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2013 Graduate Certificate in Geographical Education(S5C)

Responsible faculty or institute:
Science, Engineering and Technology (principal)
Campus(es) Offered:
Course Duration: Minimum .5 yrs, Maximum 2 yrs.
Course Contact (faculty or school):


The Graduate Certificate in Geographical Education is a professionally-oriented program which aims to update and broaden the geography content knowledge of practising teachers in primary, high schools and colleges, and others involved or interested in the field of geographical education. The program addresses professional learning opportunities covering human and physical geography by providing access to current thinking and practice in geography.

The ACARA Shaping Paper for Geography states that the aims of the Australian Curriculum: Geography are to:

- develop a sense of wonder, curiosity, knowledge and interest about the variety of environments, peoples, cultures and places that exist throughout the world, providing students with a sound geographical knowledge of their own place, of Australia, and of the world
- enable students to explore and gain a good understanding of geographical thinking including its perspectives, concepts and ways of explaining
- enable students to become thoughtful and active local, national and global citizens, and to understand how they can influence the futures of places
- develop students' ability to ask geographical questions, plan an inquiry, collect and analyse information, (particularly through fieldwork and spatial technologies), reach conclusions based on evidence and logical reasoning, and communicate their findings in effective ways
- build the confident and creative use of geographical skills, and to enable students to use these skills to extend their knowledge; make sense of new situations, and to solve problems [].

The course consists of four units, and can be completed in between one and three years. All units will be delivered by on-line delivery.

Admission & Prerequisites

Admission & Prerequisites

Applicants must normally hold an approved degree or equivalent qualification. For the enquiry units, applicants need to have access to an educational setting that would allow implementation of the action research projects.

Course Objectives

Course Objectives

The course 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.

Geography Units

Both geography content units are available in semesters one and two each year, and both use various methods and bring together diverse perspectives to focus on geographical knowledge and geographical skills.

KGA571 Key Themes in Geography: Patterns and Processes of Environmental and Social Change is organised according to seven themes: mapping change, evolution, development, sustainable development, climate change, risky environments and contested spaces of territory. It examines the ways in which the planet is influenced by external and internal forces such as solar radiation and the circulation of winds and oceans, and affected by natural cycles. Attention is paid to diverse global environmental and social patterns and processes and to the question of whether, how and to what extent those patterns and processes may be managed sustainably; human values, institutions and practices come under scrutiny in this work. In particular, a range of contemporary challenges is examined, including climate change, population growth, poverty, food security, natural hazards and resource depletion.

KGA572 Key Themes in Geography: Space, Nature and Place is a unit that develops students' understanding and appreciation of these three key geographical concepts. Attention is paid to the basics of spatial thinking, including the fundamentals of geographical information systems. An examination is made of the elements that make up the natural world and of the patterns that these form on the surface of the Earth to create landscapes that come to be valued by people. How the natural world is understood in terms of place is then explored, with particular focus on how people manage, and are affected by, conflicts related to resource management, tourism and other social, cultural and economic activities.

Education units

ESH704 Conducting Professional Enquiry supports professionals undertaking a small-scale systematic investigation into an aspect of learning, change management, or development within a learning context or setting. It aims to enhance students' knowledge of key theoretical perspectives, as well as their skills of action research, data collection strategies and small scale investigation. The key purpose of the professionally-workplace-based inquiry is to enhance students' abilities in inquiry, analysis and informed critical reflection of their own, or other workplace practices.

ESH705 Evaluating Professional Learning enhances students' ability to critically examine knowledge about processes that influence learning and achievement within their work/learning contexts. The unit structures professional development through an analytical framework which focuses on the impact of the professional learning on students' motivation, learning and development as well as linking it to selected theoretical perspectives. Students work on development activities relevant to their contexts, analyse the benefits and drawbacks in the light of their reading and evaluate their learning in the light of critical reflection on their professional learning.

Articulation to/from Course

Completion will count towards 50% of the Master of Education program.

Other related courses offered by this University

Graduate Certificate in Science Education. The two Education units, ESH704 and ESH705 are common to both the GradCertScEd and the GradCertGeogEd and are also related to the Master of Education. The two Geography units are also electives in the GradCertScEd. See also Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems and the Master of Environmental Management.

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