Sunday, April 4, 2010

On the way again! A 21st Century Curriculum

Images above: Geography classes in Australia and South Korea. Very different approaches and educational aspirations - which is 21st Century?

Related sites to the Spatialworlds project
Spatialworlds website
21st Century Geography Google Group
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
Geography Teachers' Association of South Australia website
Email contact

Where am I?

Singapore: N: 1º 14' E: 103º 55'

I have been rather slack with the Spatialworlds blog over the past months. While busy at work I have also been putting my energy into keeping the ball rolling with the Australian curriculum: geography and not keeping my blog going. As part of this I have continued to update geographers around OZ via my Google Group titled, "21st Century Geography in Australian Schools". Much is happening with the development of the Australian curriculum: geography, with the first consultation forum taking place in Sydney on April 27th. The Initial Advice Paper is to be discussed at the forum - keep a look out on the ACARA site for the paper after the forum. If you sign up to the "21st Century Geography in Australian Schools" Google group I will notify you of this posting via group email.
Unfortunately I will not be able to attend because I am on my way to Europe for all of April (not really unfortunately). I am presently killing time in Changi Airport in Singapore doing my blog waiting for a flight to London at 11.30pm. In fact next week I will be in London visiting the Royal Geography Society to get more detail for AGTA on their Ambassadors program and generally talking to those involved in the UK Geography Action Plan and their National Geography development. On Thursday next week I travel to Derby to attend the Geography Association (GA) Conference in Derby. Should be great fun meeting all those UK geographers and having a chance to talk geography and learn what their views are on the success or otherwise of their national geography initiative. After the conference I return to London and spend a few days preparing for the South Australian "Premier's ANZAC Spirit School Prize" students to arrive on April 13th. I will then be tied up with conducting the history program for the tour though Northern France and Belgium during the rest of April(culminating on ANZAC Day at Villers Brettoneux). Should be a wonderful experience. During my days in London I will also be attending the Royal Geographical Society lecture at the RGS. The topic is "Out of Steppe: the lost peoples of Central Asia". Should be interesting and a topic for a blog entry!

Going back to the topic of 21st Century curriculum, I have been trying to clarify in my own mind what actually is a 21st Century curriculum. I am not just talking about the technology of the 21st century (that is the delivery of the curriculum) but what the actual curriculum should look like. This is imperative when you consider we are presently writing the Australian curriculum: geography for the 21st Century at ACARA. This new curriculum must reflect the needs and aspirations of young people living in Australia in the future and not just now. When in England at the GA conference and at the Royal Geographical Society I hope to explore this topic more and come back with a much clearer idea about how such a modern curriculum should look. In the meantime, I have found the "The Partnership for 21st Century Skills" site a great starting point to explore the area of a modern curriculum. Although American and locked into testing regimes I have found the site very useful as a thought starter.
Well I must go but I hope to find time on this trip to report/discuss via the blog what I find out whilst in England next week - in particular at the conference in Derby. They have already been through the national curriculum process and implementation in the UK, we would be mad to not learn from their mistakes and triumphs.