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Geocapabilities3: teaching social justice, EUROGEO 2021 conference 22-23 April 21

Luc Zwartjes
Luc Zwartjes
Luc ZwartjesHonorary fellow geography, pedagogic advisor geography, geography teacher, teaching assistant, researcher at Katholiek Onderwijs Vlaanderen

The intention of GeoCapabilities 3 is to support teachers in developing their curriculum making capacity and in so doing enable them to engage with important curriculum questions such as what kinds of geographical knowledge are taught in schools, who decides and why, and what kinds of pedagogies are needed to teach powerful disciplinary knowledge (PDK) to students. Social Justice is the concept that will underpin the work of the project. Whilst it is a concept that has been much examined in education more generally (Unterhalter and Brighouse, 2015), work pertaining to a socially just geography curriculum is limited. Weeden (2012) reports on significant inequalities in young people’s access to geography education in inner city communities in England. GeoCapabilities 3 seeks to answer 2 main questions: 1. Is there a social justice dimension to GeoCapabilities? and: 2. How can a GeoCapabilities approach benefit schools (teachers/ pupils) in challenging (socio-economic) circumstances towards the goal of ‘powerful knowledge for all?

Geocapabilities3: teaching social justice, EUROGEO 2021 conference 22-23 April 21

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VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE
Teaching migration
with geocapabilities 3
Luc Zwartjes
Ghent University, geography department
Sint-Lodewijkscollege Brugge
EUROGEO
luc.zwartjes@ugent.be
EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
Projet Erasmus+
VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE
A capability approach
A capabilityy approach is about human potential.
Alternatively, we could say that it is about the potential to become
fully human.
So it's about human freedom: to 'be' and 'do' for a person – and to
have a number of choices.
A capacity approach increases our awareness of factors that can
deprive individuals and communities of their abilities.
EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE
competencies vs. Geocapabilities
« Know-act status based on the
mobilisation and effective use of
resources, both internally and externally »
(Legendre, 2008)
 transversal and transdisciplinary
 Depending on the situation
 Understand system of knowledge, skills,
attitudes, interpersonal skills, etc
« The opportunity to build a view of the
world with a disciplinary basis. »
(http://www.geocapabilities.org/)
 disciplinary
 Not depending on the situation.
 Depends on disciplinary
knowledge and reasoning
methods
EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE
Credit: Richard Bustin, school teacher partner of the
GeoCapabilities project
VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE
What can students learn from this?
Ad

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Geocapabilities3: teaching social justice, EUROGEO 2021 conference 22-23 April 21

