quantitative fieldwork to be outmoded. 

By matching purpose to strategies or vice versa in the matrix, it is not difficult to imagine new possibilities in geographical fieldwork in the apparently “barren” Singapore physical landscape. If a teacher is able to vary his approach and is able to identify potential environments and resources for fieldwork, even large class sizes will not pose too many problems. Finally, the golden rules to “do less, perceive more” and “design work that will engage, not confuse” will also go a long way in dispelling the myth that geography fieldwork is mission impossible.


  1. Job, D., Day,C., & Symth T. (2002). Beyond the Bikesheds: Fresh approaches to fieldwork in the school locality. Sheffield, England: The Geographical Association.
  2. Relph, E. (1976). Place and placelessness. London: Pion.
  3. Tuan, Y. F. (1974) Topophila: A study of environmental perception, attitude and values. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
  4. Unwin, T. (1992). The Place of Geography. Essex: Pearson Education
  5. Van Matre, S. (1979). Sunship earth. An acclimatization program for outdoor learning. Martinsville IN: American Camping Association.

Photographs are the author’s own. 

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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