Sunday 9 December 2018

New variations on old themes in Leaving Certificate higher level geography

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Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Although the Leaving Certificate geography higher level paper covered many of the key, traditional topics, the questions contained new variations on old themes, according to teacher Michael Doran.

Mr Doran, of the Institute of Education, Dublin described it as “a nicely balanced paper, with a good choice of questions”.

He said the paper “proved once again how important it is for students to read around the subject and not limit themselves to the textbooks when they are studying geography.”

The Physical Geography section featured regular topics such as isostasy, land form developments and human interaction with the rock cycle with “good variation on the weathering question”. Mr Doran said students who had studied past exam papers would have been very happy with this section.

Regional Geography, had a “very good mix”, with the spectre of Brexit hanging over one of the questions, which asked about the challenges facing the future European Union, relating to political union, economic union and sovereignty.

Mr Doran said, in the Economic Elective, students might have been disappointed that one of the regular favourites, EU Policy in Ireland, was not asked, although other key topics such as economy and the environment did appear.

Meanwhile, in the Human Elective, a question about how trends in migration were impacting on migration policy in Europe showed how the subject is being related to the present day, he said

In Section 3, Options, Mr Doran said most students would have opted for genecology “and any well prepared student would have been very happy with the fairness of the questions here”.

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