A STEM Ambassador to represent geography education
On 5 March 2020, Science & Technology Australia (STA) announced 16 STEM Ambassadors who will work, together with their local MP, to help bridge the gap between science and government in Australia. The GTA & ACT NSW and the AGTA Board would like to congratulate GTA NSW & ACT President and AGTA Director, Susan Caldis, on her appointment as one of the STEM Ambassadors. As a contributing author to the Geography in Australia Schools chapter in the Academy of Sciences' Geography: Shaping Australia’s Future, we know Susan works hard to take informed action around the recommendations connected to geography education; and we wish her every success in her advocacy for geography education to become more visible in STEM education and for geography to become formally recognised in policy and practice as a STEM subject. Congratulations Susan!
Geographical Education: The Innovative Geography Educator
The contents of Geographical Education Volume 32, 2019 include
- Geography and STEM — Susan Caldis and Dr Grant Kleeman
- Out-of-field Teaching in Geography — Susan Caldis and Dr Grant Kleeman
- Aligning Mapping Skills With Digitally Connected Childhoods to Advance the Development of Spatial Cognition and Ways of Thinking in Primary School Geography — Emeritus Professor Margaret Robertson, Associate Professor, retired Alaric Maude and Dr Jeana Kriewaldt
- Integrating GIS in Experiential Fieldwork — Dr Sarah Digan
- Teaching Higher-Order Thinking and Powerful Geographical Knowledge Through the Stage 5 Biomes and Food Security Unit — Associate Professor, retired Alaric Maude and Susan Caldis
- Book Reviews
Geography: Shaping Australia’s Future
Geography: Shaping Australia’s future was prepared by the National Committee for Geographical Sciences and presents the state of play of geography as a discipline in Australia. It provides a unified vision for Australian geography over the next decade.
The plan offers a framework for engaging research, teaching and industry that aligns strategically with contemporary social, economic and environmental challenges of our region.
A key recommendation of the decadal plan is "... that the Australian governments at all levels better understand how geography as a discipline enhances complex, multi-sectoral policy decisions by integrating knowledge across natural and built environments, society and the humanities through its unique perspectives of space, place and the environment."
AGTA 2019 Conference — Gold Coast: 1-4 October 2019
A highly successful conference was held at the Gold Coast from Tuesday 1 to Friday 4 October 2019. Resources from the master classes, keynote speakers and workshop leaders will be available from this website shortly.
A record of the conference can be viewed on the Conference Facebook page as well as Twitter (@agta2019) and Instagram (geoteachers2019).
>> View the AGTA 2019 conference presentations
AGTA Awards for published materials occur at the biennial AGTA Conferences. In 2019, a team from the Geography Teachers Association of NSW and ACT lead by Lorraine Chaffer (President) and Susan Caldis (Vice President) convened the process and judged the entries.
Pre-service Geography Teacher Starter Pack
The Australian Geography Teachers Association (AGTA) offers pre-service Geography teachers the opportunity to access three essential teaching resources at a considerable discount on their recommended retail price.
All three resources (Geography Fieldwork Unlocked, Geography Skills Unlocked-revised edition and Geography Literacy Unlocked) are available for the heavily discounted price $115.00.
Geography Fieldwork Unlocked
Geography Fieldwork Unlocked features 34 inquiry-based fieldwork activities developed by a team of experienced Geography educators.
- Section 1 of the book introduces the reader to inquiry-based fieldwork. It provides guidance in developing fieldwork action plans, research methodologies, and data collection tools and approaches as well as guidance on the presentation and communication of fieldwork findings.
- Section 2 features nine fieldwork activities for primary students (Years F/K–6). Each of these activities has been designed to develop students’ conceptual understanding and the skills associated with inquiry-based learning.
- Section 3 showcases 25 fieldwork activities aligned to the topics studied by students in Years 7–10.
- Each fieldwork activity is framed by one or more inquiry questions. They also feature: a statement of expected learning; a list of the equipment needed to successfully complete each fieldwork activity; a short introduction; background information that contextualises student learning; pre-fieldwork activities; and detailed step-by-step instructions on how to complete each fieldwork task.
>> Submit order
Geography Skills Unlocked — Revised edition
Geography Skills Unlocked (Revised Edition) 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.
Cost: $39.95 each + postage
>> Submit order
>> Download Answers to Geography Skills Unlocked Questions (81.2MB PDF)
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.
Cost: $29.95 each + postage
>> Submit order
Latest issue of AGTA's Geographia
The November 2018 issue of AGTA's newsletter Geographia is now available. Contents include
- AGTA Conference 2019
- 2018 Geography Big Week Out
- TGTA Milestone
- New York City Teacher Orientation Study Tour
- Geography Literacy Unlocked Textbook
- Around the affiliates
News, resources and support from member associations
Primary Geography Alive
The GTA NSW's Primary Geography Alive website has been developed to support the implementation of the NSW Geography Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum in Primary years of schooling.
The Geography Teachers' Association of NSW Inc. (GTA NSW) commissioned a team of experienced Primary school teachers to deveop these exemplar units of work aligned to the K-6 requireemnts of the syllabus. Each unit consists of six to eight lessons complete with the resources required for their successful implementation in the classroom.
GTAQ+DNRME Spatial Technology Workshops
When: 9:00AM–1:00PM 20 October 2018
Location: Cairns State High School
When: 9:00AM–3:00PM 10 December 2018
Location: Gladstone State High School
GTAV eCourses provide online professional learning for trained and out-of-field Geography teachers. The latest Spatial Technologies module is now available. These eCourses are open to teachers from all state Affiliates.
Careers Poster – Branching out with Geography
This beautifully-presented poster provides a colourful display for your classroom. It is also a resource that can stimulate discussion and ideas about careers that link to a study of Geography.
Format: A2 poster
Cost: $15.00 (incl GST)
Sampson Flat Bushfire Kit
The Sampson Flat Bushfire Kit has been developed for SACE Stage 1 Natural Hazards unit. The kit focuses on mapping skill development, along with other geographical and inquiry skills through the exploration of a case study of the 2015 Sampson Flat bushfires.
The kit includes:
- 20 copies of a coloured broadsheet
- Prewritten activities
TGTA celebrates its 50th anniversary
The TGTA was formed in 1968 in Hobart to further the promotion of geography teaching in Tasmanian schools and colleges. In 1993 the TGTA joined with the Geography Teachers Association of Victoria before being reformed in Tasmania in 2002. The 50th anniversary of the formation of the Tasmanian Geography Teachers Association is in 2018.
WA ATAR Geography: Units 1 & 2
WA ATAR Geography: Units 1 & 2 has been written as a student textbook to address the geographical knowledge, understandings and skills of the Western Australian Geography Year 11 ATAR and Year 12 GENERAL geography courses that have been implemented in WA schools from 2015/16. This is a companion textbook to GAWA’s Year 12 textbook: WA ATAR Geography: Units 3 & 4 and follows the same format and structure.
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.