Commonwealth Class is an initiative for schools from the British Council, BBC and Commonwealth Secretariat, and is delivered in Australia by the Australian Federation of Societies for Studies in Society and Environment (AFSSSE).
The British Council is developing a far-reaching partnership with the BBC, Commonwealth Secretariat and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to create a global legacy programme for school pupils, teachers and broadcast audiences. Schools across the Commonwealth will take part in an interactive project to explore Commonwealth values, the contemporary Commonwealth and links between sport, health, inclusion and gender issues (“sport and development”), inspiring pupils and enriching their education through international dialogue, titled the “Commonwealth Class”.
Commonwealth Class will enable more than 100,000 schools across the Commonwealth to access themed learning resources, take part in online exchanges and forums, and work on collaborative projects in cross-Commonwealth teams. Australia, as host of the 2018 Games, has been identified as one of the priority countries within the Commonwealth, alongside 11 others.
>> Further information on Commonwealth Class can be found at www.britishcouncil.org/commonwealthclass and www.bbc.co.uk/commonwealthclass
AFSSSE has been awarded funding through the British Council to provide support to Australian schools to promote student awareness and understanding of the 2014 Commonwealth Games to be held 23 July–3 August 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. The first event will be held in the ACT on Thursday 20 March 2014.
>> Details of events
Latest issue of Geographical Education
Geographical Education Volume 26, 2013, ‘Building Geography’s new frontier contains four papers: David Lambert provides a threefold answer to his question ‘Who hung the humanities?’, Simon Catling reflects upon Primary School Geography in theEnglish national curriculum, Nick Hutchinson examines the nature of world views in teaching and learning about the Australian Curriculum: Geography, and, Ken Purnell examines the challenges and opportunities afforded by the implementation of this curriculum.
The journal contains two reports: the ‘Chair’s report’ by Malcolm McInerney and ‘Empowering the next generation to make their own world’ by Nick Hutchinson. Geoffrey Paterson has edited nine teaching and learning reviews. AGTA thanks Ken Purnell for his skills as editor of the Journal 2003-2013.
Latest issue of AGTA's Geographia now available
The November 2013 issue of AGTA's newsletter Geographia is now available. Contents include
- AGTA membership
- Mapping our world
- Flagship journal
- AGTA conference
- Thinking geographically
- State association reports — see what's happening around the country.
AGTA welcomes new member
The AGTA Board has unanimously endorsed an application by the newly formed Geography and History Teachers Association of the Northern Territory (GHTANT) Incorporated to become a member of the association. GHTANT’s Julie Hearnden attended the AGTA AGM held in Melbourne on Sunday 13 October and said that the association had been proactive in promoting geography in the Northern Territory and has organised a number of highly successful professional learning activities for its members.
A recent event focusing on the Australian Curriculum: Geography attracted over 60 teachers many travelling long distances from remote parts of the Territory to attend. Members of the AGTA Board were delighted to welcome its new member association.
The GeogSpace website developed by AGTA and Education Services Australia (ESA) is now live. AGTA thanks all members of the writing and development teams for their outstanding contributions to this resource which will support the teaching of the Australian Curriculum: Geography. AGTA will be running special professional learning programs to support teachers in their use of this wonderful new resource. Further information about these programs can be obtained from AGTA Chair Malcolm McInerney.
Hot under the collar
"Climate change really shouldn’t be a political issue." Read what Linh Do, community co-ordinator with the Australian Conservation Foundation and Australian Geographic’s Young Conservationist of the Year has to say about climate change. [Published in the Sydney Morning Herald p35, 23 October 2013]
Ministers endorse the Senior Secondary Australian Curriculum: Geography
Federal, State and Territory Education Ministers have endorsed the Senior Secondary Australian Curriculum: Geography as the common and agreed base for state and territory senior secondary geography courses.
ACARA will now work with each state and territory curriculum, assessment and certification authority to identify the senior secondary Australian Curriculum content that will be common to all states and territories and the processes and timelines for its implementation.
View the curriculum and watch an overview video on the Australian Curriculum website.
Australian Curriculum: Geography
Following the meeting of Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood on 10 May 2013, ACARA has released the Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Geography. The Australian Geography Teachers Association (AGTA) expresses its sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to the development of this new curriculum.
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."
Putting together the national jigsaw for geography
During the past year AGTA has been 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.
Exploring 21st Century Geography DVD
An outstanding collection of teaching resources including spatial technologies/GIS units. The DVD contains:
- articles and resources on 21st century Geography
- GIS skills development, GIS in Physical Geography and Historical GIS books – course processes and activities with geographical data
- 21st Century Internet sites
- technology in the geography classroom articles, internet sites and resources
- inquiry project design and work samples.