Geography and Social Studies are two options in the Education-based programme which provide professional training for teachers. Through a range of courses, students/teachers obtain the necessary knowledge and skills in teaching both Social Studies and Geography at the secondary level. Geography is an old established discipline while Social Studies is relatively new with its development as an academic discipline going back to the nineteen fifties (1950's) in the Commonwealth Caribbean.
Geography is concerned with people and place. It enables students to see how people adapt to their environment and how human activities are modified by the environment; it fosters abstract thinking as students master geographical concepts; it also provides the opportunity for students to critically think about, and examine, issues and social problems affecting their community/society. Through geographical enquiry students learn to observe record, make inferences and draw conclusions.
Social Studies, on the other hand, is an interdisciplinary subject consisting of subjects such as History, Social Anthropology, Economics and Geography to name a few. The teaching of Social Studies enables students to acquire skills, knowledge, attitudes and values necessary for good citizenship. The increasing volume of knowledge in the world today means that it is of great importance that students acquire and develop the necessary skills to enable them to succeed, compete and live in a rapidly changing local as well as global society.
Students are exposed to a variety of enquiry, critical thinking and decision-making skills. Through the various courses students are introduced to a range of enquiry learning strategies, students are also immersed in unit planning and lesson planning utilising both Geography and Social Studies content. Geographical skills necessary for teachers of both Geography and Social Studies form an important aspect of the course. Research, a vital component of the course, enables students to acquire content and skills in both Geography and Social Studies. Seminars, field trips, mini-investigations and community surveys are important aspects of this option.