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You need to read this...

Author Topic: You need to read this...  (Read 26987 times)

Blue Square Thing

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2011, 07:43:01 PM »
I predict a #geographyriot

If I could lay me hands on a tank I'd be down Tooting high street quicker than rat into parliament...

(btw, is there a rude word filter on this version of the forum? I have few choice ones usually reserved for football matches that I could use...)
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 07:44:46 PM by Blue Square Thing »
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HB100

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2011, 08:14:23 PM »
Is there anywhere we can make our feelings clear?

swhitch

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2011, 08:32:15 PM »
Kate W. - spot on on the progression it is crazy to have these stand alone units of "regional geography" but as others have identified it does make testing things easier - end of unit test after end of unit test. All measurable and all there as sticks to beat teachers with.

It does seem a shame that all the excellent work and freeing up of teaching of this glorious subject seems to be being withdrawn if this (and it is only a proposal) proposal comes into force. Interesting that Alex Standish uses the quote "In the words of the great American geographer Edward Ackerman ‘The goal of Geography is nothing less than an understanding of the vast interacting system comprising all humanity and its natural environment on the surface of the Earth. yet then seems to lack an ability to develop something that reflects this "vast interacting system" by replacing it with stand-alone and unitegrated units without apparent progression ...... maybe if I read it further and in more detail I will find some !

Looking more in detail at the units it all looks rather pedestrian, repetitive and dull .... look at KS3 Economic acitivty as an example :

Primary resources:
Where are they found? How do we access them? Where are they needed? How do they get there?

Energy:
Where are they located? How are they accessed? Where are the needed? How do they get there? What are the benefits and problems for people and the environment associated with different energy sources?

Water:
different ways in which it is used: agricultural, domestic and industrial. From where do we get our water? How is it transported? What happens to the water after it has been used?

The agricultural system: inputs, processes and outputs.
What food is grown in different regions? Why is it grown there? Where is the market for this food?
Different types of farming: monocrop, arable, intensive, ranching, nomadic, genetically modified.

The industrial system: inputs, processes and outputs.
Examples of commodities that are manufactured. Why are they made there? Where is the market area?
Factors affecting the location of manufacturing plants including: resources, power,

This must have taken hours to put together (or not) -  one hand out at the start of each part of the course with all the answers, rote learn it and move on to the next topic which hopefully might be more stimulating.

Interesting to see the proposal has not moved on from Burgess and Hoyt - let's face it the Burgess model does not work without a lot of assumptions and it might have helped when developing a concentric model city to not base it on a city which cannot be a concentric circle as half of it is under a lake.

Disappointing that the proposal also has the americanisation of spellings with a lot of Zs, urbanization / industrialization. Surely Dr Standish could have at least put his spell checker on to English (UK) not English (American) if it is for an English audiance.

It is easy to whinge and moan but I think the overall feeling is that after constant change over the past 10 years we had finally got something that was working and was stimulating for both students and teachers. We want the opporutnity for some stability when we can get on with doing our job. This, sorry Alex, seems to be proposing to undo much of that progress.

Stuart
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 10:59:35 PM by swhitch »
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davegnu8

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2011, 08:45:20 PM »
I've read it, and I'm worried.
Does Standish realise that this type of geography was taken out of the curriculum because it wasn't working?

Chris LS

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2011, 09:07:33 PM »
This is all so totally retrogressive in the whole approach, I just can't believe it.

Taking just one practical question, am I correct in thinking that Plate Tectonics would be a topic for Y5-6, removed from KS3 altogether, and then brought back again at GCSE?

It seems to me that even if Secondary Academies are rubbing their hands with glee that they won't be bound by the national curriculum, they are still going to be affected by the change in the curriculum in primary geography.....  removal of the much-loved tectonics topic from KS3 being one such example (unless Academies continue to teach it anyway, resulting in students studying 'tectonics' in KS2,3 and 4, in the same way that some students might study 'rivers' in all key stages at the moment.)

Is there any indication at all on what will be considered as the English 'regions'?  The draft says "as above" but I can't see what that's referring to?
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 09:17:59 PM by Chris LS »

swhitch

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2011, 09:21:00 PM »
There does not seem to be any identification of where or how fieldwork is intended to fit in ...... wonder if that is in another proposal or is it suggesting that fieldwork / coursework / controlled assessment is to be completely replaced by written exam? Or have I missed something?
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Kate Russell

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2011, 09:23:58 PM »
It is really good that SLNers are having this debate - however the pleace to respond is on the GA website and then in the Spring via the official consultation channels (DfE). Feedback on GA website http://www.geography.org.uk/getinvolved/geographycurriculumconsultation/feedback

I guess the historians have similar feelings about Simon Schama (also working in North Americva) who is consultant to DfE.

On a positive note: does this mean that geography IS remaining in the National Curriculum KS1 - 3?

