The Unit of Work
The new National Curriculum’s emphasis on key geographical concepts inspired us to focus on the concept of uneven development. We took this concept as the ‘golden thread’ running through our work and investigated it in different places and at different scales. The unit came in the final term of Year 9 and formed part of a curriculum written for the new Key Stage Three Programme of Study.
The flexibility inherent in the new Geography Programme of Study and its lack of prescription gave students and teacher the opportunity to co-create this unit of work and students were consulted throughout the planning and learning. The work here reflects their interests and needs and was planned with assessment in mind.
As a geography teacher I wanted to focus on the students’ understanding of this vitally important and contested concept. I wanted them to explore the global dimension and their roles as citizens participating in the geographies they study and the links with their lives.
Throughout the unit of work students were encouraged to:
- Be critical and question
- Avoid simple acceptance
- Identify bias
- Be confident in and accept uncertainty
- Be careful and not careless in referring to people and places
- Re-think, and possibly change, their existing knowledge and expectations
- Consider why this topic matters
It was not my intention to produce polished and neat work but to guide students on a journey of discovery, to find a different view, and assess their progression in varied and practical ways. Oral evidence was particularly valued and recorded.