need help

1. For a research study comparing two treatment conditions, a repeated-measure design would
require two scores for each participant but an independent-measures design would
require only one score for each participant

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2. For a one-sample t-test, If the 90% the confidence interval for from 40 to 50, then the
sample mean is M = 45.

The researcher is testing the effect of a new cold and flu medication on mental alertness.
A sample of n = 9 college students is obtained and each student is given the normal dose
of the medicine. Thirty minutes later, each students performance is measured on a video
game that requires careful attention and quick decision making. The scores for the nine
students are as follows: 6, 8, 10, 6, 7, 13, 5, 5, 3. Assuming that scores for students in
the regular population average = 10, are the data sufficient to conclude that the
medication has a significant effect on mental performance? Use a one-sample t-test with
a level of .05 (2-tail) to analyze this data and answer the following questions.

What was your s2 (variance) & sM (standard error of the mean.)
What is your t?
Is your t significant at the .05 level or not?
If significant what is the effect size using Cohens d.
What can you conclude from your results as to whether or not this drug had an effect on

mental performance?

For this problem you do not have to show your work just give the answers for – A., B.,
C., D., & E.

Was there a significant difference in performance on Exam I between the Fall class of 2013 & the Spring
class of 2020. Use the independent t-test and answer the following questions.

What was your s2
p (pooled variance) & s(M1 -M2) (standard error of the mean difference)

What is your t?
Is your t significant at .05 level (2 tail) or not?
If significant what is the effect size using Cohens d?
What can you conclude about the class performance class of Fall 2013 compared to the Spring

class of 2020?
For this problem, you do not have to show your work, just answer the questions there are 11
students in the 2013 class and 17 students in the 2020 class.





75 65

65 85

45 60

65 70

45 55

90 45

80 60

85 55

75 85

50 80

85 85







1. Two separate samples, each with n = 10 scores, will produce an independent-measure t statistic
with df = 19.

A psychologist for NASA examines the effect of cabin temperature on reaction time. Using a random

sample of 10 astronauts. Each person reaction time is measured at 70o F and again the next day at 950

F. Is there a significant difference between these two conditions (set at .05 level, 2 tail) using the
correlated t-test. These two samples come from the same set of individuals. Answer the following

A. What is your s2 (variance) & what is your sMD (standard error of the mean difference)?

B. What is your t?

C.. Is your t significant at .05 level (2 tail) or not?

D. If significant what is the effect size using Cohens d?

E. What can you conclude about temperature and its effect on reaction time for astronauts?

For this problem you do not have to show your work just give the answers for – A., B., C.,
D., & E.

70o F 95o F

180 190

176 201

204 220

216 240

194 217

183 206

207 228

229 255

231 245

210 228

1. For a one-sample t-test, if other factors are held constant, as the sample
variance increases, the estimated standard error decreases.



Weekly Discussion #6: Why Teach Geography in Secondary Schools
4242 unread replies.4242 replies.
What is geography, and why should students study the subject?
Use the articles below.


This paper arises from the Keynote we co-
delivered at the 2017 AGTA Conference in
Melbourne. In the paper, we outline the
main theoretical resources that underpin the
GeoCapabilities project (
This project has sought to engage teachers and
teacher educators in geography with the principles
of curriculum leadership in order to realise and
release the power of geography as a component
of the school curriculum. Critics of the project
have argued that it over-claims on geography, and
offers little more than preaching to the converted
a means of justifying geography to those already
convinced of its value in education. However,
in the paper we also advance the case that the
capabilities approach may well have potential in
helping non-specialist teachers grasp ways of
interpreting standards and curriculum guidelines,
as it requires that they first contextualise the
educational needs of children today, and then
reflect on the purposes and value of geographical
thought and practice. After exploring these issues,
geography teachers will, in theory, be better able
to consider what it is they should teach, and then
to think carefully about pedagogic techniques that
are fully fit for purpose.

