Author Archives: petergknight

If you could teach just one thing

Setting up new course designs for the year, my colleagues and I have been talking about key themes, headlines, and core content. As well as all the detail, we need to be able to identify the big picture in what

If you could teach just one thing

Setting up new course designs for the year, my colleagues and I have been talking about key themes, headlines, and core content. As well as all the detail, we need to be able to identify the big picture in what

Geographers must know about… Map Projections

Maps are wrong. You are a Geographer, so you need to face up to this. The world map that most people are familiar with is a projection devised by a man called Mercator in the 1560s. The Mercator projection is brilliant for navigation because it is stretched and twisted in just such a way that directions on the map are exactly the same as compass directions on the real earth. However, the Mercator projection is also rubbish, because in order to make the directions and navigation work right it had to squeeze up all the distances at the equator and stretch them more and more as you move towards the poles…

Geographers must know about… Map Projections

Maps are wrong. You are a Geographer, so you need to face up to this. The world map that most people are familiar with is a projection devised by a man called Mercator in the 1560s. The Mercator projection is brilliant for navigation because it is stretched and twisted in just such a way that directions on the map are exactly the same as compass directions on the real earth. However, the Mercator projection is also rubbish, because in order to make the directions and navigation work right it had to squeeze up all the distances at the equator and stretch them more and more as you move towards the poles…

Choosing your modules… or degree: step 1.

It starts long before you leave school… making those difficult choices about which Universities to apply for, which courses to consider, and, eventually, which one to sign up for. Teachers spend a lot of time coaching their students to write

Choosing your modules… or degree: step 1.

It starts long before you leave school… making those difficult choices about which Universities to apply for, which courses to consider, and, eventually, which one to sign up for. Teachers spend a lot of time coaching their students to write

Geography – knowing where things are

Geography is about much more than knowing where things are. My colleagues tell me that all the time. But Geography is, still, partly about knowing where things are. It’s hard to have a sensible conversation about whether changes to the

Geography – knowing where things are

Geography is about much more than knowing where things are. My colleagues tell me that all the time. But Geography is, still, partly about knowing where things are. It’s hard to have a sensible conversation about whether changes to the

Employment Prospects for Geography Graduates

I gave a talk to prospective students this week in which I said that Geography graduates were very attractive to many employers because of their special combination of subject-specific and transferable skills. Shortly after I gave the talk, however, I saw

Employment Prospects for Geography Graduates

I gave a talk to prospective students this week in which I said that Geography graduates were very attractive to many employers because of their special combination of subject-specific and transferable skills. Shortly after I gave the talk, however, I saw

Some of the Reasons why Geography Students should use Twitter

There are lots of reasons why students should use twitter. 1. Used properly, Twitter is possibly the easiest way of getting a steady flow of information and ideas from reliable and interesting sources. 2. If you follow, and interact with,

Some of the Reasons why Geography Students should use Twitter

There are lots of reasons why students should use twitter. 1. Used properly, Twitter is possibly the easiest way of getting a steady flow of information and ideas from reliable and interesting sources. 2. If you follow, and interact with,

The answer to your essay question

If you are writing a Geography essay, whether it is for an exam or for coursework, the short answer to the question you have been set is probably “it depends” and the long answer (the essay) is probably an exploration

The answer to your essay question

If you are writing a Geography essay, whether it is for an exam or for coursework, the short answer to the question you have been set is probably “it depends” and the long answer (the essay) is probably an exploration

Tip no.2 for overcoming speaker’s nerves

Memorise just a sentence or two of introduction. For most people the scariest moment in a talk is right at the beginning, when you are standing there in front of the room, before you have said those first few words.

Tip no.2 for overcoming speaker’s nerves

Memorise just a sentence or two of introduction. For most people the scariest moment in a talk is right at the beginning, when you are standing there in front of the room, before you have said those first few words.

Tips for giving talks (1)

I will soon be starting the 2nd semester of the academic year, when my 1st-year students are asked to make their first “serious” spoken presentations. Of course they have had some practice speaking in small groups and giving micro-presentations, but

Tips for giving talks (1)

I will soon be starting the 2nd semester of the academic year, when my 1st-year students are asked to make their first “serious” spoken presentations. Of course they have had some practice speaking in small groups and giving micro-presentations, but

Giving that first, painful, negative feedback…

This is the time of year when I give the new 1st-year students the feedback on their first attempt at a University Geography essay. The way I have been handling this for the last few years involves a certain amount

Giving that first, painful, negative feedback…

This is the time of year when I give the new 1st-year students the feedback on their first attempt at a University Geography essay. The way I have been handling this for the last few years involves a certain amount