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GA and ESTA collaborate to promote understanding of physical geography

The Geographical Association (GA) is delighted to announce that, from November 2016, it will work in collaboration with The Earth Science Teachers’ Association (ESTA) to develop a wider understanding of the physical Earth and its importance and impact on people and society within our schools, colleges and universities.

ESTA is a charitable organisation that exists to encourage and support the teaching of Earth sciences at all levels. The GA is an independent subject association whose core charitable objective is the furthering of geographical knowledge and understanding through education.

The agreement refers to physical geography and Earth science as geosciences, and aims to:

1. raise knowledge and understanding throughout the education sector of the features, processes and systems of the physical Earth (geosystems);

2. demonstrate the intrinsic worth of studying geosystems in fostering a sense of awe, wonder and spiritual connection to the Earth;

3. aid students’ and teachers’ capacities for understanding the application and usefulness of geosystems, and for interpreting the moral and ethical implications of their application;

4. promote the value of geosciences to education policymakers in an effort to achieve a balanced curriculum that provides opportunities for young people to learn about and understand the key features, systems and processes of the Earth;

5. foster effective teaching strategies and pedagogies for teaching geoscience topics in the curriculum;

6. promote teachers’ development of up-to-date subject knowledge and understanding in geosciences;

7. share best practice when promoting geoscience education;

8. improve communication and understanding between the two organisations so that we can provide mutual support, resources and data for educational initiatives and developments in the school curriculum;

9. provide strategic guidance to key scientific and commercial organisations with a stake in geoscience education;

10. liaise with cognate groups and organisations and, where appropriate, provide representation to external bodies concerned with educational, curriculum and qualification development in matters relating to geosciences.

The collaboration will be driven forwards for the GA by its Physical Geography Special Interest Group (PSIG). Our thanks to PSIG chair Duncan Hawley for his assistance in shaping this collaboration.