National Conference on Geographical Studies 2007 (NCGS 2007)
A gathering of students, educators, researchers and other interested parties to discuss the development of geographical research and education in the Philippines.
For many people geography means memorizing capital cities, knowing where places are located, or identifying various types of landforms. But geography is much more than that. Geography is vital not only in educating students to become able and responsible individuals but in increasing one’s competence to deal with a broad range of economic, political, environmental, social, and cultural issues that confront the world today. The resolution of many burning issues and problems that we currently face such as the negative effects of urbanization, natural disasters, environmental degradation, climate change, migration, war, land use, uneven development, economic disparities, and poverty, to cite a few, requires a strong understanding of the geographical dimensions of these events. This finds unequivocal support from the IGU Commission on Geographical Dimension (http://igu-cge.tamu.edu/), which states that “geography is both a powerful medium for promoting the education of individuals and a major contributor to international, environmental and development education.”
Promoting geographic education at all levels of education in the Philippines is an enormous challenge. An updated and systematic geographical education should be able to uplift the quality of teaching and learning of social studies, geography and other social science subjects in all levels of education in the country (primary, secondary and tertiary). Moreover, geographical educators are expected to develop geographical skills that are useful in finding solutions to current problems and future issues that our society will confront.
Corollary to this is the necessity to pursue both basic and applied research in geography. Undertaking geographic research is crucial in making environmentally sound decisions, analyzing complex interactions within spaces that may lead to the understanding and resolution of current societal problems and concerns, and as contributor to the achievement of sustainable development.
These two concerns (geographic education and geographic research) are proposed to be the centerpiece of the PGS national conference for this year. A close collaboration between researchers, teachers, and educators is essential to pushing the frontiers of geographic knowledge. By bringing educators and researchers from all curricular levels in one forum, the level of geographic education and research in the country will continue to prosper and geography as a science will be more relevant in the pursuit of national development in the Philippines.
The conference aims to achieve the following specific objectives:
1. Explore contemporary geographic issues and trends that are relevant to Philippine development;
2. Discuss methodologies and teaching strategies in geographic education;
3. Generate innovative discourses in geographic teaching and research; and
4. Formulate a research agenda and identify emerging paradigms in undertaking geographic research.