Sharing Geography Teaching Strategies and Resources: Randy Wilkie

Randy Wilkie (Contract Lecturer, Thunder Bay campus, and retired high school Geography teacher) has a long history of developing and sharing Geography-related teaching strategies, resources, and experiences with pre-service teachers.

He explains: “Geography and teaching are a passion. When I was contemplating retiring as a high school teacher, I witnessed other retiring teachers emptying entire filing cabinets of lesson plans and other resources in the school dumpster. I thought this was such an ignoble end to a great career. While I was about to retire, I knew that I wasn’t really ready; I just needed new challenges. So, when the opportunity to continue my career opened at Lakehead, I brought my resources, strategies, and experiences along for the ride to share with budding teachers.”

In recent months, Randy has developed and shared teaching strategies in a variety of forms: via posters, conference presentations, and publications. Here are three of his recent professional contributions:

  • “North of Amazing” poster with teaching strategies (pictured below): Randy developed his 20th poster for the poster series of the Ontario Association for Geographic and Environmental Education. As OAGEE’s Regional Councilor for Northwestern Ontario, Randy develops annual posters that outline teaching strategies and activities, which he uses in his Faculty of Education teaching.
  • Tree Harvesting in the Boreal Forest: Inquiry and Thinking Skills book: Randy first developed this resource when he was teaching high school, and has perfected it over time. As part of the Forestry Series, this instructional guide for Geography teachers outlines an in-depth simulation activity in which students make decisions about tree harvesting in the boreal forest, using current logging practices within a context of profitability, sustainability, and environmental protection. In December 2020, Randy presented the simulation at the National Council for Geographic Education virtual conference.
  • “Is There a Cost to Living in a Cold Climate?” publication: This article, published in Interaction, an Australian Geography journal, outlines a comprehensive lesson plan to explore the costs of living in the Arctic region, including health, transportation, building design, construction and food costs. Randy notes: “As a member of the Geography Teachers Association of Victoria (AU), I thought, what better than to give the Aussies a perspective of what it is like to live in a northern nation."

Randy’s dedication to promoting geographic literacy among his students has been recognized through the OAGEE Award of Distinction, and his status as a Fellow of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Pictured below: Randy and his “North of Amazing” poster.