Professor Danny Dorling has recently implored students to ‘begin by looking at the world geographically and asking questions – your own questions. Not A level exam questions but sensible, interesting, important, real-world questions’ (source).
Given time and encouragement, we know that our A level students already produce remarkably thoughtful, sensitive, imaginative pieces of writing. This might be as part of the NEA, for a class assignment or for a competition such as the RGS-IBG's Young Geographer of the Year. Routes is a brand new, peer-reviewed e-journal created to allow these pieces work to be shared, celebrated and used to inspire others.
We are proud that Routes is the only geography journal that is written for and by both sixth form and undergraduate geographers. The journal opens up a new space for students to share their thoughts, insights and perspectives on geographical issues.
A level and undergraduate students can now submit their work to Routes and the following are accepted:
Essays (independently written or part of class assignments)
Fieldwork/ NEA (including individual sections such as methods or literature review)
Commentaries or perspective pieces
Detailed submission guidelines can be found at routesjournal.org. There are three issues per year published in September, January and April and students can submit their work at any time.
Submitting work to Routes is a means of further developing skills that will enable future success at university and beyond. When students publish their work in Routes, it is a mark of distinction that students could mention in their UCAS personal statements and include in their CVs. It allows students to demonstrate their enthusiasm, academic excellence and explore their own views on matters of concern. It also shows our students that their ideas really matter and can make a difference to how we approach particular geographical issues.
We firmly believe that submitting work to Routes should as much about the process of submission as it is about the end result of publication. Each student can expect to receive constructive feedback from two expert peer reviewers to improve their work before it is published. At the time of writing, we have over 180 expert geography teachers and university academics who are peer reviewers; all are committed to supporting the development of student geographers.
We want all sixth form geographers to benefit from Routes. From the launch of our first issue in September 2020, students will be inspired by reading the work of their peers and encounter the great diversity of geography at university level. As well as encouraging students to submit their work, Routes articles can be built into the curriculum and be used as part of geography book clubs and discussion groups. In this way, our students should be able to not only read and write about issues that go beyond examination specifications, but have a space to share what matters to them and, have their work celebrated.
It is free to submit articles to Routes, free to download articles and free to take part!
If you are a geography teacher or academic, please get involved by signing up to be a peer reviewer, follow us on Twitter, and encourage your students to submit their work. Visit us at routesjournal.org and @routesjournal on Twitter.
Written by Dr Cyrus Nayeri (Teacher of Geography, Latymer Upper School) & Dr Lizzie Rushton (Lecturer in Geography Education and Director of Geography PGCE course, King’s College London)
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