Geography and political skills: a case study in a school of education


  • Sylvain Doussot IUFM de l'Université de Nantes



this article is a case study based on the work of a group of students trained to teach. They build a lesson for 10-11-year-old pupils on geography and education for sustainable development aiming at linking civic and social skills to scientific geography. This example is changed in a case study by questioning a prevailing idea about relations between school knowledge and “…educations” (citizenship education, environmental education): disciplines such as geography are serving the development of citizenship skills in order to promote a critical education instead of a standard one. Beyond the questioning, this case study offers alternative ways based on philosophy, history and sociology of science to understand how pupils could become critical citizens. Theses ways focus on the hypothesis of a general skill often unseen though essential to any critical approach of world problems: what knowledge should be used when? Geographical knowledge then refers less to “knowing that”, than to scientific, collective and language practices, specific to the viewpoints built through scientific disciplines; among which, the building of space problems.