Geography is a well-established school subject
which is present in most education jurisdictions
around the world. In England, the subject is
supported by a particularly strong subject
association, the Geographical Association, but
it has nevertheless faced recurring questions
about its purpose and even its place in the
school curriculum. In Australia, the introduction
of integrated solutions to questions that arise
from time to time about the value of traditional
subjects such as geography in a progressive
curriculum (for example, studies in society and
environment in Queensland and elsewhere)
has undermined the subject in schools for a
generation or more. In the United States, it was
the complacency of geography and geographers
at the beginning of the twentieth century
(McDougall, 2015) that led to the marginalisation

of geography that persists to this day: aside
from a handful of states that require geography
in middle or high school, geography is buried
within the social studies. Although the subject
benefits from an impressive set of national
standards, it can be barely visible in some states
and is, frankly, frequently understood by teachers
to be little more than the background stage the
map on which history is enacted.

In this paper, we do not have the space fully to
unpack this state of affairs. We assume readers
are aware of geographys vulnerability as a
school subject. There is certainly no room for
complacency, even in circumstances that seem to
support a resurgence of knowledge-led curricula
such as is the case in Australia and England.
No subject has an automatic right to scarce
curriculum space even if, to its practitioners and
enthusiasts, its value is self-evident. There is a
constant need, therefore, to renew the arguments
for geography in education. The challenge of
course is that neither of these ideas (geography
and education) is a stable and given entity. There
are plenty of ways of thinking about geography
which are in fact difficult to defend: for example,
neither of us would support school geography as
a body of pre-determined facts a list of things
we all need to know (Hirsch, 1987, 2007) that
somehow we need to transmit for students to
absorb. Yet it is remarkable how enduring is
this image of school geography in the popular
imagination, and with some politicians and
policymakers. We therefore have to be very clear
about the grounds on which we are able and
willing to promote geography as a worthwhile
school subject.

Equally importantly, we need to be very clear
about what we mean by education. It is the feature
of this day and age that the purpose of education,
especially as it is articulated in school systems,
is deeply contested. Or rather, it should be.
Schools in England are now so narrowly focused
on preparing children for the world of work in
the fiercely competitive, neoliberal system-
less system of free schools and academies
it is uncertain how to articulate education in a
broader sense other than examination preparation

Rediscovering the Teaching of Geography
with the Focus on Quality
David Lambert
Professor of Geography Education, Institute of Education, University of London
Email: [emailprotected]

Michael Solem
Director of Educational Research and Programs, AmericanAssociation of Geographers
Email: [emailprotected]



a curriculum of engagement with powerful
knowledge. This is distinguished from an
outcomes or competence-led curriculum which,
as we have seen, appears to stress learning as an
end in itself rather than a means to an end (this is
known as Future 2). However crucially, Future 3 is
also distinguished from a traditional, fact-based
curriculum of transmission (known as Future 1)
often assumed to be the only possibility when
knowledge is said to lead the curriculum. Future
3 encourages productive, rigorous and critical
thought as developed in specialist disciplinary
communities such as geography. Thus, in a slight
finessing of Youngs original term, GeoCapabilities
described Future 3 as being based on powerful
disciplinary knowledge (Lambert, Solem, & Tani,

Powerful knowledge and Future 3
Curriculum Thinking
Powerful Disciplinary Knowledge (PDK) is quite a
difficult idea. It needs to be understood in terms
of its lineage, in direct contrast to the previous
formulation associated with Michael Young, when
he wrote of the knowledge of the powerful over
forty years ago (Young, 1971). The curriculum,
he argued then, was predicated on the interests
of those in power: the curriculum in effect exerted
power over those socially, economically or
culturally excluded. This has been an enormously
influential but incomplete idea, for the contents
of this academic curriculum determined by
the powerful elite is (Young now argues) also
powerful knowledge: that is, knowledge that gives
people the power to think (and gain access to the
professions, etc.). A crucial distinction, therefore,
between these terms (knowledge of the powerful
and powerful knowledge) is between the elite
curriculum that addresses some children through
a lens of deficit (and is therefore often perceived
by them to be alienating and even irrelevant),
and a curriculum whose purpose is to engage
all children with insights derived from the arts
and literature, the humanities, the sciences, and
mathematics. Abstract, theoretical, specialised
knowledge associated with the disciplines is,
owing to its potential power, something that
all children and young people have a right to,
no matter their circumstances or aspirations. It
almost certainly needs to be taught. That is, it
is risky to assume it can be somehow picked up
along the way for us, the fundamental argument
against a curriculum based on competences
or problem-based learning. Access to PDK is
what Basil Bernstein called a pedagogic right
(Bernstein, 2000), for PDK is an essential
component of enhancement (or as we argue
capability) the means of critical understanding
and to new possibilities (Bernstein, 2000, 30).

