THE CONCEPT OF GEOGRAPHY:
MEANING OF GEOGRAPHY:
- Define the term geography
- Explain the inter- relationship between different geographical phenomena.
- Explain the importance of studying geography
- Observe and record geographical phenomena
KEY TERMS AND CONCEPTS
- The term Geography is derived from two Greek words “geo” which means the earth and graphes which means to write about or to describe about. The two words together form Geographia or geography which means description of the earth or a study about how people visualize (form a mental picture) and use the environment.
- Geography is the scientific study of the distribution of physical and human features on the earth and the interrelationship between them. In geography we study the location of features on the earth’s surface and the actions that bring about these features. We also study the processes that destroy features on the earth’s surface such as soil erosion and mass wasting and human activities such as agriculture, fishing, mining and forestry.
- The study of the earth, its surroundings and how the elements in it interact with human beings, is what geography is concerned about. Thus, geography deals with the study of the earth, its origin, shape, size, movement and features.
- Geography is both a natural science and social science subjects. In geography we learn natural phenomena, human activities and the distribution of features in space and their interactions.
- It describes the physical features of the earth’s surface like mountains, plateaus, plains, valleys, lakes, rivers and seas. It also describes the climate, minerals, wildlife, human activities, soils and natural resources like vegetation.
- Environment is the totality of natural and manmade world including human beings. The things that are found in our environment can be classified as biotic, life support systems and man – made things. The biotic things include humans, other animals and plants. Life support system include water, soil, air, energy and light. Houses, clothes and roads are examples of manmade things. All our surroundings make up our environment.
- Both plants and animals require water to live. Human beings also require water for domestic and industrial use. Seas, oceans and other large masses of water support living things including fish. Other utilities required by human beings include energy, light, clothes and food. All these are found on our planet called earth.
- While some utilities occur naturally in some cases, human beings use their knowledge to turn others into more useful resources. For example hydroelectric power is generated from rivers, thermal power is produced from coal and oil, and lately solar energy is tapped from the sun. The clothes we wear are made from materials obtained from our environment, that is cotton, wool and silk. Depending on the temperature, people dress up differently. They put on light clothes made from cotton fibres in hot weather, while in cold places; they use woolen clothes so as to keep themselves warm.
BRANCHES OF GEOGRAPHY:
There are two main branches of Geography.
- Physical geography
- Human geography
- Practical geography.
1. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
This branch of geography deals with the study of the environment land forms weather and climate, soils and vegetation.
This deals with the study of human activities on the surface of the earth. These activities are caused by exploitation and an attempt to use resources available on earth. It also studies human population aspects like growth, distribution and structure. Transport and communication mining industries, energy, forestry, tourism and fishing are all studied under human geography.
N.B: Bothe physical and human geography have a practical aspect known as practical geography. Practical geography enables learners to practice skills and techniques learnt in class in real life situations. Something important here is map reading, interpreting photographs, analyzing statistical data and carrying out field work. This knowledge and skills are important for students and their future.
IMPORTANCE OF GEOGRAPHY:
Geography is important to the learners in the following ways:-
- Learners acquire skills of reading maps and interpreting information from their local environment to a global scale.
- To develop knowledge and skills so as to make informed decisions regarding exploitation of the nation’s natural resources.
- It teaches knowledge and skills of observing geographical phenomena.
- To develop knowledge and skills in collecting data and representing geographical information.
- The knowledge of how and where people live helps in bringing about international understanding which defuses cultural tensions.
- Knowledge of the environment instills in learners the right attitude towards its conservation and management.
- To develop knowledge that enables learners to better understand places, maps, photographs and satellite image.
- Knowledge of geography is useful for learners who wish to become geographers or cartographers.
- To develop knowledge and skills for national development. Planning national projects like roads, schools and energy resources requires a good understanding of the locations which is a geographical question.
