School students across Australia will soon be able to learn from the first national geography curriculum, with the final version released today by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).
School Education Minister Peter Garrett said the Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Geography will help students better understand the world they live in.
“The new geography curriculum will give students a real sense of our place in the world, our environment, sustainability and the interconnection between places and people.
“Students focus on their local area from Foundation to Year 2, then study Australia and neighbouring countries from Year 3, covering Asia, South America, Africa, Europe and North America by Year 6.
“In an increasingly globalised society we know how important knowledge of the world will be for the jobs of the future, so students will have the chance to focus their studies in the later years.”
Students can focus on West Asia and/or North Africa, Europe, the United States of America and China across Years 7–8. Throughout Years 9–10 students will be encouraged to focus on the Pacific Islands, Africa or South America.
“Geography is about more than just location and this curriculum reflects the richness of this subject area, covering the key concepts of place, space, environment, interconnection, sustainability, scale and change,” Mr Garrett said.
“The new geography curriculum also includes cross-curriculum priorities that tie into other aspects of the Australian Curriculum.”
The cross-curriculum priority ‘Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia’ will link geographical study of the Asia region to other aspects of the Australian Curriculum, including the study of Asian languages, so students can participate fully in the Asian Century.
In the cross-curriculum priority of ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures’ students will learn about Indigenous connections to land, water and sky, and the knowledge and practices that developed as a result. The ‘Sustainability’ cross-curriculum priority will include studying human dependence on the environment and why the environment needs to be protected.
The Australian Curriculum for geography has been developed in consultation with education authorities, curriculum experts, teachers, professional associations and universities and has been endorsed by the Ministerial Council for Education Ministers.