Mutual misunderstanding and avoidance, misrepresentations and disciplinary politics: spatial science and quantitative analysis in (United Kingdom) geographical curricula

Ron Johnston*, Richard Harris, Kelvyn Jones, David Manley, Clive E. Sabel, Wenfei Winnie Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One consequence of the fragmentation of their discipline and the consequent lack of awareness amongst human geographers of what is being done by many of their colleagues is misrepresentation of certain types of work - in textbooks, for example. Amongst the areas often misrepresented in recent years are those commonly categorised by such terms as 'spatial science' and 'quantitative analysis'. Critics of these areas often write as if the type of work undertaken in the 1960s-1970s still characterises them today, with little appreciation of contemporary activities. This article responds to such claims by presenting the current nature of work in those areas - very different from that of several decades ago - and makes the case for their inclusion in curricula so that students (most of whom will not proceed to research in the areas) can appreciate the underlying principles of quantitative analyses and their important role in the formation of an informed citizenry in data-driven, evidence-based policy societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-25
Number of pages23
JournalDialogues in Human Geography
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • curricula
  • quantitative methods
  • research
  • spatial science

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