There are many ways in which geography can contribute towards spiritual development, the study of real people in real places, and of our relationship with the environment, is at the heart of the geography curriculum. As such, there are many occasions when we can give pupils the opportunity to reflect on their own values and beliefs, and those of others. For example, we can give pupils opportunities to think about the feelings of a child living in a squatter settlement, or the victims of a natural hazard; to reflect on the beauty of a landscape, or the richness of an environment; and to explore their own feelings about the people, places and environments they are learning about.
Most geographical issues have a moral dimension. Environmental relationships, in particular, provide a wealth of opportunities for distinguishing a moral dimension; for example, should the rain forest be exploited? Should open cast mining be allowed in an area of outstanding natural beauty? Other opportunities include the allocation of overseas aid, the use of genetically modified crops, and coastal management strategies. Discussion, role-play and decision making exercises enable pupils to explore such issues, In doing so they will learn about the views held by society, and by various groups within society, and will develop their own attitudes and values in relation to these.
Activities in the geography classroom -pair work, group work, role-play, geographical games - foster good social behaviour and self - discipline. However, through fieldwork geography makes a distinctive contribution to social development.
Through its study of real people in real places, geography makes a major contribution to cultural development. Pupils learn about the characteristics of their local area, and why it is like that, and contrast where they live with more distant localities, in this country and abroad. A sense of place requires a knowledge and understanding of the cultural traditions of the people who live there.
Geography is a natural vehicle for exploring our own multicultural society. For example, the history of settlement can be explored through the distribution of place names while the spatial distribution of ethnic minorities can be analysed and its causes and consequences considered.