Notes on the Modern Concept of Geography



Geography is one of the most important school subjects. It is no longer identified with mere study of features of a limited area, but with detailed study of the earth as the abode of men and his environment.

Human element is the conception of geography and its teaching. The study of geography covers all the phenomena on the earth's surface and explains the principle of day and night, seasons, climate, surface forms, flora and fauna, river, mountains, soil-erosion as well as distribution and development of varied human communities. But the densely populated Indo-Genetic valley is of much greater human interest that a description of an equal area beyond the Himalayas or in the deserts of Rajputana.

The human factor has now assumed much importance. Geography has thus ceased to be a mere collection of meaningless facts to be learnt by pupils.

Geography has been variously defined as, "the description and explanation of the world's landscape and a scientific description of inhabited landscape and their distribution over the globe."

Today, the knowledge of geography with all its accompanied methods and techniques is increasingly employed in solving many national problems all over the world. Geography has a utilitarian value. It can bring about a closer cooperation and better understanding among the nations of the world.

Geographers whether engaged in teaching or in the research institutes, have been making valuable contributions to the cause of the developing countries.

Of all school subjects, Geography are perhaps the best suited to bring about this understanding. It can show not only how peoples have lived and are living, but also what they have contributed to the common heritage of mankind. The most important of all, it can demonstrate that despite political divisions the inhabitants of the earth are becoming increasingly inter­dependent in their economic and cultural relations. It is a belief that Geography can make a meaningful contribution to the advancement of mutual understanding between peoples for better international relations. The 1950 International Geography Seminar organized by UNESCO was recognition of this need.