Teaching and learning sustainable development with fieldwork: A practical example of geography education in Macau

Tat-In (Dennis) Tam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Sustainable development has been one of the important themes in geography curriculum in many countries. However, learning the topic on textbooks as a traditional way may be too preservative to response to the challenges that the students may face in the future. Fieldwork is a practical means in geography education which let students to have the opportunity to solve problems in their everyday life through tasks assigned by teachers.

This paper aims to illustrate a practical example of geography education in Macau with the topic of sustainable development through the approach of fieldwork for students in a secondary school. The fieldwork was carried out in 2015 and approximately 100 students participated. The fieldworks aimed to provide opportunities for student to apply certain geographical concepts to solve problems in their everyday lives. Students’ geo-capability as well as their geo-literacy were likely to be strengthened through applying and internalizing knowledge and skills, rather than only solving problems on textbooks or exam papers. With problem-based, solution-oriented tasks, the fieldwork echoes the pedagogical ideas of ‘learning by doing’ and ‘learning from experience’. The results of the fieldworks show that the majority of the students can utilize the concept of sustainable development in finishing the tasks in the fieldworks. The use of skills can be observed and reflected on the accomplishment of worksheets, which also worked as the indicator of the student’s geo-capability and geo-literacy. Several suggestions were raised by the implementers for improvement in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIGU proceedings of geographical education sessions
EditorsEyüp Artvinli
Place of PublicationIstanbul
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-625-00-0455-5
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventThe 34th International Geographical Congress - Istanbul University, Istanbul , Turkey
Duration: 16 Aug 202120 Aug 2021


ConferenceThe 34th International Geographical Congress


  • Geography Education, Fieldwork, Sustainable development, Macau

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