RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FIELD WORK AND PERFORMANCE IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF GEOGRAPHY
The role of field work is expansive as illustrated by Smith (2011) who comments on its applicability as;
… there remain important questions about local knowledge, including how such knowledge is constituted by relationships and networks that go beyond the local, how such knowledge is learnt and (re)produced in time and space, and how the knowledge of still marginalized areas is used.Pg21.
According to the UNESCO (2001), through field work geographers were
taught wide ranging combination of skills drawing
in ideas from many resources .This
ability to view issues from a wider perspective was appropriate for working in many different areas.
The role of field work as Kimayu (2012), said was observed as it enlightened learners about the physical world and the environment. He substantiates by stating that it provided them with exact and recognized knowledge of the distribution of phenomena on the earth surface; resulted in the explanation of the interaction of man with his environment as it was seen in terms of arithmetic skills for use at home, in the office or workshop.
The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) (2002), gave the following point about the connection between geography course and the type of people employers wanted. Employers wanted people with good communication skills, people who could work in a team and were able to collect data and analyze their work. This in essence was perfectly got by exposing learners to field work. Technically, geography courses include a wide range of written, oral skills and writing essays, projects, oral presentation and field work in which students work in groups. This aspect of teamwork develops social fabrics and attitudes among the learners which is the wholesome aim of field work.
Armstrong (1989), argued that field work helped learners to develop their
career skills. Hence, to him, it helped people to learn skills needed to find
important information on their own such as locating places, following
directions, describing regions and using sources to find geographic facts which
could be used in their training to help them in one of the jobs for example
Cartographers and Surveyors,
City planners, Computer Specialists, Traffic Supervisors, Aerial Photographers, Meteorologists, Real Estate Managers and Park Rangers. Therefore, the skills that one got in field work studies make an individual of potential interest to a wide range of employers. For example, working with aid agencies, environmental work using Geographical Information system [GIS], working for the census office and in information and recreation.