AGTA 2019 Conference — Gold Coast: 1-4 October 2019
The 2019 conference theme is 'The Innovative Geographer'. In an ever changing world, the study of Geography has become increasingly important. The technologies needed to collect, manage and represent our world are constantly changing. The proliferation of 'big data' and the everyday use of spatial technologies means that Geography teachers need to innovate in the classroom to ensure their students have the 21st century skills they will need to be successful beyond high school.
However, innovation is not only linked to technological change. Geography teachers must also be innovative in their subject knowledge, curriculum development and pedagogy, to ensure students are engaged, and develop critical, creative and collaborative skills both in the classroom and in the field.
The 2019 AGTA conference program will provide opportunities for teachers from across Australia to share and reflect on their own innovations in the Geography classroom. The social activities, including Welcome Drinks, and the Conference Dinner will provide an ideal opportunity to network with fellow geographers from across the country.
>> View the AGTA 2019 conference website
Latest issue of AGTA's Geographia
The August 2018 issue of AGTA's newsletter Geographia is now available. Contents include
- AGTA Conference 2019
- Geography Literacy Unlocked
- Differentiating geography fieldwork to address students’ needs
- Around the affiliates
Australian Geography Competition: Australian Team win two bronze medals at the 2018 International Geography Olympiad in Quebec City
Congratulations to the four young Australian geography students who represented Australia at the XV International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) held in Quebec City, Canada, from July 31 to August 6. The Olympiad was organised under the auspices of the International Geographical Union (IGU) with the support of Université Laval, North America’s second oldest university.
The four-member Australian team were selected through their outstanding performance in last year’s Australian Geography Competition (AGC) and Geography’s Big Week Out (from left to right): Phoebe Blaxill from St Mary's Anglican Girls' School, WA – bronze medal; Harry Hall from Trinity College (Gawler), SA; Hannah Wright from Walford Anglican School for Girls, SA – bronze medal, and Sophie Ohlin from Sydney Girls High School, NSW. The Australian team was accompanied by two team leaders: Kath Berg, Australian Geography Competition Committee and Liam Sloan, Geography Teachers Association of South Australia. Forty-three countries took part in this highly prestigious one-week international competition with the Romanian team declared the overall winners at this year’s event.
To test the best young geographers in the world, the iGeo programme involves three academic challenges over the course of a week: a written response test, a multimedia test and a fieldwork exercise requiring observation, cartographic representation and geographical analysis. The programme also included poster presentations by teams, a cultural session showcasing Canadian cultures, and visits to Old Quebec (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and Forêt Montmorency.
The value of the iGeo experience cannot be underestimated; participating students appreciate not only the opportunity to travel abroad and challenge themselves, but also the experience of meeting and making friends with passionate geography students from all over the world. "The iGeo was a fantastic opportunity not only to learn about geography, hearing from bright minds in the field and undergoing insightful fieldwork, but also to make friends from all around the globe. Being around such a wide variety of international cultures, personalities and languages is a rare event, and because of it the experience was invaluable." said Harry Hall, participating student.
Kath Berg, Australian Team Leader commented that “The iGeo is a prestigious international contest. It inspires active interest in geographical studies among students and contributes to greater intercultural understanding through the friendships developed between students from different countries.” The Australian team has once again scored commendable results. This highlights the strength of Australia's Year 11 and 12 geography curricula in teaching students to think, analyse and interpret information. The role of geography in schools is continuously supported by the Australian Geography Competition. The pre-selection for the four-student team that will represent Australia at the 2019 iGeo in Hong Kong, China, is under way. Sixteen high-achieving Year 11 students from the 2018 Australian Geography Competition will soon be selected to take part in Geography’s Big Week Out, a six-day training/selection event, to be held on Kangaroo Island, South Australia in early October this year.
The participation of the Australian team at the International Geography Olympiad is made possible with the support of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, Australian Geography Competition and with sponsorship of the AGC from Monash University (School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment and School of Social Sciences), Macquarie University (Department of Geography and Planning and Department of Environmental Sciences), and The University of Queensland (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences).
The annual Australian Geography Competition is a joint initiative of the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland (www.rgsq.org.au) and the Australian Geography Teachers’ Association.
For further information about the Australian Geography Competition and its associated events, iGeo and GBWO, visit http://www.geographycompetition.org.au/.
Latest issues of Geographical Education
Two outstanding resources from AGTA
Geography Literacy Unlocked
Geography Literacy Unlocked has been written for secondary geography students seeking to improve their literacy skills. It includes a focus on written, visual and oral literacy.
Geography Literacy Unlocked is published by the Australian Geography Teachers Association and written by Dr Grant Kleeman. One of Australia’s leading geography educators.
