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Geography Curriculum Crossroads… …F 1, F 2 or F 3? Dr Indra Persaud Head of Education Department University of Seychelles indra. [email protected] ac. sc 22 nd April 2017
Geography curriculum decisions in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, the UK and Seychelles
Curriculum F 1 • Knowledge is ‘fixed’, established by tradition and shaped by the powerful (Young, 2014) • ‘Elite cultural knowledge’ is passed on to a ‘select few’ (Young and Muller, 2010) • Offers high achievers the route to university (Young, 2014) while the rest receive vocational training (Young and Muller, 2014) • Teachers’ role is to pass the ‘elite’ knowledge to the next generation (one-way transmission pedagogy)
F 1 Geography knowledge ‘for’ the (ex-)colonies Highly centralized curriculum Teachers expected to adhere closely to a national or internationally adopted curriculum (e. g. Cambridge IGCSEs) Textbooks supplied by the government National exams designed and administered by the government Examples: Thailand, Hong Kong, China (Lam, 2007)
Future 2… • Knowledge ‘no longer treated given’, but ‘seen as constructed in response to particular needs and interests’ (Young et al. , 2014) • Inclusive curriculum which is progressively ‘vocationalised’ for ‘slower learners’ (Young et al. , 2014) • Subject boundaries weakened, more interdisciplinary learning • Everyday knowledge included in the curriculum (sports, community interests etc. ) • Promotion of facilitative rather than directive teaching (Young and Muller, 2010)
F 2 Geography – for Nation Building Using the geography curriculum to re-imagine and re-order national (and regional) territories and space • For example; after the return of Hong Kong to China, the time allocated to the teaching of China in the geography curriculum was increased threefold (Lam, 1998: 42). An essential part of post-colonial assertion of sovereignty and identity (Morgan, 2000: 61).
…but armed with only F 2 geography… how do children make sense of the wider world?
FUTURE 3 • ‘Subjects’ form the most reliable tools for helping students acquire knowledge and make sense of the world • Subject knowledge is the nearest to truth that we can get (Young, 2014) • ‘Subjects’ provide access to powerful knowledge. • For example, Geography is powerful because – The discipline is argued over and represents the ‘best’ knowledge available, – It’s not a given; geographical ideas are open to constant reworking and debate
F 3 Geography • takes students beyond their everyday experience • collective and accessible resource for both teachers and students (through subject associations etc. ) (Lambert & Biddulph, 2014) • Subject specialist teachers are key to engagement with powerful knowledge
‘Changing the Subject: The impact of national policy on school geography 1980 -2000’ by Eleanor Rawling (2001): • Geography educators ‘underestimated the politicized nature of curriculum decisionmaking and the influence of the New Right’ in England during the late 1970 s and early 1980’s • Government gained control over the curriculum during the 1980 s • Geography educators failed to manage the struggle between older and newer geographies
Geography Curriculum Crossroads… Image removed
Thank you for listening. Please ask some questions, or make comments, suggestions… Dr Indra Persaud Indra. [email protected] ac. sc 22 nd April 2017 Geographical Association Annual Conference
References • • • Hammond, L (2015) Can powerful pedagogies be used to support powerful knowledge in geography education? GTE Conference 2015, Geographical Association Lam, C. C. (1998). The New Junior Secondary School Geography Curriculum in Hong Kong: The Impact of the 1997 Handover, International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 7: 1, pp. 37 -49 Lam, C. C. (2007). The Compliance Tradition and Teachers' Instructional Decision-Making in a Centralised Education System: A Case Study of Junior Secondary Geography Teaching in Changchun, China. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 16: 3, pp. 233 -249 Lambert, D. Biddulph, M. (2014) ‘The Dialogic Space Offered by Curriculum-Making in the Process of Learning to Teach, and the Creation of a Progressive Knowledge-led Curriculum in Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education Lambert, D. Morgan, J. (2010) Teaching Geography 11 -18: A Conceptual Approach Open University Press: Maidenhead Morgan, J (2000). To which space do I belong? Imagining citizenship in one curriculum subject. Curriculum Journal, 11: 1, pp. 55 -68 Rawling, E. (2001) Changing the Subject: The impact of national policy on school geography 1980 -2000’ by Roberts, M. (2003) Learning Through Enquiry: Making Sense of Geography in the Key Stage 3 Classroom Geographical Association Wilson, P. and Tan, G. C. I. (2004). Singapore Teachers’ Personal and General Efficacy for Teaching Primary Social Studies. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 13: 3, pp. 209 -222 Young, M. (1971) ‘ An Approach to the Study of Curricular as Socially Organised Knowledge’ in Young, M. (eds) Knowledge and Control: New Directions for the Sociology of Education Macmillan Publishers: London. Young, M. Muller, J. (2010) ‘Three Educational Scenarios for the Future: Lessons from the Sociology of Knowledge’ in ‘European Journal of Education 45(1) pages 11 -27. Young, M. Lambert, D. Roberts, C. Roberts, M. (2014) Knowledge and the Future School: Curriculum and Social Justice Bloomsbury Academic: London