Aims Questions for Reflection

The key question in this module is:

  • How do the professional practices we observe contribute to the enactment of a Future 3 curriculum?

Xin Miao, the researcher who facilitated some of the video case-studies, writes

“The first time I came across ‘GeoCapabilities’, I assumed it was intended to express the educational aim for geography education. I now I realise it is a position, or an approach, that helps us think about the geography curriculum.”

Xin Miao


Read the rest of Xin Miao’s reflections here.

Teachers and student teachers who have been introduced to GeoCapabilities ideas (especially powerful knowledge and curriculum making), can make their own ‘case studies’. They can be encouraged to make short presentations to each other about specific topics and themes they have taught.

These can be interrogated with these critical questions:

  • In what sense is this lesson (or this sequence of lessons) helping students acquire powerful disciplinary knowledge?
  • How have the knowledge contents of the lesson(s) been selected, organised and sequenced?
  • In what ways have the students been engaged conceptually with learning materials?


Case-study 3


images-1         Kelly Butler has produced this case-study.

It describes her use of a public health ‘infographic’ as a curriculum artefact for some lessons with 17 year-old students on climate change.

images-1 Teaching resource     pdf graphic Transcript of video      7871357-box-with-golden-lightbeams  The video 


pdf graphic  Evaluation: Reflections on the Health and Climate Curriculum Artefact


Kelly’s evaluation uses reflective questions based on the three pillars of curriculum making. These have been refined from many teacher workshops. They can be applied to any geography lesson.

On the Subject Matter

Which specific place(s) are studied?

Where is the contextual geographical knowledge?

Where is the powerful geographical knowledge?

What are the ways in which geographical thinking deepens or extends understanding of the theme, issue or place?

On the students’ experience

In what ways are the students’ prior experience/knowledge accessed and taken into account?

In what ways are the theme, issue or place made ‘accessible’ to the students?

In what ways are students challenged to think beyond their current (or ‘everyday’) understandings?

Is it possible to say how students’ learning progresses?

How does this theme, issue or place study contribute to the wider curriculum aims?

Teachers’ pedagogic choices and actions

What has the teacher done to generate a ‘need to know’, enthusiasm or motivation?

In what ways have the teacher supplied data for students to assimilate, process, transform and communicate?

How is the content sequenced – and how is this justified?

How does the teacher lead the learning (including exposition), and how is this balanced by more ‘pupil centred’ learning activity?

These questions can be downloaded here: pdf graphic Reflective Questions