The rarely mentioned recent pandemic has impacted education around the world significantly. For example, it has meant that 1.6 billion children have been unable to attend school. Here in Nanjing, we have been fortunate to have responded to the situation quickly and, as a result, the loss of school time has been kept to a minimum. However, although students have been able to attend school, there are some aspects of school life that have had to change for this year. One of those areas affected was Geography fieldwork.
There is a consensus in the Geography teaching community about the importance of fieldwork. For example, the Geographical Association in the UK says that conducting fieldwork provided invaluable experience of the ‘real world’ where students can extend their geographical thinking within a context. There is no doubt from the data and my lived experiences, that fieldwork adds value to the work done in class. Furthermore, fieldwork supports the acquisition of transferable skills that students need to use in other subjects, at university and in life more generally.
Unfortunately, due to the public health risk posed by COVID 19, we were unable to do fieldwork as usual. However, my geographers are a resilient bunch and we adapted to the situation. With A level, we conducted fieldwork outside of school. We were looking at the question, ‘Has the recent regeneration of Chenguang 1865 Creative Zone improved liveability?’ We were investigating around the local government policy of regenerating areas that were formerly used as industrial zones.