Possibilities of Learning Geography without Handbooks
We heard everywhere about many sources of information in our contemporary world, about necessity of longlife learning. Because of this the policy tries transforming educational systems. But for the best results it is necessary to give freedom of learning, particularly in geography learning. The world and our meanings of the world can change very fast in our times. Closed and rigorous controlled programmes of teaching geography are unadequated to this complexity world.
The author presents results of research in three polish schools, where were undertaken attempts at a learning without handbooks. Students produce geographical knowledge themselves with using all materials from their everyday life: i.e. traditional atlases, books, GIS, Internet, news from newspapers, from the radio or from TV, observations etc. From this sources they produce their own knowledge, but this process must be adequate to scientific constructed geographical knowledge. PBL helps with the solution this problem. Students create their own handbook and compose their knowledge in specific ways adequated for their individual ways of thinking. The base of those methods of learning are Piaget's and Vygotsky's theories, but yet ideas of polish didacticians of geography too: E. Romer, W. Nałkowski (in the beginning of XX century) and after: G. Wuttke and J. Winklewski.
The author uses qualitative methods (observations, interviews, the analyse of artifacts, the hermeneutic interpretation) to explore problems: how do teachers feel with these methods of school learning? How do learners feel with producing their knowledge? What is results this learning?