Why playdough is not the way forward when teaching geography

Class Teaching

Many thanks to Durrington geography teacher Hannah Townsend for this post, where she reflects on the importance of challenge and high expectations in KS3.

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I recently read a post on a GCSE geography teachers’ forum asking for advice about how to deliver a fluvial landform formation interview lesson. I was shocked when I read all the responses encouraging the teacher to use cake or playdough. The interviewee took these comments seriously and suggested she was going to ‘get baking’! It was suggested to her from a more experienced teacher to ‘get a Victoria sponge and a flapjack and some wet wipes. The kids scratch at the cake and flapjack, the sponge flakes up, the flapjack doesn’t. The flapjack is the hard rock and the sponge is the soft rock. Hey presto – formation of a waterfall’. Well no, that is not how a waterfall forms- ask any one of…

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