Interesting times


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Interesting times

  1. 1. GeographyWriting the earth
  2. 2. Alan Parkinson Geographical Association
  3. 3.
  4. 4. Today’s session…• Why are these ‘interesting times’ ?• How can the GA help you through them ?• “Curriculum making” – practical activity• Your department’s curriculum• The future curriculum (& OFSTED’s view)
  5. 5. Furthering the learning andteaching of geography...Action Plan for Geography– jointly with RGS-IBG2006-11
  6. 6. Curriculum making in“interesting times…”Why are they interesting ?
  7. 7. “When the winds of change come,some seek shelter, others buildwindmills”
  8. 8. National Curriculum Review• Consultation on the Education White paper closes on April 14 2011• The first phase of the review process starts after April 14 2011, the Programmes of Study for Maths, Science, PE and English will be decided. This is also when the government will decide which other subjects (apart from these) will be a statutory part of the national curriculum. Hopefully this will include geography at all stages.• The 2nd phase begins in ‘early 2012’, when consultation on the programmes of study for the rest of the national curriculum will be decided.• First teaching of the 1st phase subjects is September 2013.• The second phase programmes of study will be known in 2013, for first teaching September 2014
  9. 9. The 2010 White Paper: Importance of Teaching• The White Paper recognises the contribution of geography in a national curriculum that is broad and balanced.• The development of an English Baccalaureate is likely to result in greater opportunities for children to study geography at KS4.• The refocusing of teaching and learning on ‘traditional subject knowledge’ provides an opportunity to review and strengthen the contribution of knowledge within geography as a school subject discipline.• The idea of identifying ‘core knowledge’ that is presented progressively contains some merits.
  10. 10. The 2010 White Paper Importance of Teaching• The assessment of subject knowledge to provide benchmarks provides an opportunity to bring greater clarity of standards within subject work.• The GA welcomes and strongly endorses references in the White Paper aimed to encourage teachers to use their professional skills and experience in making decisions about how to organise the curriculum and in how curriculum content should be taught.• The idea of drawing on international experiences is interesting and may generate additional ideas for improving both teaching and learning in the subject.
  11. 11. What is knowledge?• The Geographical Association’s Manifesto ( states clearly, to learn geography requires both ‘vocabulary’ (geographical information) and ‘grammar’ (big ideas or concepts). These represent different kinds of knowledge and both are important.• The core subject knowledge mentioned in the White Paper may be thought of as ‘vocabulary’. It does not just accrete naturally: it has to be taught and learned. This need not mark the end of relevant and engaging geography! Knowledge development is not to be confused only with closed facts, nor with the very old fashioned idea of education based solely on the accumulation of fragmented, received information. But extensive factual world knowledge – geography’s vocabulary - is useful.
  12. 12. What is knowledge?• The vocabulary is probably best learned in context of the ideas or concepts (the grammar) we are trying to develop with students: ideas such as, countries, regions, interdependence, climate, place, location. It can be built into lessons with careful teaching.• World knowledge is enabling knowledge and in some ways brings to life powerful conceptual understanding of the world and how it is made. One without the other diminishes students’ geographical capability - their understanding of the world and their relationship with it.
  13. 13. Have your
  14. 14. Latest GA resources....
  15. 15. Vocational Resources on GA website
  16. 16. Online CPD courses
  17. 17. “The Language of Landscape”
  18. 18. South Downs – a new National Park
  19. 19. One of the first things that children learn how to do is to tell stories.....
  20. 20. Making Geography HappenYoung People’s Geographies
  21. 21. What shouldstudents have to do in order toearn their Geobadge ??
  22. 22. Living Geography & ‘curriculum making’ Does this take the Which learner beyond learning what they activity ? already know ? Student Experiences Teacher Choices Geography: the subject Underpinned by Key Thinking Concepts Geographically
  23. 23. In productive classrooms there are three main bundles of energy that drive and shape theoutcomes. First there are the students themselves and what we know about how they learn. Then there are teachers who use knowledge and skill about teaching to organise lessons in the most accessible way. But perhaps the most important resource of all is the subject. Why is this subject significant to students? How does it contribute to educational achievement? What is worthwhile trying to teach? What is relevant to learn? How can my subject be motivating, rewarding and enjoyable to learn?
  24. 24. Liz Taylor – “RepresentingGeography” (Chris Kington)
  25. 25. Whose choices influence 8X’s lesson ?Policy-makersAwarding bodiesTextbook / resource writersSchool managementGeography department: present and pastClass teacherOthers ??Prior learning from other lessonsPrior learning from geographyLearning from friends and familyLearning from mediaPersonal experienceWhat do 8X bring to the lesson ?
  26. 26. Stimulus…
  27. 27. DVD out on Monday
  28. 28. Clips from the programme are available…
  29. 29. Use – paste the URL in, andget a copy of the video that you can use…
  30. 30. “Interesting times…” for geography… Lee Sang-hak / Yonhap via Reuters
  31. 31. Census 2011
  32. 32. 2012: “an interesting time…
  33. 33. “I need a walkthrough..” Sam Parkinson – aged 9 “I’m a desert geek – show me anaerial image of an area of desert, and I’ll tell you where it is…” Andrew Goudie – aged more than 9
  34. 34. Adding interest…• the pedagogy• the assessment• the resources• the ‘teacher’• the location• the format• the reflection and feedback• ??
  35. 35. Stimulus: @GeoBlogs on Twitter
  36. 36. London’s Population @spatialanalysis
  37. 37. “Childhood is a branch of cartography”Michael Chabon
  38. 38. Fieldwork
  39. 39. Urban tales… GISMaps break down our inhibitions,Stimulate our glands, stir our imagination,Loosen our tonguesCarl Sauer, 1956
  40. 40. UK Tourism : “an interesting time”Chinese tourists growing in number Staycationing ?
  41. 41. Smartphone apps & functionality ?
  42. 42. Geography teaching in decline – Ofsted The parlous state of geography teaching in many state schools is exposed today in a damning report by inspectors. More than 100 secondary schools do not enter a single pupil for a GCSE exam in the subject, according to Ofsted, the education standards. In addition, pupils’ map-reading skills are so poor that even pupils who had done a topic on Kenya could not find the country on a map of Africa. Without geography, the world would be a mystery to usGeography lessons not good enough Geography is the subjectin half of schools that contributes more thanChildren’s knowledge of capital cities, any other to young people’scontinents, world affairs and the knowledge of the world,environment is in sharp decline writes David Lambert .because of poor geography lessons,inspectors warned today.
  43. 43. Ofsted top ten tips?
  44. 44. Comment from the GAs Chief Executive, Professor David Lambert• " It is a pity that Ofsteds own press release designed to draw attention to this report is headlined geography declining in schools. Why? Because the report makes clear that the story is much more complicated than that. In some schools, if you suggested that geography were declining youd be faced with puzzlement, for the subject is thriving.• And yet, the national picture which has been taking shape for many years now, is unsatisfactory. The GA takes this very seriously. The decline in school geography means that there is less geography being taught in school and more children leaving school with an inadequate knowledge and understanding of their existence on planet earth.
  45. 45. Have your
  46. 46. Have you earned your Geo badge ?
  47. 47. JOIN THE NING
  48. 48. "may just be the most revolutionary geography-related book ever published" - Geographical Magazine review Produced by the Geography Collective 2 new books: On the Road & Camping available April 1st
  49. 49. Presentation available at: I am grateful to my colleague RuthTotterdell for a document relating to the curriculum review and OFSTEDthat has been incorporated into this document as slides
  50. 50. Weblinks• pacific-12301421••• xplorer/• – JOIN US