Release type: Media Release

Date:

Supporting Geography in Our Schools

The Minister for Education has today announced sponsorship funding of $12,000 to support the Australian team at the 2008 International Geography Olympiad in Tunisia in August 2008.

The Minister has also today released a new study which will contribute to improving the teaching of geography in schools across the country.

Australian involvement in the 2008 Olympiad will demonstrate the quality of the geographical skills and understandings of Australia’s top geography students in an international setting.

It is important that students in Australian primary and secondary schools have access to high quality education in geography. The Rudd Government is committed to the development of national curriculum in geography.

The Government is establishing the National Curriculum Board to develop a rigorous, world-class curriculum for all Australian students from kindergarten to Year 12. After initially focussing on English, mathematics, the sciences and history, this will include geography and languages.

A Study into the Teaching of Geography in Years 3-10, funded by the Australian Government and completed by Erebus International, maps State and Territory syllabus and curriculum documents. It also includes interviews with staff in key organisations, and provides a sample national Years 3-10 geography curriculum framework to stimulate further discussion. The findings highlight teacher concern that content, rigour and skills were lost when geography, along with history and other areas of learning, were absorbed into the broader Studies of Society and the Environment curriculum grouping.

A Study into the Teaching of Geography in Years 3-10, is available at: www.dest.gov.au/schools/teaching_geography

Information on Australia’s participation in the 2008 Geography Olympiad is available at www.rgsq.gil.com.au/olympC.htm