Creative fieldwork

Creative fieldwork contains ideas for 11 innovative approaches to fieldwork in A level Geography. Inside there is a balanced mix of physical and human themes.

  • Systems field sketch. Particularly useful for water and carbon cycles.
  • Carbon content of trees. 13% of UK land cover is woodland and of course there are many trees elsewhere. So it’s very adaptable to your local area.
  • Cliff surveys. Despite their importance as a landform, few A-level geographers investigate cliffs. But this geologists’ method is possible at a safe distance from underneath.
  • Hudson’s equation. Take coastal defence fieldwork further than bipolar assessment with this civil engineering method.
  • Sound mapping. Explore the lived experience of place through the sense of sound.
  • Smell mapping. Ideas for both smell catching and smell hunting.
  • Mood mapping. Learning from psychology to go beyond questionnaires and EQI surveys. Can you make a happy map?
  • Observation. Sometimes the sheer amount of things going on is overwhelming. So this is a technque for systematic observations of the presence, movement and interactions of people.
  • Visual methods. What your eyes see is often the strongest sensation upon arrival at an unfamiliar place. Here are some ideas to capture and analyse visual sensations.
  • Urban wanderings. Can you explore urban spaces without bias? Adapting the methods of pyschogeography for fieldwork.
  • Diaries. Introduce the technique of coding to explore participant and researcher diaries.

Each of the creative fieldwork methods has been tested and refined with 16-19 students at FSC Field Centres. For each method there are practical examples, including worksheets and student work. Creative fieldwork was produced in partnership with the Geographical Association.