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Black Lives Matter

The shocking and tragic death of George Floyd in the US has rightly led to renewed calls nationally and internationally for the ongoing injustices of racism and inequality to be addressed. Black Lives Matter.

Geography has a distinct role in relation to these issues. The establishment and growth of geography in schools in the UK during the 19th and 20th centuries were closely associated with the activities and ambitions of the British Empire and with its colonial activities. Acknowledging that background and being well-informed about the development of the subject through time is part of our professional responsibility, as teachers of geography. Today, in its 21st century incarnation, our subject has much to contribute to building understanding and connections between individuals, communities and cultures within our society and between peoples across the world. As a school subject, geography should pay careful attention to human welfare, to inequality and to changing social attitudes and conditions, within the UK and across the world. It should help children and young people understand the processes that created the places we live in today, including the social ills they possess. Geography’s ‘futures’ orientation, used well, should also enable us to pose questions about what kind of society we wish to live in and how this might be achieved.

The Geographical Association recently renewed its commitment to equality, to building an inclusive profession and to taking actions to reduce the risk of discrimination Equal Opportunites and Inclusion Policy. A key aspect of this is the pro-active work the Association undertakes to produce curriculum materials and guidance for teachers, which challenge bias or stereotype and build a better understanding of diversity, identity, inequality and international development.

The GA’s 2020-25 strategic plan, due for launch in September 2020, fully acknowledges that the Association needs to do more to achieve greater diversity and representation – amongst the teaching workforce, those choosing to study the subject post-14 and across our subject community. For that reason, one of our strategic objectives for the next five years will be to work independently and in partnership with others to ‘promote greater diversity in geography education and the Association’. As is established GA practice, we would warmly welcome your views on ways in which we might best achieve this objective.

Read more

SDG4 voluntary national review – the GA’s work in support of inclusive and equitable education

GA global learning projects – Global learning programme and Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning

Get Involved with the GA – via local Branches, by writing, volunteering or taking part in surveys and elections.