Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A landmine of an issue: farm land or mine

Image above: Heading for the pro/con article on the issue in the Adelaide Advertiser on 31 July 2014. It's always good when the newspapers provides some great resources to support the teaching in the classroom.

Related links to Spatialworlds  
Spatialworlds website

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website    

Where am I??  

Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'

Contestation between a mining or farming future for a place in South Australia

In this blog it has often been mentioned that geography is not just a 'telling' subject about learning 'stuff' but is and should be taught in a dynamic and contestable way. This week in Adelaide a fascinating contestable issue has hit the headlines (even though research will show that it has been going on as an issue on Yorke Peninsula since at least 2011). The issue is a great example of a topic with a multitude of geographical views and values involved. Most importantly the issue can be viewed clearly through the Australian Curriculum: Geography  concepts of Place, Sustainability, Environment, Interconnection and Change. The following posting provides the classroom materials I have developed for my Stage 2 Geography class studying resource use and sustainability.  The posting includes links to templates for the assignment work, media reports and videos. I hope you find it useful as an example of geographical contestability. Ironically last Saturday I was caught in a protest from angry Yorke Peninsula farmers outside Parliament House in Adelaide protesting at the go-ahead for the mine - it's always great when classroom activities meets reality! 

A contestable resource issue has hit the headlines on the Yorke Peninsula which provides an excellent opportunity for an issue analysis. The nub of the issue is that the State Government has giving permission for Rex Minerals to mine on Yorke Peninsula on agricultural land. The community is divided about whether the State Government has made the correct decision on this matter dealing with the resources of our state. 

Initially students are to do some 'harvesting' on the issue (read all they can from the sources below) and then complete the Deconstructing an issue’ template.

I am interested what conclusion and recommendations the students come up with on this very current hot issue in South Australia. 

To structure their responses and for them to see the alternative views students were asked, as faceless bureaucrats, to develop briefings to two Ministers. One being the Minister for the Environment and Agriculture and the other one being the Minister for the Economy and Infrastructure.  To view the assignment sheet just click here 

Download the briefing template here.

 I hope to get some interesting in-context assignments from the students.

Background resources on the issue (cannot provide these articles because of IP issues)

* Article from the Advertiser on Wednesday 30 July 2014.

* Editorial from the Advertiser on Wednesday 31 July 2014.

* Issue analysis article from the Advertiser on Wednesday 31 July 2014.

Internet reporting on the Yorke Peninsula mine issue

Audio from ABC on the mine

Audio from 5AA in the mine

Speech from Mark Parnell: Green MP

1 comment:

Lyn Jefferies said...

Wow -this looks so engaging I really want to do the briefings myself. Thanks for the ideas Malcolm and for making an assignment that so obviously personalises and connects the learning to the students present world and their future lives/ decision making.