The IG2 Geography Class undertook a beach survey on 13th April 2017 at Sakumono beach, Tema. This exercise was designed to take students out of the four walls of the classroom and the two sides of the textbook into the environment for them to operationalize some of the key concepts learnt in the classroom. Specifically, students measured longhshore drift, constructive and destructive waves, and beach profile.
The students also interviewed residents on the likely causes of beach pollution, the value of the beach in the socio-economic life of the residents of Sakumono Village and above all, samples of pebbles were picked through systematic sampling for further work in the classroom. Forty-two students (working in groups of 6) took part in the exercise, which lasted for three hours.
Key Learning Points
The exercise enabled the students to demonstrate key geographical abilities that indicate their preparedness for the IGCSE final examination in Geography. Students were able to describe human and physical landscapes (landforms, natural vegetation and land use). They also took copious notes and made field sketches of physical and human landscapes that may be used to stimulate geographical description and annotation. Again, students carried out a group or individual set of tasks, which include collection of primary data, observation, taking photographs and recording measurements.
In terms of knowledge with understanding, the students were able to demonstrate good knowledge and understanding of a wide range of geographical concepts, processes and patterns in terms of coastal landforms and the complex relationship between people and the coastal environment. Besides, students also exhibited a high-level of geographical skills and analysis. Here, students were able to select and show good understanding of a wide range of relevant skills and appropriate techniques. Indeed, students analysed and interpreted geographical information and critically evaluated how the residents of Sakumono Village and Tema Community 3 have contributed to the pollution currently taking place at the waterfront.
Students individually drew conclusions from their findings and make evaluations related to the original objectives of the survey. They also have first hand experience of the limitations of some of the measurement techniques and instruments. Students also made balanced judgements and demonstrated an awareness of the different attitudes and priorities of individuals and groups that visit the beach. Thus, the problematical nature of the interaction between people and the beach environment.
The exercise gave the students a feel of taking lessons outsides the classroom. Undoubtedly, it was a successful exercise and we thank the Principal, the SMT and the support staff from the Science Department.
Dr. George Grandy-Hallow