Monday, 25 October 2010

SAGT Conference 2010

Up to Glasgow for the last few days for the 6th consecutive SAGT conference, this year held in the city for the first of its 3 year residency.
The weather was mixed, and the journey up was not without its delays either, but the actual day of the event was bright and cold, and managed to get some nice pictures taken in the evening, as above - looking along the Clyde from the Crowne Plaza hotel and SECC.

My presentation was part of the overall conference programme, which included a number of familiar names from previous events, and from English geography circles...

I arrived the night before the conference, and over to Hutcheson's Grammar school via a jammed M8 to set up the GA stand. The school was a nice mix of ancient and modern, with a wonderful church for the keynotes. Our hotel was next to the SECC, and the Finnieston Crane and made my way back there eventually after various diversions to meet with Dan and Noel, and out for a meal with Val Vannet at the City Cafe, overlooking the Clyde and the Clyde Arc (or Squinty bridge as it is called - one for LOCATION LINGO there....)

The following day, over to the venue early and set up. Met lots of delegates for chat, Ken and Darren from the Ordnance Survey, who gave me lots of jute bags, and Paul from Mapseeker. John Hopkin: GA president for 2010-11 came up to do the fraternal greetings after the first inspiring keynote from Al Humphreys.

David Rogers, Noel Jenkins and Dan Raven Ellison were among the other seminar presenters, along with Ollie Bray, whose Hodder Gibson book also won an award. Good to see a few of my Twitter followers popping up as well, and gained a few more over the weekend.
Writing the earth

View more presentations from GeoBlogs.

My seminar presentation (or a version of it at least) is above.
Handouts included a copy of "Chop one red onion" from the PGCE Survival Guide, and a range of other resources and maps.
I also read one of Rob Hindle's poems from "Neurosurgery in Iraq".

SAGT Delegate Notes

After the 2 full seminars, it was a final keynote from Alun Morgan.

Earlier, I had collected two awards for the GA's publications:  COMMENDED awards to GCSE toolkit and TOP SPEC series...

Out into the sun for the evening, and over to the Granary with Kenny and Akiko for a pint and chat with Ollie.
Another good SAGT experience.
In the evening, did some photography with Noel along the river, and then food, after a 'mystery tour' of Govan....
The following morning it was a simple matter of scraping ice off the car, and a 350 mile drive south...

David Rogers has posted his seminar presentation on his blog already, along with a write--up... Will be blogging about his present later...

All pics by Alan Parkinson, and available on Flickr.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Institute of Education Seminar

The latest in the Engaging Geography series, which was originated by the late Duncan Fuller, and now organised by his great friend and colleague (and fellow Geography Collective member) Kye Askins is being held on Wednesday of this week at the Institute of Education.

Here are the details.
I shall be 'recording' as much of the events as I can to help with my nascent MA studies, and own professional development....
If there is phone reception, I shall be tweeting from the event too... some amazing speakers...

Date: 13th October 2010
 Room 836, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1 H 0AL 
Convenors: David Lambert (Geographical Association / Institute of Education) and John Morgan (Institute of Education)
10.30: tea/coffee
11.00: Introduction to the day.
  • Introductions [10 mins]
  • David LambertDo we have to say what geography is? To whom? [10 mins]
11.20: Session one. ‘Setting the scene and whetting the appetite.’
  • Professor Alastair BonnettGeography in public. Geography as one of humanity’s big projects? [20 mins]
  • Dr Jessica Pykett: The public in geography. Can the public(s) be identified? (20 mins]
  • Discussion: [10 mins]
12.15: Lunch & informal discussion [Room 802: 30-40 mins]
1.00: Session two. ‘Particular settings and perspectives’.
Key elements and participants (10-15 minutes each, including questions) are as follows. Contributors are encouraged to provide specific instances, examples or case studies to illustrate or exemplify the points they wish to make.
2.30 pm Discussion: Michael Young: what is a Powerful Knowledge?
Michael Young is a distinguished Professor of Education at the Institute of Education. The disciplinary basis for his research is the sociology of knowledge, represented by two career spanning and important books:
Young, M. (1971) Knowledge and Control. London: Collier Macmillan.
Young, M. (2007) Bringing Knowledge Back In: From social constructivism to social realism in the sociology of education. London: Routledge.
Michael will provide a 20 minute input, possibly picking up on matters arising from the above, plus further time for questions.
3.15: Tea break
3.30: Session 3. ‘In what ways is geography a powerful knowledge to communicate, and to whom?’
1. Pairs or threes [40 mins]
Write down (in a form that can be left with the seminar organisers):
  • specific ways in which geography is a ‘powerful knowledge’
  • particular ‘publics’ who need access to geography as a powerful knowledge (and why)
2. Feedback-discussion, based on a ‘one-minute headlines’ from each group [30 mins]
4.40: Brief round-up and short break
5.00: Session 4. School Textbook Archive (with wine and nibbles)
Launch of the Geography School Textbook archive: a fully catalogued collection at the Institute of Education, assembled by donation and financial assistance from the Frederick Soddy Trust.
Opening up opportunities to study the ‘knowledge of the powerful’ and ‘powerful school curriculum knowledge’ in the context of school geography. With Ashley Kent, Emeritus Professor of geography Education and leader of the archive project.
6.00: Depart

Monday, 4 October 2010

Lobby your MP

The Geographical Association is asking geography teachers, and others with an interest in ensuring that geography keeps its place in the school curriculum, to lobby their MP.
The reasons for this are fairly clear, when one considers that there are many schools now which don't offer Geography at GCSE level, and there are also pressures on curriculum time lower down the school. At Primary, student experiences of geography are patchy, although there are many excellent schools, a growing number of which hold the Primary Geography Quality Mark as a way of celebrating their commitment.

Lobbying your MP sounds like it might involve a lot of hard work, but it actually takes just a few minutes.

Visit the GA's website page on LOBBYING YOUR MP.

Print off the letter that has been written as a template for you to use.
You might want to add your address, and also edit it to add your own thoughts.

You can also print out and include a copy of the latest document, written by John Hopkin and David Lambert.

Put it in an envelope - the address is on the website...
Then, importantly, please TELL US WHICH MP YOU HAVE CONTACTED so that we can keep a track of who has been suitable "lobbied"...
Thanks in advance for your support with this.

And by the way, it works...
I received a reply from my MP...

New Teaching Geography now available for download...

The latest issue of Teaching Geography is now available to download by those who subscribe to it....

It features a range of inspirational articles on the theme of place by Mark Jones, Eleanor Rawling, Becky Kitchen, Margaret Roberts and others...
Articles range from a teacher visit to Greenland, to the urban re-branding and renaissance of Scarborough...

To add a subscription to your GA membership, or to join (and gain access to the last five years of journals in electronic format) click the JOIN THE GA link.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Controlled Assessment Videos by Dave Holmes

2 great videos made by Dave Holmes.
The first is shot in London and provides some simple ideas for ethnographic fieldwork data collection.... "people watching"...

The second is particularly helpful.
It is a short video featuring Nick Blunsum: the Head of Geography at Kingsmead Community School

What's great is that Nick talks about the impact of going through the process of gaining the Geographical Association's Secondary Geography Quality Mark.

He talks about "evaluating what was good and developing areas that needed improvement" and also "giving back some of the control to students to stop the lessons being too teacher led..." - some good advice on controlled assessment too....

Thanks for sharing these Dave, and to @GeogAdviser for the tip off on Twitter....