Presentation on theme: "How useful is the concept of capability in assessing the purpose of geography in education? Richard Bustin, Geography teacher, Bancrofts school."— Presentation transcript:
How useful is the concept of capability in assessing the purpose of geography in education? Richard Bustin, Geography teacher, Bancrofts school. MPhil/ PhD student, Institute of Education.
BACKGROUND Geography branded boring and irrelevant (Ofsted 2008, 2011) Decline in pupils opting to take the subject at GCSE and A level. 2011: National Curriculum review- geography? English Baccalaureate? Core knowledge? Curriculum planning now around key concepts- Place, Space, Scale, Interdependence, Physical and Human processes, Cultural understanding and diversity. without a substantial geographical component, it is possible to argue that young people will be restricted in their capacity to make sense of the complex, unequal, fast changing and often dangerous world in which they live (Lambert 2008). Butt (2008) warns the study of what we might still call geographical issues will certainly continue in schools, colleges and universities – for understanding about such issues is important to any young person who wishes to become an autonomous, responsible and enlightened global citizen. Unfortunately, these issues are no longer recognised as being fundamentally geographical – if current trends continue it is possible that they will not be taught by geographers in future (p.164).
Purpose of geography (2010s): - GA manifesto A different view (2009) -Thinking Geographically (Jackson 2000) - Grammar and vocabulary of geography. BUT: -Thinking skills (about what?) -Geographical content of ITT? (Roberts 2010) - Political interference? -Corruption of the curriculum? (Standish 2007) -Ideological differences? (Rawling 2000) Rawling 2000 p212 Purpose of geography (2010s): - GA manifesto A different view (2009) -Thinking Geographically (Jackson 2000) - Grammar and vocabulary of geography. BUT: -Thinking skills (about what?) -Geographical content of ITT? (Roberts 2010) - Political interference? -Corruption of the curriculum? (Standish 2007) -Ideological differences? (Rawling 2000)
CAPABILITY APPROACH Wellbeing capability Nussbaum (2000) Life. Bodily Health. Bodily Integrity. Senses, Imagination, and Thought. Emotions. Practical Reason. Affiliation. Other Species. CAPABILITY (SET) COMMODITY/ STRUCTURAL FEATURES FUNCTIONING Welfare economics: Sen (1980), Nussbaum (2000) Educational capability (Terzi 2005) Literacy. Numeracy. Sociality and participation. Learning dispositions. Physical activities. Science and technology. Practical reason. Humanities capability (Hinchcliffe 2006) Critical Examination and Judgement Narrative imagination Recognition/concern for others (citizenship in a globalised world) Reflective learning (ability to articulate and revise personal aims) Practical judgement (in relatively complex situations) Take responsibility for others Geography capability (Lambert 2011) Overall, it can be argued, a capability perspective on geography in education evokes a subject that can contribute to young peoples: Deep descriptive world knowledge Theoretically informed relational understanding of people and places in the world Propensity and disposition to think about alternative social, economic and environmental futures.
THE RESEARCH:How useful is the concept of capability in assessing the purpose of geography in education? RESEARCH METHODS: Interviews with geography students (different ages) in different school settings, interviews with university lecturers (admissions tutors), geography teachers. 1. What affects the development of geo capabilities with students in real school settings? 2. How do students of geography use their subject to understand the world, and how does this fit in to a (geo-) capabilities perspective? 3. How might a geo capabilities framework provide a way for curriculum makers to see the value of school geography? STRUCTURAL FEATURESGEO CAPABILITYFUNCTIONING
Lambert D (2008) Why are school subjects important? Forum, 50, 2. Available form REFERENCES (selected) Ofsted (2008) Geography in schools- changing practice. Press release. Available at Jackson P (2006) Thinking Geographically, Geography 91 (3), p Rawling E (2000) Ideology, politics and curriculum change: reflections on school geography 2000, Geography, 85 (3), p Standish A (2007) Geography used to be about maps, In Whelan (ed) The corruption of the Curriculum. London: CIVITAS. Lambert D (2009) (ed), A different View, a manifesto from the Geographical Association. Sheffield: Geographical Association. Goudie, A (1993) Schools and universities- the great divide, Geography 78 (4) p Butt G (2008) Is the future secure for geography education, Geography 93 (3) p Roberts M (2010) Wheres the Geography? Reflections on being a senior examiner. Teaching Geography 35 (3) p Nussbaum M (2000) Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sen A (1980) Equality of what? The Tanner Lecture on human values delivered at Stanford University May 22, Lambert D (2011) Reframing school geography: A Capability approach. In Butt (ed) Geography, Education and the Future. Continuum.