Aims and Concepts


There are many reasons why you may have chosen to study Geography in the Diploma and while I think it is an amazing subject that everyone should choose there are a number of fundamental aims of the course.

These aims have been taken directly from the guide.

  1. Develop an understanding of the dynamic interrelationships between people, places, spaces and the environment at different scales.

  2. Develop a critical awareness and consider complexity thinking in the context of the nexus of geographic issues, including:

      • acquiring an in-depth understanding of how geographic issues, or wicked problems, have been shaped by powerful human and physical processes.

      • synthesizing diverse geographic knowledge in order to form viewpoints about how these issues could be solved.

  3. Understand and evaluate the need for planning and sustainable development through the management of resources at varying scales.

Activity One

At all sounds great but what the aims actually mean?

        1. Collect a copy of the aims and a set of coloured pens.

        2. Using a red pen underline all the 'actions' in the aims - something that you will be doing.

        3. Using the same colour pull a line out from the different 'action' words, define the word and then say how you are going to do this.

        4. Using a green pen underline the specific geography in the aims.

        5. Using the same green pen describe what you think the geography you have underlined means.

        6. Using a blue pen underline words that you do not understand.

        7. As a group we will work through the unknown geography.

Useful Resources

Activity Two - Key Concepts

Concepts are used to facilitate discussion and to develop your thinking skills. It is not enough to just know things, you need to be able to discuss and evaluate geographical themes using the key concepts. The concepts are much more explicit in this syllabus than the old one. There is a key concept written in each 'geographic inquiry', therefore it is vital to know what these concepts mean to decode what is expected of you. You will also be expected to use these words in your exam answers.

  1. Copy image one of the key concepts on to a piece of plain A4 paper.

  2. Write a definition of each concept in different areas of the page using the link in the 'Useful Resources' box below the image. You could use colours.

  3. You will first be divided into four teams before you are given an article to read. Click on the given article below and decide how the Geography concepts could be applied to them.

  4. For each key concept find a 'geography' news article that illustrates it.

  5. Write the heading of the article and a short summary (between 2 and 4 sentences) next to your definition of the specific key concept it relates to.

  6. Is there anything similar about the newspaper headings you have found?

  7. Is Geography a truly negative subject? Or are we just led by what is in the news?

            • We will watch the YouTube clip together as a group.

            • Write down the common misconceptions that people have about the world. After all geographers should have a good understanding of what is happening around them!

Useful Resources

Taken from the IB DP Geography Guide

Geography Key Concepts

Taken From: IB DP Geography Guide

Adorngeo Concept Definitions - Geography Concepts

How not to be ignorant

Hans Rosling

  • 'Factfulness' by Hans Rosling - A book all geographers should read.