and life skills. In such circumstances, it is the
very identity of teaching as a profession that is
compromised. Are teachers required to take on
professional responsibilities demanding ethical
judgements about what to teach (Biesta, 2017),
or are teachers now seen only as highly skilful
technocrats implementing management policy

Such uncertainties are shared internationally as
economic globalisation and the logic of the market
inflict unrealistic and distorting pressures on
education systems across the world to perform.
In his work over recent years, Gert Biesta has
concluded that one of the core issues to arise here
is the learnification of education (Biesta, 2009),
whereby the learning of transversal competences
becomes the outcome of going to school,
supplanting questions of what should be taught:
learning becomes the end, rather than the means
to an end. His work has resulted in his book
The rediscovery of teaching in which he revisits
his analysis and arguments (Biesta, 2017).
It is a book that has suggested our title as it
reinforces the foundational principle in our paper:
that, with appropriate curriculum leadership,
geography can form an essential component
of a progressive, knowledge-led curriculum.
Like Biesta, we argue that teachers can (must?)
reassert their professional ownership rights over
the curriculum, in order to realise the educational
significance of teaching geography well.

We make this argument with reference to the
GeoCapabilities project (
which explicitly tries to reconnect the teaching
of geography with questions of purpose in
education. To do this, the project (which ran from
2012 to 2017 with two phases of funding1) set
about thinking very carefully about the nature of
geographical knowledge in school, and the kind
of curriculum that would support geography of
the highest epistemic quality. In Knowledge and
the future school Michael Young and colleagues
(Young, Lambert, Roberts, & Roberts, 2014)
began to develop the notion of Future 3
curriculum thinking, based upon a social realist
proposition of powerful knowledge (Young 2008).
Future 3 is one of three alternative curriculum
scenarios offered as an heuristic to help
distinguish possible curriculum futures that is,
the kind of curriculum we want. GeoCapabilities
took up the three futures heuristic because it
helps point up some fundamental distinctions
in curriculum thinking. Thus, Future 3 denotes

1 GeoCapabilities 1: Researching and improving geography teach-
er preparation through transatlantic collaborations. NSF Award
GeoCapabilities 2: Teachers as curriculum leaders. A European
Comenius Multilateral Project. 539079-LLP-1-2013-1-UK-


However, what is PDK in the arts and literature,
the humanities, the sciences and in mathematics?
Michael Young, as a former chemistry teacher,
has relatively little difficulty in expressing
powerful knowledge as objective, reliable,
abstract and independent of the context in
which it is made. For instance, it is now known
that there are 94 elements naturally occurring
on earth (although it is apparently accepted
that six more once occurred but are no longer
found: 95100 on the Periodic Table) and a
further 18 can be synthesised in the laboratory.
This is a nice illustration, for it at once shows
that although the fact (of 94 elements) is
of enormous significance, it is not on its own
particularly powerful. What is potentially powerful
is understanding its systematicity, the part the
Periodic Table plays as a building block in how to
think truthfully about the material world. It also
nicely illustrates how even objective facts are
not beyond contention. Disciplinary knowledge
can always be contested; it is dynamic, not
a static, eternal given. Finally, what this little
example also shows is that even in the world of
objective science, powerful knowledge cannot
easily be identified or summarised in the form of
a Hirschian list of content or concepts that need
to be taught. To be sure, the school curriculum
probably requires a series of subject standards
or specifications, but publishing a list of laws,
principles and concepts that need to be taught
achieves little more than simply that: a list of
words on the page which in itself guarantees
nothing in terms of the curriculum as encountered
by the students.

