This is sometimes a good question to ask students in relation to the geographical phenomenon being studied.
By asking students to self identify the links to their own lives, we are offering them several opportunities:
- Validation. Their opinions count
- A framework for thinking. Previous gut reactions may be based on existing bodies of knowledge
- Flexibility. Students may decide they were wrong about something because of the new information they now have
- Confidence. Students will be more likely to speak confidently because their life is the subject matter
- Self awareness. Understanding how they fit into the world can make people more clear about their view of themselves
An example is where they fit into the Cohen and Plog classifications of tourism.
- Students can fill in a simple questionnaire about their preferences and then identify whether they are probably allocentric or psychocentric tourists.
- Using the theories and ideas on the factors that affect personal participation in sports and tourism, they can examine the validity of the ideas in relation to themselves (there’s nothing better than finding the limits of a theory telling you what you ought to be like!)
- They can then plan their own gap year or holiday and prove to Mum and Dad that they’ve thought it through properly. And off they go for a year on a beach in Bali!