AGTA Conference 2022: Workshop and half-day Fieldtrip abstracts

Workshop Abstracts

1.a) Collaborations between teachers, Primary School students and expert partners to enhance learning about natural hazards and bush fire  – Tony Jarrett – Central Queensland University
The NSW Geography K-10 Syllabus (2015) includes the Stage 3 (Years 5 and 6) unit of study to investigate the impact of a contemporary bushfire hazard in Australia (ACHGK030).
On the back of the devastating 2019/20 bush fires, as well as the catastrophic flood events on the east coast in 2022, the relevance of students learning about natural hazards, risks, and how they can contribute to the mitigation of those risks has never been more relevant.
Schools and teachers can collaborate with volunteer fire fighters as authentic expert partners to enhance and enliven inquiry learning by students.

1.b) How young children perceive their world and research into early spatial mapping - David Boon – Department of Education, Tasmania
While the local area is utilised for student learning, little research has been done into how students actually perceive that environment in a spatial sense. My experience as a primary classroom teacher and working with teachers in a number of support and professional learning roles is that students sometimes have greater awareness and perception of their surroundings than the adults teaching them. Teachers tend to focus attention on what it is they want students to learn. Students however don’t organise their perceptions into neat curriculum boxes, nor do they limit their observations to just what the teacher wants them to. This paper explores my teaching experiences and my leadership of professional learning which challenge traditional notions of how to utilise the local area. It suggests how we might better utilise student perceptions of the environment to engage them as learners and deepen their understanding of both the curriculum and their local area.

1.c) The loss and management of Australia’s kelp forest ecosystems. The Great Southern ReefLorraine Chaffer – GTANSW & ACT
Learn about Australia's unique Great Southern Reef; the economic, ecological, social and cultural values kelp forests; processes of change, and innovative management responses to address change. For teachers in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, SA and WA this study is relevant for Environmental Change and Management (Year 10 AC), Land cover Change, Climate Change and Biodiversity (Senior AC) or Ecosystems (NSW). The GSR makes a refreshing alternative to studies of coral reefs and highly relevant for students living in coastal LGAs. Supporting resources contain contemporary case studies specific to each state.

1.d) Using Spatial Tech Apps & Drones to collect qualitative and quantitative data for Geography Fieldwork- Brett Dascombe - Wavell State High School
Fieldwork is a large component of the junior and senior geography curriculum. Spatial Tech Apps (e.g. Survey 123 & FieldMaps) & Drones (DJI Mini Mavic) are more accessible today than ever and this will continue to be the case as they become more pervasive in industry. Using this technology allows students to gain skills and collect data for real world projects whether it is on campus or at a field work site.  This workshop will help teachers create surveys, data collection layers to collect qualitative and quantitative data as well as provide an opportunity to see how easy it is to fly a DJI Mini Mavic to collect a unique perspective.

1.e) Strategies for kinaesthetic learners in theory based topicsDavid Proctor – Rooty Hill High School
This session will provide teachers with some examples of strategies to make their Geography teaching more engaging for students who are kinaesthetic learners including students with ADHD, and all learners in general. Strategies will be demonstrated via the Human Wellbeing topic to show how theory centered topics can be made hands on, where abstract or foreign ideas become more tangible.

1.f) Reshaping Fieldwork Experiences with Immersive Technologies - A case study using ForestVR in the Geography classroom - Beth Welden - Forest Learning
A Virtual Fieldwork Experience (VFE) is an inquiry-based teaching tool that lets you bring a field site to the classroom.  Virtual Fieldwork Experiences, by design, are flexible and can be approached in many ways. They provide data about a field site and allow students to explore and engage, and through the additional benefit of immersive, 360 degree experiences and photos, can provide students with a virtual tour and experiences of locations that otherwise would be inaccessible, or impossible to achieve in a single field trip.
This workshop unpacks, and allows hands on experiences, for the newly launched teaching and learning ForestVR toolkit for schools produced and developed by ForestLearning and the Geography Teachers Association Victoria for years 8 and 10. 
- YEAR 8 | ACHGS0570, ACHGK048
A Unit of work for Level 8 Geography: Forest Landscapes      
- YEAR 10 | ACHGK070, ACHGK072, ACHGK073, ACHGK074, ACHGK075, ACHGS076, ACHGS077, ACHGS078, ACHGS080
A unit of work for Level 10 Environmental Change and Forest Management 
Teachers at the workshop will experience ForestVR using a variety of VR headsets and other technology options currently being used in schools.  Teachers will also take away the full Geography toolkit for years 8 and 10 on USB comprising student workbook, teacher guide, PowerPoint presentations for each lesson and links to the ForestVR app, free to download on IOS, Android devices or Oculus Go headsets.