Thus, in thinking about how geography can be
considered to be powerful knowledge, we may
look at standards and specifications, but in truth
this is probably not the place to start. Nor is a
blank piece of paper on which we might assemble
a list of key concepts or some such. For all we
end up with is a list, that may guarantee little in
terms of educational purpose and possibly result
in an inert, Future 1 type curriculum experience
for students (which many might find alienating
and difficult to see the point of). There is an
inherent difficulty in not specifying powerful
knowledge in geography, as has been discussed
briefly by Slater, Graves, and Lambert (2016).
However, how do we do this?

Asking in what way geographical knowledge
may be powerful is a good way of standing back
from the technical imperative of delivering the
given content. It focuses the teacher on why
she is teaching geography in the first place.
It is, crucially, a question about geographys
educational purpose. It is the approach adopted
and developed by the GeoCapabilities project.
Thus, rather than search for a list of content
that might purport to be definitive (such as the

National Curriculum in England, or Geography
for Life national standards in the United States),
the GeoCapabilities project strongly endorses
the approach adopted by Alaric Maude (2016)
who analyses the characteristics that makes
(geographical) knowledge powerful in the first
place. From this beginning, he then explores
the kind of power this knowledge gives to those
who possess it. The result is a five-part typology
of powerful knowledge (see Figure 1). This is
presented not as some kind of curriculum audit
or device for directly helping with the planning
of geography lessons. The typology is proposed
instead as a professional thinking tool: that is,
thinking about the epistemic quality of what we
are to teach before getting to the more technical,
pedagogic questions about how we are to teach.

Perhaps the most significant and challenging
element of Maudes typology is Type 3. As
he writes, the typology identifies five types
of geographical knowledge that constitute
intellectually powerful ways of thinking,
analysing, explaining and finding out (Maude
2016, 75). Although some are very familiar in
school geography arguably, Type 4 for example
Type 3 is probably not well done in school
geography lessons. It is, however, crucial, for
an essential element of powerful knowledge
is an understanding of its dynamic nature: in
geography, not only do the facts of the world
continue to change before our very eyes, but the
way we make sense of those facts evolves too.
Students need to grasp some of this. In Youngs

Knowledge in the sense we are using the
word (here) allows those with access to it
to question it and the authority on which it
is based and gain a sense of the freedom
and excitement that it can offer. (Young et
al., 2014, 20)

Alaric Maude goes on to write that the five
knowledge types can,

be applied to thinking about the aims of
geographical education. However, except
perhaps for Type 5 the typology does
not lead to a list of content that must be
taught, but only to ways of thinking that
should be developed through whatever
content is selected (Maude, 2016, 75).

In this sense, we think the typology may have
enormous potential in helping teachers stand
back and organise their teaching with a clear
sense of purpose and disciplinarity (Firth
2013; 2017), which provides a secure basis on
which to interpret national standards and official
curriculum documents. The typology may help
teachers focus on what Brian Hudson calls the
epistemic quality of teaching the serious


professional concern that underpins what north
European educationists term specialist subject
didactics (Hudson 2016). From the rather different
Anglo-American tradition (which places a negative
connotation on didactics), the GeoCapabilities
project calls this professional concern curriculum
making the responsibility that falls to teachers
to interpret and enact the curriculum.

The Capabilities Approach
The GeoCapabilities project has been a significant
context in which several of the ideas presented

in the previous sections have been developed2.
In 2009, David Lambert first offered the
hypothesis that the capabilities approach, derived
from Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaums
groundbreaking work in welfare economics
and the humanities (Nussbaum and Sen 1993),

2 The four training modules contain examples and illustration of
the ideas presented in this paper. The emphasis is on profes-
sional training and readers are encouraged to explore some of
the techniques, such as writing powerful knowledge vignettes
[module 1] or using curriculum artefacts [module 2], with

Type Characteristics

1. Knowledge that provides students with new ways of
thinking about the world.

Using big ideas such as:
These are metaconcepts that are distinguished from substantive
concepts, like city or climate.

