Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Citizen Geographer

Related links to Spatialworlds
GeogSplace (a teaching blog for Year 12 geography)
Spatialworlds website

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Citizenship and geography

Way back in October 2011 there was a Spatialworlds posting on the concept of 'spatial citizenship' and the importance of the study of geography in the curriculum. In essence the posting highlighted that, "because of the power of spatial thinking and pervasiveness of spatial technology in our society in the 21st Century it is in beholden upon education to ensure that young people are fully aware of and skilled in the way of spatial thinking and the use of technology which can impact greatly upon them as citizens".

With the implementation this year of the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship I thought it opportune to revisit the relationship between geography and citizenship. In fact, the fifth aim of the Australian Curriculum: Geography is to develop students as:

  ... informed, responsible and active citizens who can contribute to the development of an environmentally and economically sustainable, and socially just world.

With this thinking in mind, The Australian Geography Teachers Association (AGTA) has produced a resource for schools called "Being a Citizen".  The resources provides copious links and teaching materials to support the teaching of the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship. Just as is the case with the Geography curriculum, seven concepts can be identified as the basis of Civics and Citizenship thinking.  Geographers viewing this concept wheel can see that much of the discussional and inquiry work we do when investigating various geographical issues certainly resonates with the key concepts from the civics and citizenship subject. Whilst a work in progress and not official ACARA work, teachers are finding that the concept wheel below is an interesting way to conceptualise the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship as they develop their learning programs. 

Copyright: Malcolm McInerney 2015
The 'Being a Citizen' CD includes materials on;

  • Links to civics and citizenship teaching materials.
  • Political mapping classroom activities.
  • Social Issues worksheets and processes.
  • Links to curriculum documents and teaching materials on civics and citizenship.
  • Professional reading links on civics and citizenship education
The resource is available from AGTA at