Geography is a distinctive subject and crosses the boundaries of the natural sciences on the one hand and the social sciences on the other. Geography studies how people relate and interact with the spaces, places, landscape and environments in which they live. It trains the students of Blackrock College to solve economic and political problems confronting Ireland today and into the future. Geography is rich in material that relates to international understanding, multi-cultural concerns and environmental education.
The Geography Department is one of the biggest Departments within the College. It comprises a team of highly skilled and professional Geographers who are passionate about their subject. Some are text book authors.
The Department uses the most up to date computer technology which allows both our teachers and students access to up to the minute facts about planet earth. Our very well resourced Geography Room is located on the first floor of the new wing. The room is home to a computer with internet access and a data projector. The specialist room contains all the fieldwork equipment needed to carry out the Leaving Certificate
Geography fieldwork which accounts for 20% of the Geography marks awarded in the Leaving Certificate. The Geography Room also possesses a wonderful sample of Ireland’s most common rock types. The room also contains a library of books relating directly to the Geography syllabus which students are encouraged to borrow and to consult for project work especially in Transition Year. The room also contains a giant wall map of the world which is essential to teach the importance of location in Geography. Photographs of physical features, taken by members of the Geography Department, adorn the walls.
The Department has a weather station on the College grounds which contains all the weather recording equipment . There is also a rain gauge located on the College grounds.
As part of the Geography Transition Year Programme Geography students produce an environmental magazine entitled Greenwatch. Greenwatch studies the damage done to the environment at the local, national and international level and what we, as inhabitants of the wotld can do to protect ourhome. All the articles are written by the students involved in the project. The project is completely self- financing. The students are divided into groups and approach local and national businesses with an interest in the environment to buy an advertisement in the magazine. Any profits generated are given to a local charity.
9 Reasons why students should study Geography
1) Geography studies where we have come from.
The world which we inhabit is billions of years old. Geography provides our students with the opportunity to learn more about the formation of this planet which we call earth, our home. By studying physical processes such as plate tectonics and weathering and erosion our students learn about the geographical development of earth.
2) Geography and the environment: Is climate change happening and what are its consequences for Ireland and the world?
Geography studies the impact of environmental factors on individual and group behaviour in order to discover how humans alter the environments where we live and to determine the environmental impacts of our actions. Geography seeks out to answer why are natural hazards occurring with more frequency and why do they affect the least developed countries more than the most developed countries?
3) Geography teaches students very essential skills key to life in the 21st Century.
By studying Geography our students learn how to read maps, aerial photographs, tables and graphs to recognise patterns and solve problems. Geography teaches the students how to make presentations in class. Geography develops the skills of literacy, numeracy, recording and communication that are so essential in today’s world.
4) Geography contributes to international understanding.
Ireland needs young people who possess an excellent knowledge of other parts of the world as well as Ireland itself. If Ireland’s competitors know more about us than we do about them they have a huge advantage in negotiating trade agreements. Geography prepares our students so that Ireland can take its place in the global economy.
5) Geography is of huge economic importance.
Geography educates our students about global natural resources as well as national resources. Students are taught that as the old reliable fuel sources begin to diminish we must find alternative sources of energy. Ireland will only develop if we have adequate and environmentally friendly sources of energy.
6) Geography has many social implications.
Why do people from different countries, regions and cities have different life expectancies? How can inner city poverty and deprivation at a national and international level best be solved? Geography studies these and many more social problems and attempts to find solutions to these 21st Century problems.
7) Geography and culture.
Why are civilisations and religions from different parts of the world clashing with one another and how might dialogue be promoted between opposing cultures? The student of Geography attempts to answer these questions. Geography teaches our students about the cultural life of individual countries and what are the consequences for the mainstream culture if outside interferences come into play.
8) Geography and administration.
To govern any country properly the government of that country must possess an excellent knowledge of the geography of the country they are governing. By studying geography our students will acquire this knowledge and more besides.
9) Geography and the past.
Geography links our students to the past. Landforms and climate are related to migration patterns, land use and the rise and fall of civilisations. Geography students study colonisation, its impact on the colonised countries and its impact on their development in the 21st century.