  • 1. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE Teaching migration with geocapabilities 3 Luc Zwartjes Ghent University, geography department Sint-Lodewijkscollege Brugge EUROGEO luc.zwartjes@ugent.be EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 3. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE A capability approach A capabilityy approach is about human potential. Alternatively, we could say that it is about the potential to become fully human. So it's about human freedom: to 'be' and 'do' for a person – and to have a number of choices. A capacity approach increases our awareness of factors that can deprive individuals and communities of their abilities. EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 4. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE competencies vs. Geocapabilities « Know-act status based on the mobilisation and effective use of resources, both internally and externally » (Legendre, 2008)  transversal and transdisciplinary  Depending on the situation  Understand system of knowledge, skills, attitudes, interpersonal skills, etc « The opportunity to build a view of the world with a disciplinary basis. » (http://www.geocapabilities.org/)  disciplinary  Not depending on the situation.  Depends on disciplinary knowledge and reasoning methods EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 5. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE Credit: Richard Bustin, school teacher partner of the GeoCapabilities project
  • 6. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE What can students learn from this?
  • 7. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE Why are we using this image? What do we want students to learn from it? Why do we want students to learn this?
  • 8. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE Why do we want students to learn geography? What do they gain from it? What would their education be without significant geographical input? What is the contribution of geography to a young person's education in preparation for life and work at the beginning of the 21st century?
  • 9. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE • They deal with what is needed to lead a flourishing and truly human life, a good, valuable and productive life. For that you need capabilities, certain abilities. • Capabilities are the chances and choices people have to lead the life they want to lead. The capabilities that people have, form as it were the choice pallet of life. People choose the colours on the selection pallet to give shape to their lives. These colours are called functionings. Amartya Sen en Martha Nussbaum EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 10. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE Nussbaum mentions ten capabilities, interesting in the perspective of geography education:: • the ability to imagine, think and reason, • to be able to show concern for others, • to live with care for the natural environment, and • to participate in political choices that affect life EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 11. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 12. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE The GeoCapabilities scenario Capacities express what all young people have a 'pedagogical right' to expect from school. School contributes to their 'substantive freedoms' (to do and to be): to make healthy choices about how to live to function productively in society, with develop discernment in relation to economic, social, political and environmental issues GeoCapabilities states that one element of that 'right' is geographical knowledge. That is, to learn to think geographically. EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 13. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE The GeoCapabilities scenario Geocapabilities framed by 3 ideas: 1) Powerful disciplinary knowledge (PDK) 2) “Future 3” curriculum (F3) 3) Curriculum making Connected to social justice EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 14. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE 3 criteria for ‘powerful knowledge’: 1. It is distinct from ‘common sense’ knowledge acquired through everyday experience and therefore context-specific and limited. 2. It is systematic. Its concepts are related to each as part of a discipline with its specific rules and conventions. It can be the basis for generalisations and predictions beyond specific cases or contexts. 3. It is specialized; developed by specialists within defined fields of expertise and enquiry. 1 Powerful disciplinary knowledge Knowledge is powerful "when it predicts, when it explains, when it allows you to think of alternatives Michael Young EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 15. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE  Powerful geographical knowledge … according the The National Center for Research in Geography Education (NCRGE) • content-related geographical knowledge, e.g. knowledge and understanding of geographical terminology and content-related concepts such as alluvial plain, metropolitan area, ethnic group, tertiary economy, coniferous forest, geological fault, flood plain, natural hazards, etc. • conceptual geographical knowledge, e.g. using "big ideas" in geography, such as location, place, region, interconnection, spatial relations, etc., to think about people, places and environments, from the local to the global • procedural geographic knowledge, e.g. spatial analysis with a GIS or other geospatial technology, designing a geographic survey and research study, collecting spatial data in the field, etc. Knowledge thus consists of 'knowing that’ and two kinds of 'knowing how’*. * Winch, C. (2013) Curriculum Design and Epistemic Ascent, Journal of Philosophy of Education, 47, 1 EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 16. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE 2 A ‘Future 3’ curriculum Three alternative futures or ways of thinking about the school curriculum:  Future 1: "Knowledge for the sake of knowledge", with a lot of factual knowledge in an often static and conservative curriculum  Future 2: attention shifts from knowledge to learning. attention is paid to learning and thinking as independent goals of education, regardless of the themes that need to be learned or thought about  Future 3: This knowledge is dynamic and related to disciplinary concepts and ways of thinking. It is a curriculum of engagement with professional thinking It is to enable all students to acquire knowledge that takes them beyond their experience. It is knowledge which many will not have access to at home, among their friends, or in the communities in which they live. As such, access to this knowledge is the “right” of all pupils as future citizens Michael Young EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 17. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE 3 Curriculum making teachers must combine three things when designing their education: 1. the student and the world in which he lives, 2. the professional discipline and what it has to offer, 3. and the didactics to get the student involved EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 18. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE Social justice • a concept of fair and just relationships between the individual and society, measured by the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity and social privileges. • embedded to geocapablities as distinction between powerful knowledge – the emancipatory potential of disciplinary, university- based knowledge made accessible to a young person, and ‘knowledge of the powerful’ – a narrower, fixed school subject knowledge that is more exclusionary and divisive in society. EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 19. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE Applied to migration • an area of curriculum commonality across participating partners1, thus enabling comparisons across jurisdictions. • A value-laden contemporary issue dominating aspects of current social and political discourses in Europe and beyond, • as a field of enquiry it has strong social justice threads of its own. • a personally relevant topic for many children. Some children are themselves refugees, they may be recent migrants or from second or third generation migrant movements EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 20. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE Phase 1: teacher interviews • comparable pressures in terms of time (performance, curriculum, quality, examination outcomes) • In addition to lack of resources, the quality of resources is also identified as problematic • When teaching migration from a more quantitative approach (using data sources, diagrammatic representations etc), it was felt that migration as a topic becomes too abstract for some students to relate to. • students’ individual attitudes present barriers to understanding migratory phenomena. • how to deal with the stereotyping of migrants in a class with migrant students. need to develop teachers own PDK in order to support teacher agency in curriculum makingv Research paper available: https://doi.org/10.1080/10382046.2020.1749756 EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 21. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE Phase 2: activate teachers 1 Creating a set of pedagogical principles & strategies • Meeting to discuss how to recognize PDK in the teaching of migration • reflect on PDK and the ‘significance’ of subject content for their students • Tested with teachers in schools 2 Create a toolkit for dealing with social justice in schools, including online exhibition with storymaps EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 22. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE Using vignettes = a resource (map, chart, photo…) that the teacher uses to identify and analyze powerful knowledge. = more than a source, build a series of lessons around it, keeps returning, supplemented with other relevant information. The best vignettes conceal multiple layers and stories EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021
  • 24. VAKGROEP GEOGRAFIE www.geocapabilities.org EUROGEO CONFERENCE 22-23 APRIL 2021 Vignettes already available, toolkit will be online after the summer.

