Geographical Association

Geographical Association

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The Geographical Association is a Sheffield
Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire, England. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and with some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

-based subject association with the core charitable objective of furthering the study, learning and teaching of geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

. It is a lively community of practice with over a century of innovation behind it and an unrivalled understanding of geography teaching. The Geographical Association is wholly independent of state aid.


Membership is an expression of support and helps the Geographical Association in its key mission to ensure geography continues to contribute effectively to the education of all children and young people. The Geographical Association is a registered charity (number 1135148) and its core activities are financed by membership subscriptions.The Geographical Association has approximately 6000 personal or institutional members. These include primary and secondary teachers
Teachers may refer to:* Teachers, people who provide schooling for pupils and students* Teachers , one of the five Ascension Gift Ministries* Teachers , a British sitcom* Teachers Teachers may refer to:* Teachers, people who provide schooling for pupils and students* Teachers (ministry), one of the...

, PGCE students, teacher educators, academics, geography students, infant, primary and secondary schools, colleges, universities, academies, libraries, societies, museums and businesses. Despite being a UK-based organisation, we have members in more than 60 countries and have strong links with geographical organisations in the USA, Australia and Europe.


The Geographical Association was formed by five geographers, including Halford John Mackinder
Halford John Mackinder
Sir Halford John Mackinder PC was an English geographer and is considered one of the founding fathers of both geopolitics and geostrategy.-Early life and education:...

, in 1893 and remains an independent, unincorporated association. The first members got together to use and exchange lantern slides, a leading technology of the day. Today, the Geographical Association's purpose is the same - sharing ideas and learning from each other, using the best available technology.

More information on the history of the association can be found in a publication called "The First Hundred Years: 1893-1993"[1]

Present day

A dedicated body of professional staff, based at our Sheffield headquarters, runs the GA under the leadership of its elected officers and appointed Chief Executive. The GA is overseen by two main committees, giving strong representation to the members.

What does the Geographical Association do?

The Geographical Association is consciously taking steps to be inclusive and serve the needs of all teachers of geography, whatever the individual's particular enthusiasms. Its purpose is "to seek out, nurture and support excellence in geography teaching and ensure the education service understands the power of geography to serve educational goals. It aims to achieve this through a range of activities."

Geography subject leadership: The Geographical Association develops geography subject leadership at all levels, from new teachers during their initial training, to geography co-ordinators in primary schools, to secondary heads of department

Key geography resources: The Geographical Association publishes a wide range of resources from Early Years through to Post-16, including the popular Barnaby BearTM materials, primary and secondary Handbooks, SuperSchemes, KS3 and GCSE Toolkit series and Top Spec Geography. In addition, three professional journals are published for members on a termly basis - Primary Geography, Teaching Geography and Geography

CPD events: Every year the Geographical Association runs an extensive programme of CPD events across the country, including the ever popular Annual Conference

Campaigning for geography: The Geographical Association engages with policy makers and government ministers to constantly make the case for geography, with a heavy involvement in curriculum reviews and Government education consultations

Funded projects: Over a number of years the Geographical Association has established itself as a leading force in the development of innovative geography projects in partnership with a variety of high-profile funders. Since 2006 the Geographical Association and RGS-IBG have jointly led the government funded Action Plan for Geography - further information is available below and on the Geography Teaching Today website.

The Action Plan for Geography

The Geographical Association, in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) has been awarded Government funding to support a range of projects as part of the Action Plan for Geography (APG) covering the period 2006-11.

The APG's goal is: 'To provide everyone - opinion formers, policy makers, parents and pupils - with a clear vision of geography as a relevant, powerful, 21st century subject; and to equip teachers with the professional skills and support they need so that pupils enjoy and succeed in geography.'

This recognises the need for well trained, up-to-date and enthusiastic teachers who understand and can use geography to help young people become confident in their learning, informed about the world around them, and responsible, productive, active citizens.

See also

External links