- An engaging, easy-to-navigate design
- A student-friendly approach featuring step-by-step explanations and annotated exemplars
- A focus on the basics of effective written communication – spelling, punctuation, tense and the use of connectives
- Descriptions of the principal text types used in geography, supported by annotated examples
- Guidance for writers in quoting, paraphrasing, summarising and referencing the work of others
- A focus on the responsible use of social media
- A comprehensive coverage of the principal forms of visual and oral texts students encounter in geography
- Templates or scaffolds to support the interpretative skills students are expected to demonstrate.
Geography Skills Unlocked
Geography Skills Unlocked is a skills book for Australian secondary schools.
- Contents aligned to the inquiry and skills-based requirements of Australian Curriculum: Geography
- An engaging, easy to navigate design
- A student friendly approach with step-by-step explanations, descriptions and worked examples
- A focus on emerging technologies used to gather, analyse and present geographical data
- GeoSkills and GeoInquiry activities that scaffold student learning
- A wealth of stimulus material including a diverse range of maps, graphs, aerial photographs, satellite images, diagrams and photographs
- Examples drawn from each Australian state and territory with additional international material
- Key terms explained in embedded glossary boxes
Geography Skills Unlocked is published by the Australian Geography Teachers Association and written by a team of experienced Geography teachers.
>> Submit order — Please contact the GTA NSW office on 02 9716 0378 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for orders of over 8 copies.
>> Download Answers to Geography Skills Unlocked Questions (81.2MB PDF)
Subscribe to the AGTA mailing list
AGTA newsletters keep you informed of forthcoming conferences, professional learning activities, curriculum developments and new geography teaching resources. You have the option to opt-out at any time.
Being a Citizen
A new innovative product to help teachers provide opportunities for students to explore the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship.
Content of the 'Being a citizen' resource:
- Links to civics and citizenship teaching materials.
- Political mapping classroom activities.
- Social Issues worksheets and processes.
- GIS and political mapping activities
- Links to curriculum documents and teaching materials on civics and citizenship.
- Professional reading links on civics and citizenship education.
Australian orders: $80.00 postage & GST inc.
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Contents of the latest edition of the Thinking Geographically resource include:
- Geographical thinking resources, exercises and articles
- Over 150 Thinkpieces on geography (articles and resources on geographical education in schools)
- Curriculum planning and assessment processes and templates
- 100's of direct links to Internet sites to support geographical thinking and the teaching of geography
- Links to Australian Curriculum: Geography trial projects
- Presentations to support professional learning on the Australian Curriculum: Geography.
Australian orders: $80.00 postage & GST inc.
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Putting together the national jigsaw for geography
AGTA was actively involved in the development of
- the Australian Curriculum: Geography through the work of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)
- GeogSpace online resources with Education Services Australia (ESA) to support the implementation of the new geography curriculum.
AGTA considers that both of these developments are critical for the future growth of geography in our schools and certainly warrants the energy and financial commitment AGTA has made to the process. The curriculum has reached the final stages of writing, consultation and validation and is due for release in 2013. Whilst this work has created an increased workload and investment from AGTA and its officers we continue to put together the 'National Geography Jigsaw' to promote geographical education in Australia.
The world of geography in Australian schools continues to be a dynamic and exciting one for teachers and students. AGTA's capacity to deliver continues to be tested by the challenges of promoting the 'brand' of geography in the new National Education Agenda and putting together the jigsaw for the implementation of a National Curriculum for Geography. AGTA continues to meet these challenges with confidence and continues to be seen by others in the education community as an association of high standards and professionalism. Such a reputation is only possible through the support and hard work of all Directors on the AGTA Board and teacher members of affiliates.
Evidence for learning and feedback resources
Effective feedback practice is shown to increase student progress by as much as an extra eight months over a year. AITSL in partnership with Evidence for Learning have developed new materials to support teachers and school leaders to enhance feedback practices with students in their context.
The resources draw upon global evidence and research-based approaches, including from AITSL’s own Board Chair and world-renowned education researcher, Professor John Hattie. The suite of materials is free to access from the AITSL website and includes the following:
- A spotlight research summary – Reframing feedback to improve teaching and learning – to describe the underpinning research on effective feedback.
- Written and video case studies that profile effective implementation of feedback within Australian schools.
- Implementation resources, such as a readiness check, planning overview and an introductory presentation, to help schools introduce an effective feedback strategy.
Mapping out the world
"We need to give young people the opportunity to form images of the world, of the interactions between people and places that are accurate, realistic and empowering. The next generation will make their own world. We need to give them the power to do it well. Having a substantial and really engaging geography experience as part of schooling is absolutely essential if this is going to happen."
CARE’s Global Poverty: Teacher’s Toolkit
CARE Australia has developed a website which provides teachers with resources on a range of issues related to poverty and inequality. Topics include global poverty, education, health, women's empowerment, water and hygiene, food and nutrition, climate change and responding to emergencies.
Each topic includes teaching tools such as fast facts, videos, and stories designed to spark curiosity and enhance classroom discussion.