2. Knowledge that provides students with powerful ways
of analysing, explaining and understanding.

Using ideas to:

e.g. place, spatial distribution

e.g. hierarchy, agglomeration

e.g. models such as push-pull models of migration, and

3. Knowledge that gives students some power over their
own knowledge.

To do this, students need to know something about the ways
knowledge is developed and tested in geography.

This is about having an answer to the question: how do
you know? This is an underdeveloped area of geographical
education, but is a crucial aspect of epistemic quality
(Hudson, 2016).

4. Knowledge that enables young people to follow and
participate in debates on significant local, national and
global issues.

School geography has a good record in teaching this
knowledge, partly because it combines the natural and social
sciences and the humanities. It also examines significant issues
such as food, water and energy security; climate change;

5. Knowledge of the world. This takes students beyond their own experience the worlds
diversity of environments, cultures, societies and economies.
In a sense, this knowledge is closest to how geography is
perceived in the popular imagination. It contributes strongly to
a students general knowledge.

Figure 1: A typology of geographys powerful knowledge

Source: adapted from Maude, 2016.
This typology is based on an analysis of Michael Youngs writings on powerful knowledge. This is not some kind of technical
lesson planning tool. An individual lesson may show aspects of this typology, but over a whole course in geography we should
expect to find a balance across all five types.


could provide a way to frame curriculum
thinking in geography (Lambert, 2009; 2010).
One of the attractions of Sens conception is
that he steadfastly refused to specify individual
capabilities as if they were like discrete
competences. Although Nussbaum took a
different view, and listed a number of human
capabilities, it is Sens approach that appealed
to us. It enabled us to articulate education in
terms of its role in realising human potential
enhancing the freedom of people to be and to
do. Human beings are more free, we continued,
when they are able (empowered) to think in
specialised ways including when they can think
geographically; that is, to analyse, explain, etc.
with geography (see Maude above). In short,
the capabilities approach provides a progressive
way to link the contents of geography with the
notion of educational aims and purposes. The
project goes as far as to claim that, without high
quality geography as a component of young
peoples general education, their potential to think
about themselves in the world, and about the
changing relationship human beings have with the
environment (especially today, in what Friedman
(2016) calls the age of acceleration), is impaired.
This can be considered to be a form of capabilities
deprivation quite a claim, and of course it
depends very heavily on the quality of what is
taught and learned in geography lessons.

Returning to the three futures scenarios, what
distinguishes F3 from F1 and F2 in geography
is the quality of the geography in the enacted
curriculum. As we have argued, it is therefore
useful to think how geographical knowledge can
be considered to be powerful and is able to take
children beyond their everyday experience and
encounters. For example,

literally investigating distant places,
distributions and patterns;

conceptually using new ways of seeing (e.g.
a global sense of place, glaciation, uneven

perceptually appreciating different
perspectives (e.g. how others see us).

These points present a slightly different take on
the power of geography and there are other
versions such as Lambert, Solem, & Tani, 2015,
or the Geographical Association, 2012 but
all can be merged fairly straightforwardly into
Maudes typology. However, whichever version
one might take, the point is that by extending
horizons and access to knowledge about people
and the planet enhances the capabilities of
young people enabling more powerful thought
as a right and an expectation of the educational

Curriculum Leadership
In a short article commissioned by SecEd, a free
professional news sheet, Michael Young and
David Lambert wrote that

. . . powerful knowledge bears little
relationship to the Gradgrind return to a
curriculum of the dead that critics tend to
assume such a subject-based curriculum
implies. Powerful knowledge is precious.
It is not made up of accumulated lists of
facts. In the form of subjects, powerful
knowledge is continually evolving as new
and tested concepts and explanations are
introduced(Young and Lambert, 2014).

