Reflection Essay

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Reflection Essay

Themes and Traditions of Geography

“Geography is the science that studies the relationships among natural systems, geographic areas, society, culture activities, and the independence of all of these over space.” (Christopherson, p. 4) Over time there have been two attempts that have influenced the basic understanding of geographic information, which allows us to gain additional and improved knowledge as well as appreciation for environmental changes and the different cultures around the world. These attempts are The Four Traditions of Geography and The Five Themes of Geography.

The Five Themes were developed by the National Council for Geographic Education to provide an organizing framework for the presentation of geographic materials. The Five Themes are as follows:

Location: Position on the Earth's Surface (Absolute/Relative). Geographic study begins with the location of places on the earth. Places have absolute locations that pinpoint them on the earth, and relative locations that place each location in respect to other locations

Place: Physical and Human Characteristics. Place have physical and human characteristics that make them what they are. Geography emphasizes the understanding of both of these factors and their integration together.

Human/Environment Interactions: Shaping the Landscape. The landscape of the earth is no longer a purely physical feature. Human have impact every area of the earth, but in varying ways. The geography of places is influenced by the degree to which humans have impacted their local environment.

Movement: Humans Interacting on the Earth. The postmodern world is one of great interaction between places. This movement is inherently geographic, whether it is by telecommunications or ship.

Regions: How They Form and Change. The essential geographic feature is the region. A region is any unit of space that is unified by the presence of some characteristic.

Four Traditions of Pattison

The four traditions consist of the spatial tradition, area tradition, man-land tradition and earth science tradition. Spatial Tradition is an “academic tradition in modern Geography that investigates geographic phenomena from a strictly spatial perspective” (Pidwirny, p.14). Spatial Tradition focuses on the mapping, positioning, direction, and distance, the characteristics of the form and movement related to these aspects or the distribution of phenomena. Area Studies Tradition is “an academic tradition in modern Geography that investigates an area on the Earth from a geographic perspective at either the local, regional, or global scale” (Pidwirny, p.14).

This is the descriptions of different areas or regions. The nature of these areas or regions and how they are different from one another. ...
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