Victoria

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2011, 10:17:48 PM »
I read this this morning and my initial thought was that Gove's plan was to make the new curriculum so terrible that schools would become academies so that they'd not have to follow it...

I do think place knowledge and some 'regional geography' is important - students (mine anyway) do like to know where places are and what they are like, but the difference is that we currently make our own decisions about which places we study, and we don't study them in isolation without consideration of their relationships with other places and broader issues.

I do also think that when I first started teaching there was a bit too much of what I seem to remember someone on here describing as the 'climate change tail wagging the geography dog' and rather too great a focus on issues at the expense of anything else.

So I do think there is room for a happy medium.  But I think the current curriculum, whilst not perfect, is exactly that.  I, as HoD, have guidance about the basics that I should be covering, but have the freedom to adapt these to the needs and interests of my students (and the staff in my department!).  The prescriptive nature of these new proposals - and the compartmentalisation of the myriad aspects of geography (when I have just spent the past eight years trying to develop that synoptic, holistic, 'bigger picture' approach in my students) - is thoroughly depressing. 

Interestingly, the one and only time that I (a 31-year old in my 9th year of teaching) have taught Christaller was to Year 12 in my NQT year.  Not being familiar with all those lovely dots, I posted a request for help on the old SLN forum.  Amongst the scathing and scornful "I can't believe people are still teaching this rubbish" comments, Val Vannet kindly offered to dig out some of her old teaching materials and would try to photocopy something for me, with the disclaimer that it would be old and out-of-date.

Uptake of Geography at GCSE and A Level has increased considerably in recent years at my school, and although the new GCSE and A Level specs are far from perfect, students appreciate the balance of some traditional physical geography and some more contemporary topics such as conflict and health.  If these proposals come to fruition, the work that we (and countless other geography departments) have done in recent years will be out of the window.

Whatever happens though, there is no way I'll start spelling urbanisation with a 'z'!
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 10:21:33 PM by Victoria »

Noel Jenkins

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2011, 10:45:11 PM »
It is really good that SLNers are having this debate - however the pleace to respond is on the GA website and then in the Spring via the official consultation channels (DfE). Feedback on GA website http://www.geography.org.uk/getinvolved/geographycurriculumconsultation/feedback

I guess the historians have similar feelings about Simon Schama (also working in North Americva) who is consultant to DfE.

On a positive note: does this mean that geography IS remaining in the National Curriculum KS1 - 3?

Completely agree Kate but it's important to exercise the debate through other channels as well. During the first wave of Standish back in 2002/3 the debate we had on SLN was picked up far and wide. Academic geographers need to be engaged too. Once it gets to the official DofE consultation it's time to give up and take to the streets. Who in their right mind could have any faith in government edupolicy?

Twitter hashtags #newgeography and #geographyriot

swhitch

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2011, 10:56:57 PM »
Kate - the discussion here is probably very valuable to get some key thoughts in place of what we might prefer to the Standish Curriculum Proposal.

Have just scanned the GA response and far better on balance and seems to display a better understanding of the current nature of school geography. It also seems to display progrsession from one age group to another and a more integrated approach.
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swhitch

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2011, 11:01:10 PM »
Further to the Americanisation of spelling in this proposal - has geography not been identified as a major subject for improving spelling, punctuation and grammar? Great start !
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Blue Square Thing

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2011, 11:41:35 PM »
Further to the Americanisation of spelling in this proposal - has geography not been identified as a major subject for improving spelling, punctuation and grammar? Great start !

If you can spell Tajikstan you get a Level 7 I believe...
I loved the words you wrote to me/But that was bloody yesterday

Geogphotos

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2011, 08:32:38 AM »
I understand all the points about progression and content but as I've said what gets to me is the political element. Of course, Standish and Gove would argue that the whole point is to take politics out of geography. But taking this stance is in itself hugely political.

GB geographer

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2011, 09:19:43 AM »
I have posted my initial thoughts at http://livinggeography.blogspot.com/

As has been mentioned, GA colleagues are indeed working away behind the scenes at the Higher Education / academic level to get as much debate as possible.
It's important that as many of you as possible do fill in the GA consultation document too at http://geography.org.uk/getinvolved/geographycurriculumconsultation
You are probably not going to have the chance to meet Nick Gibb in a week or so to talk about this, but the GA are, and if David Lambert can go with support for the GA's document, and evidence of wide-ranging disquiet about the Standish proposals there might be a chance of something happening.
And if that fails, I still have my 'Give Geography its Place' hoodie and I'm not afraid to wear it :)

Right, off to write some standardised tests on the Griffin-Ford model...
Head of Geography at King's Ely (Junior) & freelance geographer - CGeog - OS GetOutside Champion 2018/19

Geogphotos

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Re: You need to read this...
« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2011, 09:35:07 AM »
Excuse my ignorance - what exact status does the Standish document have? Is it a personal view? Is it the govt view?

Thanks

 

anything