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290072 PS ,Nothing is as practical as a good theory' (2020S)

fundamentals and consequences of theoretical geography for working as a geographer

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 29 - Geographie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 20 participants
Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 23.03. 16:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum Geographie NIG 5.OG C0528
Monday 20.04. 16:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum Geographie NIG 5.OG C0528
Monday 27.04. 16:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum Geographie NIG 5.OG C0528
Monday 18.05. 16:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum Geographie NIG 5.OG C0528
Monday 08.06. 16:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum Geographie NIG 5.OG C0528
Monday 22.06. 16:00 - 20:00 Seminarraum Geographie NIG 5.OG C0528


Aims, contents and method of the course

As Geography is considered an applied science, the examination of theories and concepts is often seen as a necessary evil that must be done. The course focuses on the inescapable interplay between theory and practice and between practice and theory. "Nothing is more practical than a good theory" (Kurt Lewin, 1890-1947) - as long as one does not expect ready-made answers from theories, but understands them as an offer and inspiration for one's own thinking and creativity in practical questions.

The course is aimed at master students of geography, urban studies, spatial research and planning, cartography and geoinformation, teaching profession UF geography and economics.

- Learning a clever handling with theory(s) by practise.
- Being able to name differences of models, hypotheses, theories.
- Being able to recognize differences between correlations and causalities.
. Being able to derive empirical procedures from a theory.

Contents of the course:
- What is science?
- How does scientific knowledge differ from other forms of knowledge?
- Models, hypotheses, theories. Their differences, similarities, objectives, application
- Basic epistemological positions (and their connection with theories)
- Who does science serve? Relationship between science, economy, politics
- Using concrete work (own texts (master's thesis/bachelor's thesis or other) or using published papers) as an example, shed light on the connection between theory and empiricism.

- Discussion
- short group works
- reflections in the form of essays
- KSKK exercises (correlations are not causalities)
- investigation of a text (own or others) on the connection between theory and empiricism
- presentation of the examination in the course

Assessment and permitted materials

- 1 Essays (written reflection)
- 2 Examples of KSKK (search for, explain and present)
- 1 Examination of the connection between theory and empiricism (written documentation and presentation in the course)
- active participation (constructive, meaningful contributions and involvement in the discussions of the course

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

- Attendance at the first meeting is mandatory, as this is where we jointly (!) determine our working methods and the standard of assessment.
- Attendance is compulsory, students may miss the equivalent of 2 x 2 h without excuse.
- Active participation in the course through constructive contributions to the discussion

There are 100 points to be awarded. The distribution of the points to the individual partial performances in the Proseminar will be bindingly determined together in the first session.

For a positive evaluation of the course 60 points are required.
1 (very good) 100-90 points
2 (good) 89-81 points
3 (satisfactory) 80-71 points
4 (sufficient) 70-60 points
5 (not sufficient) 59-0 points

Examination topics

All contents covered in the course. Supporting material is available on Moodle.

Reading list

Egner, Heike (2010): Theoretische Geographie. Darmstadt: WBG.

Further texts will be discussed in the course and partly provided in Moodle.

Association in the course directory

(MG-FW-PI) (MR6-PI) (MK2-PI)

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:21