Faqs Case Studies

Faqs Case Studies

FAQs Case Studies

General questions

Why doesn’t WJEC tell us which places we should teach for each case study?

We want teachers to have the flexibility to choose the places that they know best, whether it be a local example or a favourite case study from, for example, a text book or DVD.

Do I need to study an MEDC and LEDC example for each case study?

No, you only need to teach about one place for each case study.

I know I have to teach all 18 case studies, but would it be possible to reduce the number of places that I teach by combining case studies?

Yes, with careful planning you could reduce the number of locations you teach considerably. For example, you could use the same:

city for case studies 1, 2 and 3;

rural/city areas for case studies 1 and 4;

river for case studies 10 and 11;

ecosystem for case studies 8 and 9;

ecosystem for case studies 8 and 15;

industry for case studies 13 and 14.

Questions about specific case studies

Case study 1 Should I teach about quality of life in a UK city and then do a LEDC city as a contrast?

There is no need to do this as you only need one case study. However, it would be impossible to cover all of the depth of coverage column by teaching a UK city case study only, as you do need to explain the concept of informal housing. So, if you do decide to use a UK city as your case study, you will have to cover informal housing separately. Since the ethos of the specification is to use real examples wherever possible (rather than teaching through abstract concepts) you will probably need to cover a UK city in depth and then briefly examine informal housing in a city such as Nairobi or Sao Paulo. Alternatively, you could teach all of the depth of coverage column for this case study through the study of a city in an economically developing country.

Case Study 2 Why do we need to teach about a large urban area and what does that mean exactly?

Retail distribution is related to the concepts of range, threshold and catchment area in the depth of coverage column. In order to cover these concepts adequately you will need a large town/city that has the full range of both comparison and convenience stores. So, somewhere the size of Shrewsbury, which has a range of chain stores, independent shops, and out-of-town retailers would be fine. A small town or village that has only a grocers, newsagents and butchers would be too small. Retail change can be illustrated through the decline of the high street, the growth of clone town Britain, and/or the growth of internet retailing.

Case study 3 Why do we need another case study about services? What makes this case study different to case study 2?

The depth of coverage column for key idea 2 is very busy. Case study 2 needs to cover both distribution and change in retailing, but it was felt that this case study would become unmanageable if it covered the concepts of access as well. So, case study 3 is solely about access to another service (one that isn’t retail). Access is determined by factors such as distribution, cost and transport as well as by the socio-economic profiles of the users of the service. One way to tackle this case study would be to investigate access to leisure or sport facilities in a large town/city that is close to your centre.

Case study 7 Do I need to teach two case studies here: a tropical storm and a drought?

No. However, depth of coverage does require an understanding of the causes and effects of both low and high pressure weather events. We recommend that you cover both events in breadth, but make only one an in-depth case study.

Case study 9 At what scale should I be teaching desertification?

The specification suggests that this is taught at a regional scale. You could teach about a region that crosses national borders, such as the Sahel region of Africa, or a region within a country, such as the northern regions of Ghana.

Case study 10 Why do I need to teach about flooding at a regional scale and what does that mean?

In order to teach the causes of a flood you will need to consider the movement of water through the drainage basin as a whole in order to meet the requirements of the depth of coverage column: ‘factors that influence flooding to include intensity of rainfall, saturation of soils, snow melt. Human factors including deforestation and urbanisation.’ This means that, whilst your focus on the effects of a flood might be quite narrow (e.g. the effects on Tewkesbury, York or Boscastle) the consideration of the causes of flooding will be at a wider scale.

Case study 13 Can I teach about where TV programmes are made?

Yes. You can choose from any secondary or tertiary economic activity. Traditional text books have focussed on the changing location of heavy industries such as the steel industry. However, in order to make this case study more contemporary, a focus on TV or the changing location of the tourism industry would be entirely appropriate.

Case study 16 Why does this case study need to be taught at so many different scales?

Think globally, act locally! This case study requires that local actions to combat climate change are set within a national and international context. So, if you wanted to teach about a carbon neutral housing development such as BedZed, then you should also briefly examine national targets for carbon reduction set by the UK government and also the international agreements (for example, within the EU) that have been entered by the UK government. You may wish to cover this case study by working from international through national to local scale or the reverse.

Case study 17 For a trans-boundary issue do I need to teach about rivers that cross international borders?

Water is a scarce resource and water supply/management has become a contentious issue on many rivers. One valid way to teach this case study would be to examine the issues surrounding a river that crosses international borders such as the Mekong. However, an equally valid approach would be to examine a river where water supply has become a contentious issue within one country e.g. in Spain, where Catalunya (Catalonia)and Aragon dispute the use of water from the River Segre.