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THE GEOGRAPHY BENCHMARK STATEMENT AND CHANGES AT DEGREE LEVEL. Brian Chalkley Director of UK Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES), University of Plymouth GEOGRAPHICAL ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE Manchester, April 2006.

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the geography benchmark statement and changes at degree level

THE GEOGRAPHY BENCHMARK STATEMENT AND CHANGES AT DEGREE LEVEL

Brian Chalkley

Director of UK Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES), University of Plymouth

GEOGRAPHICAL ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE

Manchester, April 2006

the geography benchmark
THE GEOGRAPHY BENCHMARK
  • Produced for the Quality Assurance Agency in 2000 by a group of HE academics convened by the RGS
  • Summarises what Geography graduates should know and be able to do
  • Informs the design of university degrees
  • Written to be inclusive rather than prescriptive
  • Available via www.qaa.ac.uk
benchmark contents
BENCHMARK CONTENTS
  • Aims : subject-based and generic
  • Knowledge : environments, landscapes, spatial variation, place, systems, scale, etc.
  • Skills : intellectual skills, discipline-specific skills, key skills, personal attributes
  • Process of learning : lectures, seminars, labs, fieldwork etc.
  • Assessment : linked to learning outcomes, variety of methods
  • Standards : threshold and typical levels
revising the benchmark
REVISING THE BENCHMARK
  • Three possible scales of re-drafting
  • No groundswell for major changes
  • As previously, the RGS will oversee this re-drafting process
  • There will be consultation with the wider community
  • New Benchmark to be published in the autumn, 2006
some recent developments in he geography which might perhaps influence the new benchmark
SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN HE GEOGRAPHY WHICH MIGHT PERHAPS INFLUENCE THE NEW BENCHMARK
  • Increased focus on major issues e.g. sustainability, climate change, globalisation
  • Changes in the subject e.g. cultural geography, GIS
  • Fieldwork goes global
  • Employability, work-based learning and embedded careers education
some other recent developments which might perhaps influence the new benchmark
SOME OTHER RECENT DEVELOPMENTS WHICH MIGHT PERHAPS INFLUENCE THE NEW BENCHMARK
  • Developments in learning technologies
  • Inclusivity (disability, gender, race etc.)
  • Linking teaching and research
  • The requirement for Personal Development Planning (PDP)
some wider questions
SOME WIDER QUESTIONS
  • What should be the relationship between the HE Benchmark and the schools’ curriculum?
  • How do we ensure continuity/progression if that is what is desired?
  • Is there a role for the Benchmark as a standard bearer for HE Geography and in assisting recruitment?
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