What is Geography?

Steven Sutantro

@Steven Sutantro / steven.sutantro@gmail.com

Reflection on Geography Lesson

What is Geography?
According to many resources, Geography is a study of earth. What is earth? Earth is composition of soil, water, air, plants, animals, villages, cities, maps, and the most important thing, PEOPLE.
Some people argue Geography should be grouped in Natural Sciences and the other said it is group of Social Sciences. Actually, we can’t just categorized this belongs to natural sciences, this belongs to social sciences, because Geography talk both of them.  In Geography, we interrelate nature and human.  Every time you discussed the topic, you should see both aspects. We should think how nature can connected with human.
These are some quotes and testimonials about Geography:

Geography is important because we’ve got the whole world in  our hands!

(Karen Mulvey)

Without Geography we are NOWHERE coz Geography is everywhere !!

Geography is important because it’s the subject that links the world, history, citizenship, science and much much more!
(Suzanne Ward)

Geography is important because without it we will never overcome the serious global issues that we face today – and tomorrow. Geography knowledge is POWER!

(Simon Beevers)

Geography is important because it allows us to understand the world we live in and make independent, informed decisions using this understanding
(Paul Goodstadt)

For me, myself, I see Geography is more than just a knowledge. It’s reflection of our calling on earth. Study Geography is not only finding theory of earth and its matters, but more than that, studying Geography is looking up God who created the earth and seeing our surrounding place, then responding what God called us to do on this beautiful earth.  Therefore, as Geography teacher, I have decided to bring a deep personal reflection every time we discuss a chapter. I want my students understand God has put them on this earth for a beautiful story. Here are some example of amazing people stories:

Have you seen this amazing stories of Ittipat Kulapongwanich? Inspired by true story of high school graduate who desperately trying to make money out of his mind. This young man did bad in school but he realized he was created to manage God’s resources into something meaningful. He knew why he was born in Thailand and what he was destined to do by using God’s simple creation, a seaweed. With many obstacles and failures, he kept on believing that he would have a beautiful story coming if he work hard and think creatively. He transformed a little seaweed into phenomenal world-wide food, Tae Kae Noi. As you can see, now the original person, Ittipat has became billionaire.

If you realized your surroundings and place, you will know why you are born and for what purpose you are created.

I believe another beautiful story also come from our beloved country, a young man who has great passion for History of Indonesia:

Asep Kambali

Meeting him at National Future Educator Conference 2012 just make me realized he is one of the person who knew the true meaning of Geography. Asep Kambali, graduated from History Major, Universitas Negeri Jakarta, realized what it takes to be a Historian. It is more than just knowing a collection of facts, maps, dates, places, but making everything he knew into some real memorable experiences by building KOMUNITAS HISTORIA. He knew Indonesia has a super-wonderful history all over the places and he realized someone should take action to preserve this histories. Thoughout his community, he bring out real experiences in which people could directly see that their surroundings keep beautiful story. From Kota Tua, Museum, school, and many locations in Indonesia has been transformed by this guy into a home for local history where it could be preserved and developed. This is one man of Geography!

Living in Europe is not the reasons for this inspiring woman, Aung San Suu Kyi to neglect what really happen in her hometown, Burma (Myanmar). She knew exactly what it takes to make  a difference to fulfill her calling on this earth. This inspiring movie show how “The Lady” leaving her family, comfort zone, and everything when she saw the valley of disparities people in her country. She knew exactly there is something to be fixed because we’re all in this together and we could just stay quite seeing this inequality. That’s Geography in there. Everyone can learn Geography and know their surroundings. But, the true geographer doesn’t stop till knowing its surroundings. They start an action.

Another true beautiful story? A lot.

But, I really want another story from people who learn Geography. The people who finding their calling in Geography to solve problems and make a beautiful story. How to find it? It could be started in a simple classroom from Geography class.

It could be started in a simple reading about news from National Geographic magazine below which provide us stories from all over the world.

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It could be started by reading my blogs. It could be started by looking around you. It could be started by looking yourself.

Then, you learn Geography.

What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we do know for sure that just ain’t so.”
An Inconvenient Truth – Screenwriter: Al Gore (quoting Mark Twain)

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3 Responses

  1. thanks for inspiring me the privilege of teaching social science ko! GBU

  2. menik says:

    menginspirasiiii sangattttt

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