Editor's Notes

  1. capabilities are not the same as competences In contrast to competences, which are divided into discrete measurable skills, capabilities are neither specific nor predetermined. Some capabilities are based on the freedom to think: That is, to distinguish merit, to make rational judgments, to distinguish good arguments from bad ... Our question is therefore:: In what ways does education enable people to think?
  2. Credit: Richard Bustin, school teacher partner of the GeoCapabilities project
  3. 1. IT IS DIFFERENT TO THE 'COMMON' KNOWLEDGE WE GIVE TO DAILY LIFEWe will gain knowledge about where we live and other aspects of life through our daily experience. This is important, but it is limited to the context in which we live. Schools should try to surpass this by giving us knowledge that we would otherwise not have access to.2. THE IS SYSTEMATICThe concepts of powerful knowledge are 'systematically related' to each other in groups we call 'subjects or disciplines'. Powerful knowledge therefore allows us to generalise and think outside certain contexts.3. It IS SPECIALISEDPowerful knowledge is developed 'by distinct groups, usually professions, with a clearly defined focus or research area'. These groups include a range of experts, from scientists and mathematicians to novelists and musicians.
  4. GeoCapabilities uses an important framework to help us think about the established curriculum. This framework distinguishes 'three curriculum futures'. GeoCapabilities promotes a progressive knowledge programme (Future 3). Future 1 "traditional": Content as 'given'; a curriculum of 'delivery'. Future 2 "progressive": Content as arbitrary; a curriculum emphasising generic skills and competences. Future 3 "progressive": Content is neither 'given' nor arbitrary. It is dynamic and linked to disciplinary procedures and processes. This is a curriculum of engagement with powerful knowledge.
  5. Description: The wave of migration to Europe between 2014 and 2017 received a lot of attention. In most cases, posts were illustrated with photographs or graphs aimed at illustrating the extent of migration flows to Europe. But this is a very different approach. This image captured the world press in October 2014. This is Club Campo de Golf in Melilla, a Spanish enclave in Morocco (like Ceuta). Just against the golf course and the club, paid for entirely with European grants from the Regional Development Fund (EUR 2 million) aimed at “strengthening economic and social cohesion”, lies the Moroccan border. Three six-metre-high fences must prevent refugees from Africa from entering Europe. The photo shows golfers playing on the green as migrants tried to jump over the fence to enter the city. The two people playing golf were about 150-200 yards away from the fence. The boundary of the golf course is the barrier. The migrants were brutally removed by the Spanish border guards This image immediately raises a lot of questions, forcing you to think: Where is this? Who do you see in the picture? What’s going on in the picture? Why is this happening? How is the reaction of the people in the foreground? How would the people on the closing look at the scene in front of them? Why are they taking this risky attempt, for what purpose? Put yourself in place from both sides: How would you as a migrant react to this situation? Why are you undergoing this attempt – even though you know (see video) that the chance of success is almost nil? Why did you leave your country at all? As a resident in this border region (in this case the golfer) how would you react to this situation? Do you understand their lack of reaction? This points to an indifference to a situation that has often arisen, or does not concern certain inhabitants of the city of the inequalities between North and South and the suffering of these migrants. How do you feel about the European position? Is the investment that happened for the golf course justifiable or is it even more obvious to the migrants on the other side of the border?