However, they both realised at the time that
powerful knowledge, the key idea that underpins
the notion of a Future 3 curriculum, was
troublesome and challenging:

. . . the biggest challenge of all is to the
education community as a whole. [Our]
book asks teachers and school leaders
to reclaim their professionalism and
express it in terms of the knowledge-led
school and thus occupy the void that
has in effect allowed political meddling
and indeed various forms of non-
professional enterprise to exert too much
influence(Young and Lambert, 2014).

The GeoCapabilities project encourages
knowledge-led professionalism through
articulating teachers as curriculum leaders. What
this means is that teachers take responsibility
for enacting the curriculum they become
curriculum makers. This is to say that a key
component of teachers professionalism is their
identity as specialist knowledge workers, working
to develop powerful disciplinary knowledge in
what they teach. As we noted earlier in this paper,
this is unlikely to happen by simply delivering the
syllabus or specification: in this way, the project
advocates a curriculum of engagement. Adopting
a capabilities approach affords the possibility of
working with specialist knowledge in a way that
embraces broad educational goals, and in this
way the capabilities approach helps teachers to
operationalise Future 3 curriculum thinking. In
this sense, curriculum making lies at the heart of
teachers professional identity.

Implications for Non-Specialist
Teachers: Reflections from the United
States Context
A new project, directly inspired by
GeoCapabilities, is now underway in the United
States to develop innovative solutions to an
enduring challenge in providing high quality
geography instruction in schools. This problem


is the pronounced shortage of teachers with
geography backgrounds (it is a problem felt to
a greater or lesser degree in many jurisdictions,
including Australia). The project, named Powerful
Geography (, aspires
to provide the empirical research basis to facilitate
the transfer of powerful geographical knowledge
in the form of voluntary national standards
into state-level curricula and teacher education
programs. In the US, this will require finding more
effective ways of engaging non-specialist teachers
and helping them first grasp, and then represent,
powerful geographical knowledge so that it is
understandable by students.

Students across the US often lack access to
geography education in schools. In some
states, this is a result of the subjects complete
absence in the curriculum. Even in states where
geography is a required middle or high school
course, it is usually taught by non-specialist
teachers. Approximately 1,500,000 teachers may
be responsible for teaching geography, either as
part of social studies in grades K-6, as a stand-
alone or combined course in grades 7-8, or as a
stand-alone or combined course in grades 9-12
(Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education,
2015). Allowing for variations in certification
requirements across states and by grade level,
most teachers will only take one or two geography
courses during their teacher education program.
Typically, these courses are introductory-level,
either aimed at a general education audience or
intended as a first course in a major. Because of
this inadequate preparation, teachers have long
found it difficult to teach the subject in a way
that is consistent with the intentions of national
and state curriculum standards (Anderson
& Leinhardt, 2002; Chiodo, 1993; Diem,
1982; Reinfried, 2006; Segall, 2002; Bednarz,
2003; Schell, Roth, & Mohan, 2013; Segall &
Helfenbein, 2008).

The broader impacts of US federal research in
geography, especially as they relate to knowledge
transfer, education, and workforce preparation,
will remain severely curtailed until schools gain
greater capacity in the form of teachers who
are more fluent in the disciplines conceptual
vocabulary and processes. Over several decades,
there have been multiple attempts to upgrade
school curricula based on advancements in
disciplinary thought, from the spatial scientific
approach of the National Science Foundation-
funded High School Geography Project in the
1960s (Helburn, 1965) to contemporary national
standards including Geography for life: National
geography standards (Heffron & Downs, 2012),
the Next generation science standards (NGSS
Lead States, 2013), the Common core state
standards for mathematics (National Governors
Association Center for Best Practices & Council

of Chief State School Officers, 2010), and The
college, career, and civic life (C3) framework for
inquiry in social studies state standards (National
Council for the Social Studies, 2013). All of these
documents in their different ways are impressive,
and yet in most state jurisdictions the curriculum
they envision will never be enacted as intended
until non-specialist teachers gain the disciplinary
knowledge necessary for their interpretation. Our
contention is that the idea of powerful knowledge,
possibly supported by tools such a Maudes
typology, may provide a highly productive
means to induct non-specialist teachers into the
educational potential of geography.