2.a) Geography and A Career Perspective – Dr Greg Calvert - TGTA and Rowan Harris - Hobart College
AGTA has recently created a website with new career resources. This presentation looks at the Career Resources on the website and how they can be used to promote Geography to students and parents, especially at transition conjunctions (years 8-9 and 10-11 and 12 to further education and/or training) when elective or optional choices are being made. Career pathways relating to Geography will also be drawn on. Strategies of how you can promote Geography in your school or institution and how this can be linked with the ‘GoWithGeo’ campaign will be discussed. Greg and Rowan will be joined by professionals who view Geography as a great stepping stone into a diverse range of career opportunities.   

2.b) Topography, Photography, and Drone Imagery: Building Perceptions for Contemporary Geographers. - Susan Martin - Geography Education Consultant
In this teacher-orientated session, the aim will be to demonstrate the powerful combination of traditional topographic skills, photography competencies and drone footage techniques. This powerful concoction will give teachers the tools to address topical geographical issues. These combined skills, provided through work-shop materials and embedded in a critical thinking structure, can powerfully capture the interest and imagination of high-school students of all ages to empower their conceptualization and subsequent tackling of geographical challenges. Examples at different scales will be used, relevant to the national curriculum and they can also be used to supplement the argument that Geography is partially a STEM-related subject.

2.c) Disempowering emotions: The role of educational experiences in social responses to climate change - Charlotte Jones - University of Tasmania
The process of learning about climate change is not simply cognitive. It is also an emotional encounter that may have enduring effects. To date, little research has attended to the emotional significance of childhood learning experiences of climate change in adult lives and in social responses to climate change. This presentation will report the results of a recent study that speaks to this gap in research and will facilitate reflections and discussions with delegates of their experiences of the significance of climate change content within schooling. The presentation will speak to the affective turn within recent pedagogical thought and embrace the dialectic of emotion and reason within the context of learning about climate change.

2.d) Seeking Place! Ruth Whelan and Jenny Dudgeon - Department of Education Tasmania
Delve into the use of Place in K-6 learning. Using the outdoor classroom to engage with place as a technical and multi-sensory provocation for deeper understanding and development of meta language. Identify the opportunities within your school grounds, and wider community, to facilitate authentic, student led inquiry using a three dimensional curriculum.

2.e) Connect, Collaborate, Communicate  - Darlene Hill and Nicole Amey - Kepnock State High School
Building on learner strengths in order to create new knowledge using real-life problem solving is at the forefront of our Geography units at Kepnock State High School. Through the implementation of New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL) and the work of Michael Fullan, we have enhanced our learning partnerships both within and beyond our community to CONNECT our students to real-world design-based challenges. We have fostered their capacity to COLLABORATE, developing authentic engagement, resulting in them being able to COMMUNICATE effectively with knowledge creation and a purposeful use to a real-time audience beyond the classroom door. This leadership in curriculum design has led to transformative and innovative practices by teachers for students in Years 7 to 12.

2.f) The best ten tools for your geospatial toolboxMick Law – Contour Education
Review the best tools to use in your secondary or primary geospatial program with Mick from Contour Education. This session will showcase the essential tools that you need to have in your geospatial toolbox to impress your students and teaching colleagues! Hazards, weather/climate, place/urbanisation, vegetation and many more topics will be covered in this session. We'll also showcase a tool to allow your students to map their own data very easily.

3.a) Engaging E-Learning Resources for Your Geography ClassroomSarah Kippen - Education Perfect
Education Perfect is a digital ecosystem designed to magnify the value of a teacher in the classroom, and empower students through an engaging and personalised learning experience. EP has over 35,000 curriculum-aligned lessons across Languages, Maths, English, Science and Humanities designed by teachers and written by our in-house experts. Our Geography content contains over 1,000 lessons and assessments aligned to Years 7 to 10 Australian Curriculum, all of which can be fully customised by teachers. The platform provides a truly differentiated and engaging learning experience for students while providing teachers with data insights and evidence to support their practice. Education Perfect is currently used by over 1.2 million students in over 4,000 schools.

3.c) Spiral of skills 7-10Olivia Andrew – Salesian College and Charlene Teeken – Springside West Secondary College
This workshop focuses on the bigger picture of Geography Education through the importance of implementing a spiral curriculum, specifically when it comes to skills. The idea is to backwards plan from the VCE Study Design so that students are well set-up to achieve success in their senior studies. A spiral curriculum framework gives student’s scaffolded exposure to all of the required skills needed in preparation for VCE (including fieldwork) and allows for consolidation from years 7 to 10. The implementation of this needs to be carefully planned for each year level, unit of work, assessments and individual lessons.  

3.d) COVID-19 and the tourism industry - Trish Douglas - Eltham College
This session aims to look at the impact of COVID-19 on tourism at a global and national scale. A variety of examples and data will be used. This session links to Australian Curriculum Year 9 Geographies of Interconnections as well as VCE Unit 2, WA Unit 2, SACE Stage 1, SACE Tourism.

3.e) Using student voice and STEM pathways to develop transdisciplinary capabilities in Stage 5 Geography students. - Debra Owens and Liam Hume - Pymble Ladies' College
The workshop will provide an overview of our action research, which focuses on promoting student voice and STEM pathways in Stage 5 Geography to build transdisciplinary capabilities in Geography. The application of our research to a real world partnership with Celestino (the company responsible for planning and implementing the new Sydney Science Park in Western Sydney) has provided us with a unique case study for our research. We aim to promote student capacity and future pathways through the implementation of our research findings into the study of Sustainable Places in Stage 5 Geography.

3.f) Equipping students to understand Modern Slavery today - Y9 & 10 Geography Curriculums - Dave Cross and Hudson Gordon - ZOE Australia
Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking are uniquely geographical challenges impacting every country worldwide. When we first hear about these issues, we might think that slavery is a historical issue, or, that modern slavery presents itself like a scene from a Hollywood film. In this session, we want to equip you so that you can help your students understand what Modern Slavery looks like in our interconnected world. We will provide all participants with a free copy of the ZOE Year 9 & 10 Geography Curriculums that will help students to understand the distinguishing features of Modern Slavery and how vulnerabilities, travel, tourism and Australia’s imported products all interact with this complex issue. We invite you to come to our session to hear first-hand information about ending child trafficking through prevention, rescue and restoration.

4.a) Focus on Fieldwork Skills - Stephen Cranby - Geography Education Consultant
Fieldwork is the epitome of our role as teachers to enable students to look at the world "through the eyes of a geographer". It is through the skills, tools and techniques students are exposed to during
fieldwork that this is achieved. What exactly are these skills we try to develop in students and what makes them geographic? Participants will have the opportunity to consider and share ideas on the role of fieldwork in students wider learning and in developing their geographic thinking. They will examine a range of identifiable geographic fieldwork skills and clarify the distinction between skills, techniques, and tools.

4.b) School sustainability in the Tropics - Lisa Newton - Trinity Bay High
Cairns is a tropical regional city, home to two World Heritage Areas under intense pressure from climate change. How does a Geography teacher inspire students towards hope when they hear about a dead reef and loss of biodiversity?
Lisa Newton has been teaching Humanities and Geography in high schools for ten years and will share a retrospective of her experiences in the Cairns region to share what worked and what did not work in this really special part of the world. 

4.c) Using StoryMaps to create interactive Senior Geography Fieldwork and Investigative Reports - Brett Dascombe - Wavell State High School
In 2020, Wavell SHS provided senior geography students the opportunity to present their Investigative report (IA3) using StoryMaps creating interactive assessment. These StoryMaps were then recorded and submitted to the confirmation process. Two 25/25 results and a highly commended assessment in the Queensland Planning Excellence Awards.

4.d) Geospatial in your local area – Mick Law – Contour Education
Examine the best geospatial tools that you can access right now to explore and understand your local area. In this session Mick from Contour Education will demonstrate a range of geospatial tools that you can use to get a better sense of your local area and the people that live in it. These geospatial tools cover census data, social health, high-resolution satellite images and even 3D models of your neighbourhood! All tools being showcased are available online at no cost.

4.e) Years 7-10 Australian Curriculum: Geography v9.0 – Rachelle Willington – Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority
This session with Rachelle Willington, PPO (P-10, HASS), QCAA, will provide participants with an opportunity to hear insights and key messages regarding changes between v8.4 and v9.0 Australian Curriculum: Geography from Years 7-10. This will be followed with opportunities for questions.

5.a) Cancelled - Teaching in the COVID-19 City: Investigating the reflexive lived experience of Geography teachers in a time of lockdown – Dr Susan Caldis - AGTA and GTANSW&ACT

5.b) From booklet to report - a platform for success in senior geography fieldwork - Paul Rogers - Box Hill High School
A session focusing on the preparation for and writing of senior Geography fieldwork as well as practical strategies to scaffold students towards being able to successfully communicate findings from an investigation into human and natural environments. This session will involve the presentation of documents used to assist students in collecting fieldwork data, strategies for communicating findings through a variety of mediums, and creative pre/post fieldwork exercises designed to engage and excite students for the topics they are studying. Teachers will be exposed to tips and tricks in assisting students to generate high quality fieldwork reports and a fieldwork marking guide.

5.c) Mapping opportunities for and barriers to enabling geography education in Australian schoolsVishnu Prahalad & Julie Davidson- School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Science, University of Tasmania
Despite many arguments from scholars in support of the value of geography education, the power of geographical thinking, and the critical role it can play in preparing students to deal with a world of dynamic complexity and multiple uncertainties, the reality is that the uptake of geography education at senior secondary and tertiary education levels has been in decline for some time. Our study seeks to investigate this paradox by drawing on the lived experiences of geography teachers present at the AGTA conference to both broaden and deepen our understanding of the opportunities and barriers that enable or impede students from studying geography at higher secondary and tertiary levels across Australia. The results from this study will facilitate the development of tailored and strategic responses that encourage and enable more students to undertake geography education at these levels. The purpose of conducting the focus groups at the Conference is to ensure adequate input from a diverse range of teacher experiences, thus safeguarding the robustness of study findings.

5.d) Fieldwork Simplified – Kathy Jones - Fieldwork Connections
From my observations too many Geography teachers do not enjoy the fieldwork component of the syllabus. Some due to lack of understanding of physical geography and some because of the logistical nightmare that off-site excursions bring. Fieldwork is important and should not be avoided and my aim is to make it enjoyable and accessible to teachers.
During this workshop I will share my ideas of simple, accessible and meaningful fieldwork for Geography teachers. Teachers will be shown simple fieldwork ideas around biophysical processes and how to incorporate these into a one hour lesson on their school grounds for their class. I believe that many geography teachers shy away from undertaking their own fieldwork for many reasons including lack of understanding for biophysical interactions, sometimes due to the high number of out-of-field Geography teachers. This workshop will simplify and make the fieldwork experience more accessible and relevant while teachers learn through inquiry to then have a deeper understanding when running the investigation with their class.
During the workshop teachers will be shown how to use simple, accessible geographical tools for collecting data and gain an understanding of what the data means for their school context when considering the impacts of an urban environment on the biophysical environment. This workshop can specifically link to Fieldwork in Geographical tools but also works well with Stage 4 Landscapes and Landforms to gain a good foundational knowledge of the biophysical environment.

5.e) Ideas for Embedding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures in the Australian Geography Curriculum - Leonie Brown - Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
Embedding the cross curriculum priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures in the F-10 Australian Geography Curriculum.
This is a an area where teachers are often hesitant to explore. This workshop will provide discussion and ideas to move forward in this very important aspect of the Australian Curriculum.

6.a) Engaging E-Learning Resources for Your Geography ClassroomSarah Kippen - Education Perfect
Education Perfect is a digital ecosystem designed to magnify the value of a teacher in the classroom, and empower students through an engaging and personalised learning experience. EP has over 35,000 curriculum-aligned lessons across Languages, Maths, English, Science and Humanities designed by teachers and written by our in-house experts. Our Geography content contains over 1,000 lessons and assessments aligned to Years 7 to 10 Australian Curriculum, all of which can be fully customised by teachers. The platform provides a truly differentiated and engaging learning experience for students while providing teachers with data insights and evidence to support their practice. Education Perfect is currently used by over 1.2 million students in over 4,000 schools.

6.b) Geography and Graphicacy – Mick Law – Contour Education

6.c) High impact teaching strategies for teaching the HASS classroom – Erin Leder – Department of Education Tasmania
This presentation will focus on high impact teaching strategies to deliver content in the classroom that does not solely rely on more traditional methods such as rote learning, PowerPoints or comprehension questions. Practical class activities involving predicting, questioning and peer-to-peer feedback – role of thinking routines will be explored. For the geography classroom this will include making data, graphs and maps meaningful rather than just a tool to be observed.

Afternoon Fieldtrip abstracts
6.f.1) Forest Landscapes - Protection, Cycles, Connections and ChoicesKate Battishall and Darcy Vickers - Forest Education Foundation
Visit local forest areas surrounding Hobart and explore how forests can be used as a focus for teaching and learning across the geography curriculum (Grade 7-12). Participants will explore the concept of forest literacy and steps towards building environmental maturity amongst students through interactive, field-based activities and discussion. Please note this trip will require participants to be equipped for short walks through different field sites.

6.f.2) The Hobart Rivulet and its Impact on the Settlement of HobartDr Greg Calvert – TGTA
Hobart is well known for being sited on the Derwent River. Lesser know is the significance of the Hobart Rivulet to the development of Hobart as a source of fresh water (originally for the mouheneener Aboriginal people), the site of the first industry in Hobart (as evidenced by the Cascade Brewery being sited on its banks in 1824 and the Female Factory in 1828) and basis for the development of the morphology of the city.
This fieldwork will provide an insight into the growth of the CBD of Hobart and the continuing impact of the Hobart Rivulet through its water catchment. The fieldwork will traverse part of the rivulet. Some parts of the rivulet are now underground in the city centre. The rivulet as it enters the CBD is now part of the Hobart City Linear Park.
More recently in 2016 the rivulet banks gave way and “Lake Myer” was formed on the Myer Department store construction site and in 2018 flooding from the rivulet in part contributed to a Hundred Million Dollar damage bill for Hobart.
A mini bus will be used for part of the trip participants should note walking is required. The fieldwork is subject to weather conditions.
The fieldwork will relate to Geography in the Australia Curriculum Years 7 'Water in the world’ and ‘Place and liveability’ and Year 11 & 12 Unit 1: Natural and ecological hazards  and Unit 2: Sustainable places.

6.f.3) Create your own data layers using Field Maps, Survey123 and QuickCapture to collect qualitative and quantitative data in the field.-Brett Dascombe - Wavell State High School
Field work has always been an important component of geography. Now more than ever with applications like Survey123, Field Maps and Quick Capture students can use their own devices to design and capture data in the field. This session will walk teachers through the processes and create ready to use surveys and data sets to collect data around Salamanca Place.

6.f.4) Marine and Antarctic Science - Marcus Haward - Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
Visit to IMAS  Castray Esplanade  -  presentations(s) and discussion(s) on marine science , environmental protection, the Blue Economy, and Antarctic  physical  sciences - ice core climate records, as well as IMAS’s undergraduate education  program.  IMAS's three core research area are all ranked in the top 10 of all universities world wide.

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