AGTA Conference 2021: Plenary Address

Geography: Visibility in the STEM field and contribution to STEM education — Implications for the future of the discipline in Australia

Susan Caldis   Dr Grant Kleeman
Susan Caldis and Dr Grant Kleeman

The strategic plan for the discipline, Geography: Shaping Australia’s Future (National Committee for Geographical Sciences [NCGS], 2018) explains the contribution of Geography to Australia and Australians. In so doing, the strategic plan outlines four major challenges to the discipline and suggests appropriate responses and future directions through a series of evidence-informed recommendations.

One recommendation is for Geography to become formally recognised in policy and practice as a partial STEM subject.

Towards the end of 2020, key leaders and influencers from the academy were invited to attend an online national symposium and respond to the recommendation about Geography and STEM. Building on such work from 2020, the presenters will firstly report on key findings from the symposium. Then, the presenters will pose a series of questions to discern the influences on, deliberate implications of, and determine appropriate actions for the future flourishing of Geography as a subject in schools and the possibilities for Geography in the STEM field. The session is ‘focus-group discussion’ oriented where responses will be recorded and reportable. The session is part of Susan’s role as STEM Ambassador for geography education together with AGTA’s and the NCGS’s plan for actioning recommendations evident in the Australian Schools section of Geography: Shaping Australia’s Future.

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