GEOGRAPHY AND OTHER DISCIPLINES:
Geography relates to several other subjects as discussed below:
- Economic: The production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. The type of economy in a country is influenced by transport, technology, natural resources, level of industrialization, energy production and trade pattern. These subjects are common both in geography and economics.
- Environment: Physical geographers study how natural systems work, while human geographers deal with the relationship between humans and the environment.
- History: The study of the origin of the universe sheds some light on the past a subject for historians. Therefore, understanding how the land scape was like in the past helps us understand history better.
- Agriculture: This is the science or occupation of cultivating land, planting and rearing livestock. Geographers are interested in the types of livestock and crops, areas where they are grown and the conditions for growth. Over 60% of our population is engaged in the agricultural sector.
OTHER DISCIPLINES RELATED TO GEOGRAPHY ARE:
ADDITIONAL POINTS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING GEOGRAPHY:
- To understand how different land forms are created.
- To acquire skills and knowledge that can be used for environmental conservation, sustainable managemental problems.
- To gain scientific techniques of research such as observing, measuring, recording, analyzing, interpreting of phenomena and drawing conclusions.
- To understand national and international interaction of people and share various ideas of problem solving
- To enable people to utilize available resources so that they can raise their standard of living.
- To provide foundation for advanced studies and expand our knowledge of employment opportunities in specialized fields.
- To enable people to appreciate nature.
- To be aware of our country and our heritage.
GEOGRAPHY FORM ONE: TOPICAL QUESTIONS.
CONCEPT OF GEOGRAPHY
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS.
1. Choose the most correct answer.
(i) The term Geography refers to:
- Describing of the Earth
- Geo and Graphien
- The study of man and his surroundings
- All of the above.
(ii) Geomorphology is regarded as;
- The study of soil science
- The study of Geology
- The study of physical features
- The study of flora and fauna.
(iii) Geography is sub – divided into;
- Practical, Human, Economic.
- Physical, Practical, Demography
- Human – economic, practical and physical.
- Practical, Survey, Statistics.
(iv) Agriculture, mining, lumbering can be studied in:
- Physical Geography.
- Human and economic Geography.
- Plant Geography.
- Practical and physical Geography.
(v) Geography as a discipline can be applied in;
(vi) A branch of human – economic Geography that deals with the study of human population is called.
(vii) The following is a set of sub – braches of physical geography except?
- Biography, climatology, pedology.
- Geomorphology, pedology, climatology.
- Pedology, biogeography, biography.
- None of the above.
(viii) Geography helps the learner to acquire the following things in his/her life except.
- Knowledge and skills
- Understanding their environment
- Guessing future events.
- Conserve their environment.
(ix) Physical geography studies about;
- Mining, fishing, farming.
- Climate, rocks and water bodies.
- Lumbering, Agriculture, mining.
- All of the above.
(x) The study of physical features is called?
- Flora and fauna
2. Match the items from list A with those in list B.
(iv) Practical geography
(vii) Map reading
- It involves skills
- It studies physical features
- Study of man and his environment
- Measuring distance, angle and height
- The study of soil
- The study of forest
- The study of climate
- Involves location of various places.
- Studies human life.
3. Write TRUE for a correct statement and FALSE for incorrect statement.
a) The study of Geography does not involve human evolution and his surrounding_______
b) Climatology is a branch of practical geography that deals with atmospheric conditions studied for a long period of time___________
c) Demography deals with economic activities__________
d) Research is a branch of practical geography that deals with a systematic investigation____
e) Environment is what surrounds us_________
f) The study of rocks is called geology______
g) Geography is originated from Greek words Geo and Graphien_______
h) Biogeography studies the distribution of plants and animals______
i) If you undertake the knowledge of Geography you might be a geologist___________
SECTION D: SHORT ANSWERS:
4. Define the term Biogeography
5. Show briefly interrelationship between geography and disciplines.
6. Write short notes on;
b) Practical geography
d) Human – economic geography.
7. Explain in short importance of Geography.
8. Identify four things which are found in the environment.
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