Key Questions Why Geographical Futures? Back to the Future? What are the opportunities and challenges? What do we need to do?
The future of the GA Membership: 2001 = 10,000 2007 = 6,500 Activity: Curriculum and CPD projects: 2006-07 = £298,000 excluding the Action Plan for Geography (membership = £355,000)
The future of the GA Action Plan for Geography, 2006- 08 To provide everyone – opinion formers, policy makers, schools, parents and pupils – with a clear vision of geography as a relevant and powerful 21 st century subject; and to equip teachers with the professional skills and support they need so that pupils enjoy and succeed in geography.
The future of geography in education a freeing up of the primary curriculum a revised KS3 PoS revised GCSE criteria revised A-level criteria 14 – 19 specialised diplomas higher education teacher training
The future of geography What is geography in the 21 st Century? We could begin by making the case that any individual without geography as a significant and identifiable component of his or her education, would probably lack experiences and opportunities that: satisfy and/or nurture their curiosity about the world overtly connect knowledge, to see the world as a whole develop a holistic understanding, that shows links and interrelationships within and between the more physical earth systems and human systems deepen spatial understanding deal with complexity and uncertainty in real world contexts (David Lambert, 2007)
Geography and the Future, 1984: Rex Walfords Presidential Lecture geography seems to be poorly represented in the corridors of power the need to respond to curricular initiatives originating from outside geography the need to improve geographys public image the need to integrate the community of geography teachers and academics for more effective action
The corridors of power A Case for Geography a decade of volunteer-led activity the professionalisation of the Association David Lambert and Rita Gardener, special advisers to Lord Adonis, Minister for Schools
Curricular initiatives from outside geography Geography Schools and Industry Project GNVQ Working Party geography through literacy and numeracy Education for Sustainable Development Citizenship Working Group Specialised Diplomas
Geographys public image the stereotype the possibility the G Team a press and PR officer
The community of geography teachers and academics Research Assessment Exercise Awarding Bodies individual initiatives APG Ambassadors Programme
Every Child Matters Be healthy Stay safe Enjoy and achieve Make a positive contribution Achieve economic well-being
The views of children and young people There has been a 29.4% decline in the number of students taking GCSE geography between 1996 and 2006: a more crowded curriculum? more constrained choices? the offer?
A view from the classroom … the only way youre ever going to get good feedback is from asking students how they feel and what their experiences are and from that you can structure the new curriculum as young people want it as opposed to how (they) think it should be
Young Peoples Geographies eight schools three one day conferences students are meeting and talking about how the geography curriculum can be organised and planned in an innovative, exciting and worthwhile way the outcome will be a set of curriculum units delivered in the students schools
GeoVisions Create the future – dont let it just happen: possible future? probable future? preferred future?
Approaching the future poor strategies often emerge because of lack of clarification of core purpose, values and vision Success and Sustainability: Developing the strategically focused school
Making the future – core purpose furthering the learning and teaching of geography The study of geography stimulates an interest in, and a sense of wonder about, places and helps make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world. It explains how places and landscapes are formed, how people and environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies and societies are interconnected.
Making the future – values Position statement; Ethical policy; Environmental policy; Inclusion policy key geographical concepts, knowledge, understanding and skills
What do we need to take into account? a.policy environment b.CPD environment c.demography d.what will learning be like in ten years time? e.the global context f.membership g.relationship with the wider geographical and subject community h.role of GA i.children and young people
What might our vision include? a.every school a member b.a diverse organisation, open and welcoming c.young people actively participating d.vibrant branches and committees, with a strong regional network e.a larger international / global presence f.independent and outward looking g.embracing partnerships with complementary organisations h.HQ premises a centre of excellence – as a place to work, meet and learn i.an advocate for geography, in the curriculum and in the public domain j.catering for all levels of engagement from the occasional website visitor to the geography activist
Three questions What should be in the geography curriculum and why? How should students learn geography? How can the teaching and learning of geography be improved? Margaret Roberts, TG, Autumn 06
Everyday geographies geography that grows out of the everyday lives of teachers and children Fran Martin, Primary Geographer, Autumn 2006
So, what do we do about it? identify where we can make a difference and put our energies there follow the Action Plan for Geography with a Strategy for Change co-ordinated and concerted action to improve geographys public image involve children and young people in the development of geography