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Alijani B. The curriculum of geography in higher education of Iran in the 21st century.. Journal of Spatial Analysis Environmental Hazards 2023; 10 (1) :1-22
URL: http://jsaeh.khu.ac.ir/article-1-3348-en.html
kharazmi , alijani@khu.ac.ir
Abstract:   (1536 Views)
During the recent decades the discipline of geography has lost its priority and position to some degree in Iran. Most of the graduates could not enter into the work in the universities and other organizations. The human-environment system, the main area of geographical specialty - has experienced many crises and hazards among which the global warming and climate change being the most destructive.  This means that the ongoing curriculum is not working well and needs to experience a fundamental change. To implement this operation some points should be cleared out: The hazardous condition of the world and especially Iran, the education history and state of geography in Iran, and the relation between geography and sustainable development of the world. The discipline of geography has changed its approach according to the circumstances of each period several times. For example, at the beginning of the twenty-century due to the dominance of the environmental determinism, the dominant approach of geography was the relation between man and environment. But since the 1970’s the earth has encountered with different hazards and crises to the extent that it is named as the period of Anthropocene. Accordingly, the dominant approach of geography during this Anthropocene era is to identify and solve the hazards and crises and lead the man- environment system towards the sustainability as once was requested by the secretary general of the United Nation.  In this regard the geography should adopt the sustainable development concepts and goals. For this reason, the geography of Iran should make a switch from its very specialized approach to a relatively wholistic view and pay more attention to the human- environment paradigm. To implement this order, the following assumptions should be considered.
  1. The applied objective of the discipline should be defined as “locating the suitable place for the living and activities of man without endangering the sustainability of the natural environment.  This objective is not clear at the present curriculum. Defining this objective will clearly show students what is their job after finishing the career.
  2. The main vision of geography education is the creation of the sustainable geographical space or environment.
  3. The research approach is problem solving. Because most of the laws and concepts are identified and defined. Due to the hazardous nature of the earth system geographers should identify the problems and research to solve them via geographical thought and knowledge.
  4. The terrestrial unit for working is region. This is very important concept in geography. We cannot prescribe one sustainability procedure for all of the world. But we do one for each region. When regions became sustainable, all the world will be sustained.
  5. In any region the hazards and crises will be identified and described through the spatial analysis methods and will be conducted towards sustainable human – environment system. This monitoring is composed of the stages of spatial analysis, spatial planning, and spatial managing.
  6. All of the geography subjects and materials are necessary for sustainable development goals. The only criteria will be added is the environmental ethics in all of the geography activities and applications.
  7. Instructors and students should be familiar with the techniques of integration and multi-dimension modelling.
  8. All geography graduates will respect the nature and its resources and should consider the environmental ethics during their academic career. They should be able to identify and solve the environmental problems through the geographical thinking. Geographical thinking means asking geographical question, gathering geographical data, processing the data with geographical (spatial) methods, and presenting the results in the geographical forms, i.e., maps. All the graduates should be creative and critical and should have the power of scientific challenging and discussions.
  9. Geography is one independent and overarching discipline and we will offer only one total geography in bachelor level. The master career can be specialized according to the applied objectives of the societies. The doctoral program is also one integrated discipline. The specialty of graduates will be defined according to their dissertation.
  10. The subjects include the fundamental courses such as physical geography and sustainable development, regional courses such as the human geography of Iran, technical courses such as remote sensing, GIS, and statistics, the applied courses such as evaluating the natural resources, and so for. The students with any high school background should pass all the courses with high quality so that after graduation they have the potential to analyze the human- environment problems and recommend the required solutions.

Key words: geography curriculum, sustainable development, geography of Iran, twenty first century, environmental ethics, geographical thinking, Geography and sustainable development.

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2022/12/1 | Accepted: 2023/01/20 | Published: 2023/06/21

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