NSW Draft Geography Syllabus – personal reflections

Hi all,
Here are my personal reflections on the Draft Syllabus – submitted to BOSTES. Would be interesting to see other personal reflections if you have had a chance to have a look.
Rationale:
The second paragraph states “Geography emphasizes the role of the environment in supporting human life from local to global scales….” A couple of comments here:
The environment does support (and impact on) humans, however, there is no direct mention of how humans support (and impact on) the environment. Should the latter point be specifically mentioned? Though an extrapolation of the later section of the sentence on interrelationship implies this is possible.

Outcomes:
There is an appropriate distribution and sequencing of key terms from Stage 4- Stage 5.

Stage Statements:
Throughout the Outcomes there are terms like describe and select though in the Stage 4 statements there seem to be dominated by higher order terms such as explain and examine. For example perhaps the first sentence could read “describe geographical processes” and then build to the higher order terms.

Content:
Covering the four topics for each stage is achievable and logically progress from Stage 4 to Stage 5. Personally I like the option of virtually fieldwork, though I do acknowledge that it could be used as an argument in some schools to not have fieldwork excursions.

Geographical Inquiry:
My only comment here concerns what might be missing. Maybe in the domain of ‘inquiry’ the following idea might be relevant. Through the inquiry process the students may be motivated into some sort of action to help or improve the geographical world – perhaps point four could be a statement on doing something with the acquired, processed and communicated geographical information eg. Geographical Action.

Specific Content Outline:
The description of concepts, tools and skills is very clear. Just a specific comment on tools – endorse the broadening to spatial technologies (as long as it is viewed as more than just hardware and software i.e.: including web tools) and the additional of visual representation instead of just pictures.
Within each topic the Outcomes the topic descriptions, key inquiry questions, concepts skills and tools are clearly portrayed.

As for the content outlines:
• I did not interpret that they had to be covered in the order presented though I believe some may believe this to be the case. Is it possible to have a sentence clarifying this point at an earlier stage?
• Is it possible to clearly identify each of the subheadings above the bullet points in each of the Stage defined topics?
• Is there an expectation that all the bullet points are to be covered? If this is the case then the document bullet points are fine as they are.
• If there can be flexibility in the coverage of the bullet points could there be either:
o An overarching statement earlier in the document stating there is flexibility in the number of bullet points covered provided all the outcomes are assessed.
o A statement after the heading “Students…” which reflects the notion of ‘such as’ or something like this.
I like the geographical content which we are required to examine as it is interesting, relevant and has a good mixture of breadth and depth.

Year’s 7-10 Life Skills outcomes and content:
Like and not really in a position to comment

Continuum of Learning K-10:
This displays an appropriate mix of key terms and content which is sequenced in a logical manner.
cheers Martin

UWS – Future of Australian Suburbs

Future of Australian Suburbs

Robyn Dowling and Emma Power

Article:  Sizing home, Doing Family in Sydney, Australia

  • Introduction
  • The Sydney Study – “everyday practices and  and descriptions of 26 households
  • Sizing home, Doing Family
  • Sizing Home Dong  Respectability

PPT

  • Statistics and information really useful
  • House focus can be linked to urban dynamic suburbanisation
  • Culture of place through status and affluenza,  new relations of family, privacy
  • Specific section on summarising cultural forces
  • GDFE – sustainability crisis

Comments

  • Hits the syllabus point culture of place really well.
  • Hits GDFE – future and sustainability quite well.
  • Houses can hit urban dynamic of suburbanisation
  • Students will need  to make l inks to urban dynamics explicit

UWS – Urban decay and renewal in Broken Hill

Urban decay and renewal  in Broken Hill Laura Schatz

Academic Article

  • Planning challenges: – closeness to mines,  infrastructure,
  • Growth oriented planning in shrinking cities and alternative of decline oriented planning
  • Strategic planning documents
  • Planners and policy makers

PPT

  • Shrinking cities
  • How widespread  is urban shrinkage
  • Shrinking cities in Australia
  • Policy measures

Comments

  • Hits the syllabus point small country town  ( small?) quite well. Or could it be a large city? This would hit the syllabus points really well especially GDFE and the planning challenges.
  • Fleshing out he links to the urban dynamics  will involve some work and guidance.  For example panning really interesting and good geography
  • Could it fit into changing roles of regional centres  and the demise of the small town?

UWS – Toursim in China Presentation

Toursim  in China

 Dr Julie Wren

From PPT

  • Uneven development maps very good.  Any recent figures post 1995.
  • 12 coastal communities and their dominance good section and easy to understand
  • Inbound  tourism figures solid
  • Regional distribution and Gini Co efficient – might be a bit heavy for students and helps explains the regional imbalance
  • Factors influencing convergence would need to be fleshed out by teachers and students to link to the factors in the syllabus points

From Article

  • Introduction
  • Snapshot of the distribution of international tourism
  • Trends in spatial distribution of tourism in china 1986- 2004 – any more recent data?
  • Gini Coefficient – will need teacher guidance
  • Coastal inland spatial distribution will work well for student understanding.
  • Discussion – really interesting  but would need to cherry pick to help students link content to syllabus points

Comment:

Not sure how to link in an enterprise study.  Does it need to be linked to China?

UWS – Going Bananas Presentation

Going Bananas

Rae Dufty Jones

Introduction

Global production and trade – good map covers  nature and spatial patterns well

    • Global Banana  industry
    • Historical Development  of banana trade and TNCs
    • Concerned consumer – political social and environmental dimensions  of the global banana trade. This can be linked to the factors explaining the nature, spatial patterns and future directions of  the economic activities of the banana industry.
      • Banana gluts – an issue
      • Social and environmental consequences of the banana industry. Sustainability well covered with organic and fair trade bananas

    Australian Banana Industry

    • Historical development
    • Australian Philippino banana wars
    • Woolgoolga case study
      • Covers the nature and locational factors well
      • Might need to flesh out the ecological dimensions and internal and external links
      • Global changes can be linked to the  area well especially through links via Woolgoolga Punjabi – Sikh community.

    General Comments:

    • First comment is that it can be closely linked to Ecosystems case study on Great Barrier Reef – contributing to  reef issues through reefer or marine transport – aka shipping on the reef.
    • Might need to do more research as a student on socio cultural and organisational factors  and perhaps even technological factors
    • Future issues at a global level?