1. Knowing geography and geography curriculum


1.3 Understand current curriculum documents and reasons for curriculum change.

Focus question:
  • What range of curriculum documents do you use when planning for geography teaching and learning?
Samples of practice

(a) Backdrop:
In this lesson on Australia’s population the teacher, through careful questioning, elicits information from students who he knows are undertaking individual field studies on related topics e.g. land degradation. Does he show a clear understanding of all parts of the relevant year twelve curriculum? If so, how does he demonstrate this to his students?

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(b) Backdrop:

In this sample of a grade 3-4 lesson on the Olympics the teacher demonstrates a keen awareness of students’ interest in a very contemporary global event. Does he show a clear understanding of the nature of an integrated unit? If so, what are some of the areas of study he introduces which broadens the students’ perspective of this topic?

play video iconSample 9 [Contextual information – Primary school - integrated unit]

(c) Backdrop:
In this simulation lesson on a natural hazard (hurricane) the teacher explains the background to his choice of this example. At the beginning of the pre-lesson interview he suggests there are two broad reasons for his choice. What are these reasons? How does he show an understanding that the year ten students will further investigate this geography topic in the future?
Note at the beginning of interview VELS (Victorian Essential Learning Standards) is mentioned. It is a current curriculum framework)

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Further links and resources

Description of curriculum documents and curriculum change:
“Syllabus documents – together with syllabus support documents, textbooks and other instructional materials – constitute the most important curriculum-related artefacts. Their nature has changed over time. For the most part, this change reflects shifts in curriculum-related thinking, the legislative interventions of government, and demands by the teaching profession for greater guidance….From the mid 1980’s syllabus documents became more sophisticated and increasingly prescriptive in terms of content – a trend that continues with the shift towards a National Curriculum. The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has determined that the National Curriculum documents will make content (expressed in terms of knowledge, understanding and skills) explicit. The ‘achievement standards’ expected of students will also be specified.”

Kleeman, G., 2009. Through The Eyes of Others: The Role of Curriculum Perspectives in Australian School Geography. Geographical Education 22: 18-19 

 
1. Knowing geography and geography curriculum
Accomplished geography teachers: 
2. Fostering geographical inquiry and fieldwork
Accomplished geography teachers:
3. Developing geographical thinking and communication
Accomplished geography teachers:
4. Understanding students and their communities
Accomplished geography teachers:
5. Establishing a safe, supportive and intellectually challenging learning environment

Accomplished geography teachers:


6. Understanding geography teaching – pedagogical practices
Accomplished geography teachers:
7. Planning, assessing and reporting

Accomplished geography teachers:


8. Progressing professional growth and development

Accomplished geography teachers:

9. Learning and working collegially

Accomplished geography teachers: