The Graduate Certificate in Geographical Education seeks to provide a unique, timely and flexibly-delivered opportunity, via distance education, for qualified teachers to upgrade their knowledge of geography in order to meet the needs of primary and secondary students required to engage with the Australian Curriculum in Geography. The course comprises four units:
The following description of geography is drawn from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council’s publication, Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Project. Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities: Geography Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Statement, December 2010.
3.1 Nature and extent of Geography
Geography is the study of place, space and the environment. Geographers investigate the character of places, the distribution of phenomena across space, biophysical processes and features, and dynamic relationships between humans and environments.
Geographers ask questions about why these phenomena and relationships are like they are and how they could be; how societies and environments are connected to one another; how and why they change; and how and why their characteristics vary across time and space at different scales. Geography answers questions spanning the local to the global, in the past, present and future.
Geography is fundamentally interdisciplinary. It is one of the few disciplines that encompass very different ways of knowing, from the natural and social sciences and the humanities. Geographers are, therefore, uniquely equipped to understand and address critical problems facing the world. Geographers are motivated by issues such as social and environmental justice, and the efficient, equitable and sustainable use of resources.
Geographical thought develops knowledge and understanding from three complementary concepts. The first is the concept of place. Geographers explore what places mean, how people shape places, and how places shape our lives. This brings many areas of geography together in an holistic approach to understanding the characteristics of and relationships between localities, cities, regions, countries and continents.
The second concept is environment. Geographers investigate biophysical environments encompassing terrestrial, marine and atmospheric systems. These investigations include the nature, dimensions and causes of environmental change; the reciprocal relationships between the environment and people; and the resources biophysical systems provide and their sustainability.
The third concept is space. Geographers examine how, why and with what effect diverse phenomena vary across the surface of the earth. Geographers understand space to be configured by the movement and organisation of people and materials as well as being a location for social and material action [www.altc.edu.au/standards/disciplines/ASSH (no longer active)].
This description has informed the design for the Graduate Certificate in Geographical Education. So, too, has the ACARA Shaping Paper for Geography, which states:
54. The aims of the Australian Curriculum: Geography are to:
Authorised by the Head of School, Geography & Environmental Studies
5 September, 2012