Friday, July 6, 2012

GeogSpace on the way!

Over the past three years in Australia we have been involved in developing an Australian Curriculum for Geography. Increasingly I am thinking that there are three stages to the development of such an initiative: the writing of the curriculum, resources for the teaching of the curriculum and professional learning to support the implementation of the curriculum by teachers in the classroom.

As you may know, the curriculum writing stage is almost over and the curriculum is due for release in December this year. With publication so close, our efforts are turning to the development of resources in earnest. To this end, AGTA has commenced work on implementing the GeogSpace project. With funding from Educational Services Australia (ESA) a suite of resources will go on-line in 2013.  Here is an excerpt of AGTA’s project plan for the GeogSpace project:

This project is focussed on producing materials to support teachers to integrate digital resources into classroom programs. It will provide assistance, reference and insight for teachers on how they can best drive learning outcomes through the effective and full use of digital resources being produced to support the Australian curriculum.

The GeogSpace project aims to:
  •  provide an online learning model for teachers to access
  • create a framework to support teachers teaching Australian Curriculum: Geography
  • develop the knowledge, skills and pedagogical capacity of teachers to teach geography
  • be supportive of the non-geographically trained, as well as the trained geographer teacher
  • cater for primary and secondary school implementation of the Australian Curriculum: Geography
  • integrate ICT’s relevant to the teaching of geography throughout the curriculum
  • include exemplars from F-10 directly linked into the content and skills of the Australian Curriculum: Geography
  • employ geographical inquiry and geographical thinking approaches throughout
  • be resource rich, providing teachers with access to a range of quality geographical teaching resources available around the world.
GeogSpace will develop 19 units with over 60 Illustrations of practice, across Years Foundation to Year 10. The resource will be accessed by all Australian (world) geography teachers via the stand-alone GeogSpace web-site (web address not active yet). The units will contain illustrations on geographical skills and understandings, geographical thinking, fieldwork, ICT in geography, professional practice and much much more.

The details of the units are presently being worked out by a team of writers employed by the project. The first meeting for the project was in Adelaide this week and while apprehensive, the team is excited at developing a 21st Century teaching resource for the teaching of the Australian Curriculum: Geography.

An important aspect of this on-line resource is that it is being written by teachers, with the needs of teachers in mind (experienced and inexperienced) and will be a resource to be used for professional learning in coming years – the third bit of the jigsaw!

I will keep readers of Spatialworlds updated on this exciting initiative over coming months – the project needs to be completed by December this year and will be on-line in March 2013! The resource will also be open to all, world-wide requiring no log-in. This resource and the associated geography curriculum is the opportunity we have been waiting for to integrate the use of spatial technology and other technologies in the teaching of geography in a meaningful way in Australia.   

No comments: