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Geographical Education

I have a long term research interest in geographical education (Åhlberg 1977, Åhlberg & Ahoranta 2002 and Åhlberg, Kaasinen, Kaivola & Houtsonen 2001, Houtsonen & Åhlberg 2001a and 2001b). Geographical education is along with biological education an important field by which both Education for Sustainable Development and Environmental Education can be promoted.

Geography and biology have a common area of Biosphere. Both geography and biology are interested in all the other geospheres: Lithosphere, Hydrosphere and Atmosphere. The difference is that biology is interested in those other spheres as preconditions, as media for life. Geography is interested mainly from viewpoint of planet Earth as a home of humankind. All environmental problems concern at least one, and mostly all of these geospheres (Park 2001). Naaem, Loreau and Inchausti (2002, 3) estimate, that "hundreds of thousands tons of elements and compounds" are moved by biosphere between the hydrosphere, atmosphere and lithosphere every year. They continue: "It is this biogeochemical activity that determines soil fertility, air and water quality, and the habilitability of ecosystems, biomes and ultimately the Earth itself".

I have introduced three new quality tools (Improved Concept Mapping, Improved Vee Heuristics and ARRA or Analysis of Reasoning, Rhetorics and Argumentation) to monitor and promote geographical education Åhlberg & Ahoranta 2002 and Åhlberg, Kaasinen, Kaivola & Houtsonen 2001).


Åhlberg, M. 1977 Elämänikäisen biologisen ja maantieteellisen kasvatuksen teorian kehittelyä [Towards a theory of lifelong biological and geographical education]. Licenciate Thesis. University of Helsinki. Department of Education.

Åhlberg, M. & Ahoranta, V. 2002. Two improved educational theory based tools to monitor and promote quality of geographical education and learning. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education 11(2) 119 - 137..

Åhlberg, M., Kaasinen, A., Kaivola, T. & Houtsonen, L. 2001. Collaborative knowledge building to promote in-service teacher training in environmental education. Journal of Information Technology for Teacher Education 10(3), 227 - 238.

Houtsonen, L. & Åhlberg, M. 2001a. OECD-ENSI-Finland -project: Knowledge Forum for collaborative knowledge building in Environmental Education. Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. January 2 - 5, 2001. University of Plymouth, England.

Houtsonen, L. & Åhlberg, M. 2001b. Collaborative learning for teachers in the ENSI environmental education project: case study climate change - use of knowledge forum group ware software to amplify the inherent risks. Teoksessa Innovative practices in geographical education. Proceedings of International Geographical Union, Commission of geographical Education. Helsinki Symposium. University of Helsinki, Finland. August 6 - 10, 2001, 140 - 144.

Naaem, S., Loreau, M & Inchausti, P. 2002. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: the mergence of a synthetic ecological framework. In Loreau, M., Naaem, S. & Inchausti, P. (Eds.) 2002. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Synthesis and perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3 - 11.

Park, C. 2001. Environment. Principles and applications. Second edition. London: Routledge.


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