2020 Sessions:
– Writing Successfully for the Journal of Geography in Higher Education
– Re-naming and re-framing: Evolving the ‘Higher Education Research Group’ to the ‘Geography & Education Research Group’
– Courage and compassion in the pedagogic borderlands

Writing Successfully for the Journal of Geography in Higher Education


  • Derek France (University of Chester)
  • Sonja Rewhorn (University of Chester)
  • Jenny Hill (University of the West of England, Bristol)


The Journal of Geography in Higher Education (JGHE) was founded upon the conviction that the development of learning and teaching was vitally important to higher education. It is committed to promote, enhance and share geography learning and teaching in all institutions of higher education throughout the world, and provides a forum for geographers and others, regardless of their specialisms, to discuss common educational interests, to present the results of educational research, and to advocate new ideas. This session is designed to encourage and enable new academics/postgraduates that have undertaken pedagogic research to get their work published and disseminated to the rest of the geographic community.  After discussing the mission of JGHE, the co-editor will explain the submission, review, and publication processes of the JGHE. Topics will include the nature of material appropriate for submission, the types and level of evidence necessary to support findings, the recommended length of manuscripts, advice about writing for an international readership, and JGHE’s citation index.  JGHE welcomes seven types of papers which include, the traditional research paper, editorials, directions, which are written for students to help them in their scholarship skills, symposia which are a series of linked papers, pedagogic resources which consider methodological approaches to research, resources papers which review teaching resources for higher education geography and review papers which give an overview of a contemporary topic in learning and teaching in Geography in higher education. All the papers are subject to a peer review process and the Editorial Board welcome conversations with potential authors.  In this interactive session participants can discuss issues specific to manuscripts they are planning or writing. Practical guidance and advice will be provided to potential authors. The session will end with a wider consideration around the demands of getting published.  It should be noted that the proposed running order of the session needs to be flexible to accommodate the needs and level of response from prospective.

Re-naming and re-framing: Evolving the ‘Higher Education Research Group’ to the ‘Geography & Education Research Group’


  • Ruth Healey (University of Chester)
  • Harry West (University of the West of England, Bristol)


At the Higher Education Research Group (HERG) AGM on the 29th August 2018 it was proposed that the Research Group might consider broadening its remit to consider a wider context of geography education and formally include the geographies of education.  On the back of this proposal a working group was formed which led to the proposal to re-frame the work of the Research Group around two key areas, which were subsequently used as the basis for the new constitutional aims of the group:

1. Pedagogic research and evidence-based practice in geography education

2. Research and inquiry into the geographies of education 

In order to be inclusive of these two different themes it was decided that the group would also need to be re-named.  After some discussion the name ‘Geography & Education Research Group’ was decided upon.  A proposal was shared with the existing HERG membership and in May 2019 the membership voted in favour of the change.  The constitution was subsequently changed to reflect this outcome and formally ratified at the HERG AGM on 28th August 2019 (just under one year from the initial proposal) and received final sign-off by the Royal Geographical Society on 7th October 2019.

To re-launch the Research Group’s focus we held a conference on 16th December 2019 to discuss the overlap and distinctions between these two different themes.  We followed this by facilitating a writing workshop on the 17th December 2019 focused on writing a series of short comment/discussion articles narrating the Research Group changes to a wider disciplinary audience and to provide a long term record of the discussion and decision to expand the focus of the Research Group.  This session will showcase the articles that came out of that process.  Each article contributes to a narrative charting where the Higher Education Research Group (HERG) has come from, and where it is going as the Geography & Education Research Group (GeogEd).

Courage and compassion in the pedagogic borderlands


  • Helen Walkington (Oxforrd Brookes University)
  • Jenny Hill (University of the West of England, Bristol)
  • Sarah Dyer (University of Exeter)


This workshop on courageous and compassionate pedagogy is designed to link some of the papers in the ‘Teaching and Learning in Geography: inspiring courage and compassion in the pedagogic borderlands’ to your own practice and department. It offers an opportunity to reflect on your own context and teaching practices and to learn from others.

The arguments about the challenges we face as educators, working in massified and marketised higher education systems, are well rehearsed. Equally so are the challenges facing our students as they navigate higher education and contemplate their lives in an uncertain world beset by environmental dynamism and social inequality. In this session, we are interested in exploring courageous (Gibbs, 2017) and compassionate (Vandeyar, 2013) pedagogies. These pedagogies both invite and support students to enter pedagogic borderlands (Hill et al., 2016), unfamiliar physical or metaphorical spaces whose novelty and ambiguity challenge faculty and students to disrupt taken for granted ways of knowing, acknowledge new perspectives, and disrupt dynamics of power and authority. Courageous and compassionate pedagogies undertaken in borderland spaces of learning acknowledge students and faculty as whole people with lived embodied experiences and emotional, moral, as well as cognitive agendas. These pedagogies link to the notion of slow scholarship (Mountz et al., 2015), which acknowledges the quality of relationships, thinking through ideas and recognising the importance of subjectivities. Working in this way provides opportunities for learning and teaching that is meaningful for students, faculty, and external partners. Acknowledging ourselves as ‘whole’ people requires a willingness to explore and share excitement, insight and passion, alongside vulnerability and fear.

In the workshop we will share our moral ‘compasses’ in exploring the values we bring to our pedagogy and facilitate our ‘mapping’ of the pedagogic borders. We wholeheartedly believe in the importance of collegiality and taking time to reflect and strategise. We will be doing all three. Our hope is that we all leave the workshop with a renewed sense of possibility and an expanded network of colleagues.