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GEOG 1280 Final: Unit 1

Course Code
GEOG 1280
Study Guide

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Introduction to Human Geography GEOG 1280 Unit 1 1
Unit 1
Understanding Geography and Population
IntroductionWhat lies ahead?
As you work through this unit, during weeks 2, 3, and 4 of the course, you will:
explore the history of geography (both human and physical), and identify several
different understandings of what human geography is (and is not);
identify key approaches to the study of human geography and related key
concepts and techniques;
identify what is meant by the idea of globalization, especially as this involves a
possible lessening of the role played by the traditional geographic variable of
identify human geographic approaches to the study of human and nature
relationships, and explore human impacts on the natural world;
explore the geography of human populations; and
explore world regional geography with particular focus on Africa.
Assigned reading
Read chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the required textbook.
Learning objectives
When you have completed this unit, you should be able to:
discuss what human geography is and how the study of human geography is
relevant to today’s world;
identify trends and selected details of the history of geography and of human
identify important geographers from Greek scholars through to the present, and
describe their contributions;
identify changing approaches to the study of geography and human geography;
outline six fundamental philosophical options to the study of human geography
(empiricism, positivism, humanism, Marxism, feminism, and postmodernism),
identify relevant geographers, debate the relative merits of each option, and
identify associated concepts and techniques;
distinguish between the three types of regions — formal, functional and
discuss the central role played by maps in geographic teaching and research;

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explain what is meant by the suggestion that geography is a discipline in
identify transportation, techniques for transmitting information, and trade as
means by which humans overcome distance;
identify reasons for, components of, and consequences of, economic
globalization processes;
discuss aspects of cultural and political globalization;
identify and discuss evidence of human impacts on earth;
explain how two key variables, namely, how many of us there are, and our ever-
increasing use of technology and energy, aid understanding of why human
activities today have such great impact on the earth;
discuss what is intended by the phrase sustainable development;
outline the history of world population growth in terms of basic demographic
variables, especially fertility and mortality; outline details of the AIDS pandemic,
and discuss ongoing developments; describe what is meant by the phrase
population aging, and explain why it is occurring;
identify and evaluate descriptions and explanations of population growth and
relate these to relevant philosophies;
demonstrate a basic understanding of world population distribution and density;
distinguish between several different versions of migration, including primitive,
forced, free, mass and illegal migration; and
define and use in context several key concepts as noted in the “How to proceed”
How to proceed
As you work through this unit, proceed as follows. Note that this sequence of
activities incorporates the SQRRR approach described in the course syllabus and
in the textbook preface.
You have already read the brief introductory comments and the learning
Read the two sections that follow:
o key concepts
o chapter outlines
Study textbook chapter 1.
o First, survey the textbook chapter content without focussing on the detail.
This will enable you to grasp the larger picture. Pay particular attention to the
learning objectives listed in this unit. Focus on the broad issues and the type
of content included.
o Second, look over the chapter content, adopting a questioning strategy, and
taking notes as needed.

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Introduction to Human Geography GEOG 1280 Unit 1 3
o Third, read the textbook chapter in greater detail to achieve a deeper
understanding. Read slowly and reread parts if necessary. You might take
relatively detailed notes, or highlight or underline what you see as key
textbook content. Read actively, not passively. Be involved with what you are
reading. Agree or disagree with the content, perhaps writing comments
about the text in a notebook or in the textbook itself. Also look for links
between ideas and facts. Develop opinions about what you are reading.
o Now accomplish the final two stages of the SQRRR approach, first reciting
key ideas, and finally reviewing the chapter content.
Repeat the process described immediately above for each of the other textbook
chapters in this unit in turn: chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Return to the course unit.
o Read the next three closely related sections, concerned respectively with the
geography of Africa, geographies of moving, and geographies of
o Note that the 5-stage SQRRR process is not recommended for this course
unit reading as it is much shorter than the textbook reading and less
Work with the study multiple-choice and sample essay questions at this time, or
you might prefer to work with these after you have completed the assignment, or
perhaps after all three assignments are completed. With all this work
accomplished, you can now begin thinking about the assignment.
Work through the short answer questions, making sure to reference the
textbook. Read the section of the textbook that is relevant to the Research
Question, and then begin to research additional academic sources to answer
the two or three questions.
Once the assignment activities for assignment 1 are completed, click on the link
“How to Submit” located under the Assignments tab, to determine how you
would like to submit your assignment. Remember to check the assignment due
Key concepts
The textbook chapters in this unit include many bolded items that are defined in the
textbook glossary. Of course, they are all important, but there are several in
particular that are sufficiently foundational that they merit specific additional
Anthropocentric, ecocentric: two different ways of thinking about our human
place in the world; do we dominate the natural world (anthropocentric), or are
we just one part of the natural world (ecocentric)?
Capitalism: The prevailing social and economic system (a mode of production
using Marxist terminology) in the world today; acknowledged to have changed in
several important ways during the past about 200 years.
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