GEOG303JJY World Geographical Studies

GEOG303JJY – Introduction to World Geographical Studies

*****Students are responsible for knowing the content of this syllabus.*****

Course Information

Instructor: Stacey Stephenson

Contact: Use office hours for contact. E-mail will be proved in first class. Jot it.


Office Hours: M, W, and F – 13:10pm-14:10pm                 Office Location: G440A

Class Meeting Times: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – 10:10am-12:00pm

Course Description: This course introduces students to the geography of the world by focussing on several areas around our great planet. The course readings are designed to introduce students to the complexities and wonderments found in the world. Through a geopolitical, socio-cultural and historical lens, students will gain an understanding of the different types of nations and geographies that exist within our shared ecosystem we call Earth. The course assignments and tests are meant to give students further insights into the deep intricacies of our planet and how we are all connected by shared community and core values. Further the course readings will give students plenty of insights into the historical, social, cultural and geographical bases of each of the regions we study. Students should think of this course as a journey throughout the world. We will begin our journey in the “West” as defined by an economical paradigm and will move swiftly to other places. Please note that although this course is a geography course, it does touch bases with other faculties such as historical studies, environmental studies, economics, sociology and psychology. Regardless, all students are welcome in this course.

The goals of this course are as follows:

·       To introduce students to paradigms by which we study “world geographies.”

·       To introduce key readings which reflect differing geographies.

·       To collaborate and share our knowledge base with one another through in-depth tutorials focussing on key geographical, socio-cultural and historical items covered in course readings.

·       To improve students’ reading skills.

·       To improve students’ writing skills.

·       To improve students’ abilities in critical thinking and analysis.

·       To test students’ knowledge in world geographies, particularly those studied in the course.

·       To give students an introduction to the many different regions on Earth and their history.

·       To provide a socio-cultural analysis of issues pertaining to world geography.

·       To introduce students to different paradigms by which to study geography including: cross cultural lens, historical and geopolitical lenses, economic and socio-cultural lenses, psychological and historiographical lenses.

The Course Textbooks are as follows:

Hanson, Parker Earl. American Geographical Society – Around the World Program: Bolivia.

Joseph, Richard. American Geographical Society – Around the World Program: Haiti.

Long, John E. American Geographical Society – Around the World Program: Central America.

Long, John E. American Geographical Society – Around the World Program: England.

Mann, Peggy. Long, John E. American Geographical Society – Around the World Program: Israel.

Pownall, L.L. Long, John E. American Geographical Society – Around the World Program:  New Zealand.

Teclaff, Ludwig and Eileen. Long, John E. American Geographical Society – Around the World Program: Germany.

All other texts will be provided for you via the course website.

The course textbooks above are available at UBOOKSTORE only and come “bundled” or shrink-wrapped together for a small charge. Do not purchase other versions as only these will be used for the purposes of this course! However, you are more than welcome to “borrow” or “purchase” these texts from others who have been in this course as they are the same texts and editions. Please note that if you are ever in doubt of editions of the texts you should speak to the instructor of the course. You can also ask the UBOOKSTORE to show you a stored version of unpackaged texts to compare bought ones with the editions we expect you to have.


As an instructor for this course, I do have some guidelines by which we should conduct ourselves. Please adhere to the following policies:

1.     You should only come into my class if you are enrolled in it. If you are bringing in a friend or two, please let me know. The class is fairly large. Seats are limited only to those enrolled.

2.     Turn off all cellphones, pagers and the like when in the classroom. Lectures are times where you are to be listening to the instructor and taking notes as appropriate.

3.     Sitting at the back does not give you the right to socialize with others. Please govern yourself accordingly.

4.     Distractions such as talking, eating, and “misbehaving” are not acceptable. Those caught will be asked to leave the classroom and campus police will be informed if you do not follow through.

5.     Lectures start at 0:10 minutes past the hour, if you are late to class and, or if the instructor has started talking, then do not enter the classroom by the main door. Go to the top stairwell and use the upper doors. Enter quietly, sit and listen. Otherwise, do not enter at all. No one is forcing you to come to this class, but you will face the consequences for not coming in.

6.     Course lectures will provide more information (background and more) about the text that you are reading and certain topics. Lecture material will also be on the tests.

7.     Course tutorials are essential for understanding key themes as they derive in lectures. Tutorials are there to help you to learn core ideas and to elaborate upon strands that the instructor may not have gotten a chance to discuss to a large extent in class. As such, all tutorials are necessary and students must attend them. Consequences for missing more than 3 tutorials without a proper excuse will result in a mark of “0” for tutorials. At times, essential class videos may also be screened in tutorials.

8.     Participate in tutorials (and lectures) whenever possible to ensure that you enjoy the learning process.

9.     Be responsible: for your own work that you produce. Collaborate in others to enhance your learning.



Country Comparison Assignment 25%

In this assignment students will be expected to compare and contrast a developed country with a developing country in terms of the demographics, challenges and next steps that are outlined in different sources. The developing country will be our own and either the instructor or the tutorial leaders will choose the developing countries that students will use to compare. Students will be responsible for compiling fact sheets, maps and data as well as a 2 to 4 page analysis of the key features in each of the countries and the challenges that the two countries face. The final product will be between 6 and 8 pages, double spaced in Times New Roman font or equivalent. Further details about this assessment will be provided in class.

Tutorial Participation                   20%

Students will be expected to attend all tutorials and fully participate by answering and posing questions, comments and concerns in regards to themes, issues and the like as per the course. Students who miss 3 tutorials without legitimate excuses will receive a mark of “0” for this portion of the core evaluation.

Midterm Evaluation                      20%

The midterm test will be based on prepared answers to pre-announced questions.

Final Examination Paper              35%

Students will choose a specific issue in relation to world geographical studies and will write a traditional 10-12 double spaced research paper. Before they submit the final paper they will write an annotated bibliography of a few sources. This will be worth 10/35 marks. More details will be provided in class.


This course uses lectures, tutorials, course readings, relevant videos and websites.

Other Policies

This course will use to detect plagiarism for your assignment and your final paper. The use of the website is outlined on and our class website.

Late Penalties

The lateness penalty for all assignments in this course is -2% per day.

Accessibility Policy

All are welcome in this course. If you need extra assistance please go to the Academic Skills and Resources Centre as soon as the course begins. All are also welcome to use the Centre for a wide variety of purposes including writing help and other types of assistance as necessary.

Recording of Lectures/Tutorials

Tutorials are not to be recorded. Students are given full permission to record all lectures as necessary. Please be responsible for the recordings. Do not sell them to others and definitely do not sell them on-line. If caught, you will be expelled from the institution.

Querying a Grade

Students have 2 weeks from the date they have received their assignment back to question their performance. Afterwards consideration may be given, but only at the discretion of the instructor.

Grading Policies

We do not grade on “bell curves” or “special methods.” Students are graded on the basis of performance and other crucial criteria as outlined in rubrics provided.


Questions for Midterm

Coming Soon