Leading education officer receives national award for excellence

One of the Shropshire’s leading outdoor education officers has been handed a national award for work which encourages teachers and students to be more creative.

Janine Maddison, Education Development Officer for the Field Studies Council (FSC), has received an Award for Excellence in Leading Geography by the Geographical Association.

Janine, who co-wrote an academic article along with senior tutor Robyn Landy, also from the FSC, were recognised by the organisation for their contribution to the development of good practice.

Their article ‘Casting aside our hammers: creative fieldwork approaches and methods’ focuses on how creative fieldwork techniques such as recording emotions, observation, mapping sounds and smells, keeping diaries and writing blogs can enhance coursework undertaken by students.

They say that ‘real-world’ geography draws on creative approaches and therefore students should do the same.

The award was presented at a recent conference headed up by the Geographical Association at which the FSC as a leader in environmental education, presented five different workshops.

Janine, who is based at the FSC’s headquarters in Preston Montford, said: “Both myself and Robyn from FSC Nettlecombe Court in Somerset are thrilled to have our work and the approach delivered by our field centres recognised at this level.

“There is huge scope for more creativity when it comes to designing and presenting fieldwork either at A-Level or degree level. Traditional techniques used in geography fieldwork will always have a place but students should not limit themselves to these methods.

“Thinking creatively can, of course, not just help with accessing higher marks for coursework, it can also open students’ minds to ‘real world geography’ and help them understand current research and industry techniques – all of which will help them when it comes to making career choices and securing a job.”

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