By Tim SoutheyTim SoutheyesEconomic geography is one of the most important aspects of a school’s success in the classroom.
Without it, a school is unlikely to have the chance to deliver on its core values and engage students in the social and academic life of the community.
In 2017, we surveyed nearly 600 primary schools across Australia and asked them to define their economic geography as an integral part of their curriculum.
Of the 600 schools, we found that 60% had a specific economic geography and that 80% of primary schools had a set of core values in place.
While the majority of schools agreed that economic geography is essential for delivering a good academic experience, a significant number of schools said that the curriculum needs to be updated to reflect this new reality.
“It is very important that we keep up with the current economic climate and the pressures that are occurring,” said Ms Smith from the School of Economics and Business.
“We are a community and a state that needs to understand that there is a whole new economic environment in Australia.
We need to be able to reflect that, as well as being able to learn from it.”
She said that for schools to provide an engaging and challenging learning environment, it is important to understand the challenges and opportunities that face young people and that a set, consistent economic geography provides.
“The core value of this economic geography curriculum is the understanding of how the Australian economy is changing and how our communities and schools are responding,” she said.
“This is an area that is constantly evolving and changing, and that means there is always a new element of complexity.”
So, it’s very important for schools and teachers to be aware of how our economic geography needs to change to make sure that our children are comfortable with it.
“Ms Smith said that many primary schools were doing their best to incorporate the new reality, but many did not have the resources or expertise to do this.”
As a community we need to engage and understand the different sectors and industries that are changing so that we can engage with our children, and they will have a good understanding of the economic realities that are coming,” she added.”
If we don’t engage our young people in the economic reality that is happening, we risk having a generation of people who will not know what to do with themselves.
“Ms Southea said that, in order to build on the successful economic geography model, schools need to look at the needs of the wider community.”
In many cases we don´t have the same resources that we need for our economic landscape,” she explained.”
I think schools have a responsibility to do that and not just rely on the economic geography that is being produced by the teachers, but look at what is happening in our communities.
“When we look at our community and see the challenges that we have to overcome, we can understand what is making the challenges we face possible, and how we can make those challenges a little bit more manageable.”