Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013: The year of Australian Geography

Image above: AGTA's January 2013 conference in Perth is imminent.

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'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
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Where am I??
Port Lincoln, South Australia: S: 34º 42' E: 135º 52'

Time for an update on the Australian Curriculum: Geography
As we enter a new year I thought it was warranted to do an update of where things are at with the Australian Curriculum: Geography. Despite ACARA’s plan that the geography curriculum would be published in December 2012, the curriculum was not released and is presently going through further edits following a few negative responses from the jurisdictions.
It seems that the attention is primarily Years 9 and 10, with the remainder of the curriculum generally acceptable to the States. Presently ACARA is saying that curriculum is most likely to be published in March 2013 after the next State Education Ministers meeting. Let’s hope so! Schools are busting to start teaching geography in cahoots with the history curriculum already available.
On a more positive note, the Educational Services Australia (ESA) GeogSpace project (which AGTA is developing and hence has a degree of control over the process) is on schedule and is to be released in March 2013 as well. 
In a way this has turned out for the better with the curriculum and resources being released simultaneously. Since last reporting on GeogSpace in 2012, the project has moved forward at a furious pace and is nearing completion.  AGTA and its writers have completed the writing and presently all materials are being edited by the AGTA and ESA editing teams. As the resources are edited, they are being uploaded to the GeogSpace site. The site is open to all (no passwords or costs), anywhere in the world and is scheduled to go live in March this year (unless something goes very wrong). I can assure you that a Spatialworlds posting will be posted with the GeogSpace URL as soon as it can be accessed.
Geography in Australia has much to look forward to in 2013 as the F-12 curriculum and F-10 resources become available to use in all schools across Australia.  As mentioned previously the attention of AGTA and myself will then turn towards conducting professional learning for the curriculum and related resources to ensure that teachers have the capacity to deliver a world class 21st Century geography curriculum in Australia.  I envisage that many of the Spatialworlds postings in 2013 will be developed to support this professional learning and to be a signpost to outstanding resources on the GeogSpace site. I aim to develop a synergy between Spatialworlds and GeogSpace to encourage and enhance the use of the site in Australia and beyond.
To set things rolling for 2013, the AGTA Conference called ‘Geography’s New Frontier’ is starting in Perth in a week. Over 200 geographers from around Australia are gathering for 5 days to learn and discuss. It should be a great way to kick start 2013 in the most positive way to make sure that 2013 is the year of geography. I am sure the conference will provide plenty of fodder for Spatialworlds postings in January.
Happy New Year to Spatialworlds readers.

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