The difficulty of implementing geography
standards in schools is underscored by twenty
years of contemporaneous data from the
National Assessment of Educational Progress in
Geography that confirms persistent low levels
of student performance and aptitude in the
subject, with aggregate test scores for Hispanic
students barely scoring above Basic (partial
mastery), and African American students as a
whole never reaching the Basic level (Government
Accountability Office, 2015). In the terms we set
out earlier in this paper, this is nothing less than
capabilities deprivation on a mass scale and a
direct consequence of curriculum thinking mired
in F1 and F2 practices.

There are of course many other factors
contributing to the United States present
challenges in providing K-12 geography
instruction: pressure to teach other subjects,
uneven quality of textbooks and other
instructional materials, poor public perceptions of
the subject, and a lack of support from the federal
government and other important stakeholders
(GAO, 2015). The Powerful Geography project
is not designed to address all of these issues
simultaneously. It does focus, however, on
providing the research basis for reforming
geography teacher education and standards
development that will create the foundation
necessary for future systemic change.

The GeoCapabilities website (www.geocapabilities.
org) is not the place to go for ready-made lesson
plans and classroom-ready teaching materials. It
is a site designed to support the development of
curriculum leadership in geography, a principle
that we contend is a legitimate aspiration for all
who teach the subject. The four training modules
can be adopted and/or adapted by individuals
or groups of teachers who wish to deepen and
extend their capacities as curriculum leaders.
It explicitly asks teachers to resist the strong
pressure that exists to roll up their sleeves
and immediately get stuck into the technical




challenges of practical teaching. Vital though
practical competence is, the GeoCapabilities
approach is concerned with the ethical question
of what is taught, and with what purpose. Visitors
to the site will see that the project advocates a
sequence of thought that begins with a serious
consideration of who are the children we teach.
Following this, the project exhorts us to ask, so
why teach them geography? Only after exploring
this question can we consider what it is we should
teach them.

Readers may argue that it is not for us, as
teachers, to address this question of what to
teach, because usually it has been decided already
in the official documents, the textbook or
examination specification. We have tried to show
in this article that taking the curriculum as given,
and the teachers role as a reduced, technical
process aiming for efficient delivery, probably
guarantees a Future 1 scenario, or worse, a
Future 2 scenario based largely on generic
competence. High quality teaching depends on
teachers engaging with and interpreting what the
standards or curriculum specification sets out
for us. Our teaching is driven by bigger, more
ambitious goals than simply imparting what we
think students need to know for the test. We then,
of course, need to think carefully about pedagogic
techniques that are fully fit for the purposes we

The premise of the GeoCapabilities approach
is that students are more likely to encounter
powerful knowledge in geography classrooms
when teaching practices from the selection of
learning materials to choices about assessment
are guided by an understanding of geographys
contribution to human capability. The partners
on the GeoCapabilities project came to agree
that professional questioning that begins with
Who and Why reduces the risk that frequently
arises when the focus is too quick to practical
implementation. The risk is that we rarely get
beyond the How. Children get geography lessons,
often with adventurous and active pedagogies, but
sometimes with questionable epistemic quality.

Anderson, K. C., & Leinhardt, G. (2002). Maps as

representations: Expert novice comparison
of projection understanding. Cognition and
Instruction, 20, 283321.

Bednarz, S. (2003). Nine years on: Examining
implementation of the national geography
standards. Journal of Geography, 102:

Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy, symbolic control
and identity: Theory, research, critique

(revised edition). London: Rowman &

Biesta, G. (2009). Good education in an age
of measurement: on the need to reconnect
with the question of purpose in education.
Education Assessment, Evaluation and
Accountability, 21, 3346.

Biesta, G. (2017). The rediscovery of teaching.
Abingdon: Routledge.

Chiodo, J. J. (1993). Mental maps: Pre


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