Geography is a structured way of exploring, analysing and understanding the characteristics of the places that make up our world, using the concepts of place, space, environment, interconnection, sustainability, scale and change. It addresses scales from the personal to the global and time periods from a few years to thousands of years.
Geography integrates knowledge from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities to build a holistic understanding of the world. Students learn to question why the world is the way it is, reflect on their relationships with and responsibilities for that world, and propose actions designed to shape a socially just and sustainable future.
The concept of place develops students’ curiosity and wonder about the diversity of the world’s places, peoples, cultures and environments. Students examine why places have particular environmental and human characteristics, explore the similarities and differences between them, investigate their meanings and significance to people and examine how they are managed and changed.
Students use the concept of space to investigate the effects of location and distance on the characteristics of places, the significance of spatial distributions, and the organisation and management of space at different scales. Through the concept of environment students learn about the role of the environment in supporting the physical and emotional aspects of human life, the important interrelationships between people and environments, and the range of views about these interrelationships.
Students use the concept of interconnection to understand how the causal relationships between places, people and environments produce constant changes to their characteristics. Through the concept of sustainability students explore how the environmental functions that support their life and wellbeing can be sustained. The concept of scale helps them explore problems and look for explanations at different levels, for example, local or regional. The concept of change helps them to explain the present and forecast possible futures.
Geography uses an inquiry approach to assist students to make meaning of their world. It teaches them to respond to questions in a geographically distinctive way, plan an inquiry; collect, evaluate, analyse and interpret information; and suggest responses to what they have learned. They conduct fieldwork, map and interpret data and spatial distributions, and use spatial technologies. Students develop a wide range of general skills and capabilities, including information and communication technology skills, an appreciation of different perspectives, an understanding of ethical research principles, a capacity for teamwork and an ability to think critically and creatively. These skills can be applied in everyday life and at work.
Geography aims to ensure that students develop:
a sense of wonder, curiosity and respect about places, people, cultures and environments throughout the world
a deep geographical knowledge of their own locality, Australia, the Asia region and the world
the ability to think geographically, using geographical concepts
the capacity to be competent, critical and creative users of geographical inquiry methods and skills
as informed, responsible and active citizens who can contribute to the development of an environmentally and economically sustainable, and socially just world.