Children's geographies and schools: beyond the mandated curriculum

John H. McKendrick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


National curricular define common purpose and assure stakeholders of uniformity of standards. However, it is inconceivable – given the diversity of biography, circumstance, and access to learning resources – that a uniform offer in geography will equate to equality of opportunity and a diet to which all can relate. Our world is ridden with inequality and, unless corrective action is taken, geography is complicit in (inadvertently) reinforcing the injustices of the status quo. For the potential of school geography to be realised by all, a way must be found to maintain the advantages of a common purpose while at the same time fashioning an approach that allows deep-rooted inequalities to be challenged. Scotland is presented as a case study in which this could be achieved. Scotland’s commitment to eradicate child poverty, by 2030, has led to a range of interventions focused on schools, such as ‘cost of the school day’ projects, ‘PACT’ developments between teachers and communities, and strengthening provision of nutritious school food for all. Each offers opportunities for a school geography that actively promotes social justice. It is argued that a purposively progressive fusion of children’s geographies, the geography of education, and geography education is required. It may not be desirable or necessary to shed the mandated curriculum, but it is imperative to refashion its function and for our school geography to engage more directly with wider everyday inequalities that shape children’s lives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren, Education and Geography: Rethinking Intersections
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781003248538
ISBN (Print)9781032147468
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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