Course Outline

EDU739 Teaching Junior Secondary Geography

Course Coordinator:Craig Johnston ( School:School of Education and Tertiary Access

2023Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


The course builds your capacity to design inquiry-based pedagogy and assessment for Years 7 -10 Geography. You will organise, plan, explain and justify engaging lessons based on the Australian Curriculum and evaluate teaching, learning, assessment, feedback and reporting strategies. In addition, you will apply and explain ways to integrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into learning activities and evaluate your developing teaching practice and teacher identity.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – You are required to engage and interact with asynchronous materials and activities accessed through Canvas modules, course readings and required texts. 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – The workshop uses on-campus activities using technology to engage with and apply course content and outcomes. 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Independent Study/Research – In addition to engaging with the learning materials and workshop sessions, and completing the assessable tasks, you are required to engage in self-directed learning using the Canvas course modules and current research/reading via USC library databases, and the required/recommended textbooks and resources. 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Seminar – Online 1hr Week 1 6 times

Course Topics

  • Australian Curriculum junior secondary geography
  • Curriculum design and alignment of content, pedagogy and assessment
  • Lesson planning and sequencing using inquiry learning for junior secondary geography
  • Teaching and learning strategies that engage junior secondary geography including fieldwork and spatial technologies
  • Diagnostic, formative and summative assessment strategies and feedback in geography
  • Implementation of ICT, literacy, numeracy and cross-curricular themes and general capabilities in junior geography
  • Aboriginal perspectives and Torres Strait Islander perspectives of geographical knowledge
  • Strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students in geography
  • Developing identity as a junior geography teacher

What level is this course?

700 Level (Specialised)

Demonstrating a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills for professional practice or further learning. Advanced application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership
1 Apply and explain geography content and curriculum to year 7-10 geography teaching. Knowledgeable
2.1, 2.4, 3.2
2 Apply and explain a range of teaching and learning strategies, literacy, numeracy, and ICT to engage students' diversity in junior geography. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
2.5, 2.6, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 4.5
3 Plan and justify learning activities that use geographical inquiry to support student participation in achievable challenges. Creative and critical thinker
2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1
4 Create and evaluate assessment tools to measure student learning and provide feedback on progress for teaching, learning and reporting. Knowledgeable
2.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4
5 Explain and evaluate your developing identity as a junior secondary geography teacher. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
2.1, 3.2, 4.1, 5.4

* Competencies by Professional Body

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership
2.1 Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area
2.2 Content selection and organisation: Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.
2.3 Curriculum, assessment and reporting: Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.
2.4 Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians: Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.
2.5 Literacy and numeracy strategies: Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.
2.6 Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.
3.1 Establish challenging learning goals: Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.
3.2 Plan, structure and sequence learning programs: Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.
3.3 Use teaching strategies: Include a range of teaching strategies.
3.4 Select and use resources: Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.
4.1 Support student participation: Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.
4.5 Use ICT safely, responsibly and ethically: Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.
5.1 Assess student learning: Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.
5.2 Provide feedback to students on their learning: Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning
5.3 Make consistent and comparable judgements: Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.
5.4 Interpret student data: Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Enrolled in Program ED706 and a Geography Teaching area


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

It is expected that you will draw upon geography content knowledge to complete this course that you have studied prior to entry to this program.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress


Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Oral and Written Piece Group 20%
Written - 70-minute lesson plan
Oral – 15-minute lesson segment
Week 4 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check and in class
All 2 Portfolio Individual 40%
2500 words
Week 7 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Artefact - Professional, and Written Piece Individual 40%
2500 words
Week 10 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Teach a lesson
The goal of this task is to work as a teaching team to develop a lesson plan and present a lesson segment that explores a specific pedagogical choice moment when teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture relevant for the year 9/10 geography classroom.
Product: Oral and Written Piece
Submission - Written: Monday, week 4, 9 am – online with plagiarism check
Oral: Week 4 lesson segment presentation – in class
You will be allocated a topic and inquiry question connected with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history relevant to the year 9/10 geography classroom, as part of a small group, in the first tutorial. Each team member will contribute to developing a 70-minute lesson plan that identifies and applies the junior geography curriculum and content. The lesson will use inquiry pedagogy and teaching strategies to engage diverse students with achievable learning goals. The team will role-play a 5-minute segment of the lesson that provides an opportunity to discuss the next pedagogical move the teacher could make. All group members should then facilitate a 10 minutes class discussion to explore the range of possible next moves in the lesson and their justification in the context of decolonising pedagogy. The presentation needs to:
a) provide an opportunity for all group members to take the lead during the facilitated discussion, b) demonstrate oral communication skills and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Application and explanation of geography content and curriculum including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages
Creation of a lesson plan that uses and justifies geographical inquiry
Generation of a role-play and discussion that justifies teaching and learning strategies to support student participation in achievable challenges
Creation of professional and culturally respectful communication using credible sources
1 3
All - Assessment Task 2:Fieldwork assessment task and reporting
The goal of this task is to demonstrate your ability to apply, explain and evaluate curriculum, assessment and reporting in junior secondary geography fieldwork.
Product: Portfolio
Create an inquiry-based summative fieldwork assessment task and rubric for a selected year 7-10 junior geography class at a specific school.
1.	Identify a school and explain the choice of a fieldwork site. Describe how your choice relates to the junior geography curriculum and students. 
2.	Create an assessment task and explain and evaluate how it engages with geographical inquiry and represents an achievable challenge for students.
3.	Explain and justify how you will mark the task and how your marking will be used for reporting to parents/careers and in your future teaching of these students.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Explanation of a fieldwork site and description of the fieldwork site's application for geography curriculum and student engagement.
1 2
Creation of an assessment task and justification of geographical inquiry and achievable challenge.
3 4
Evaluation of how marking will measure student learning, be reported to parents and used for future learning.
Creation of communication using credible sources.
1 2 3 4
All - Assessment Task 3:Inquiry lesson sequences – connecting to curriculum, students and assessment
The goal of this task is to demonstrate your application, justification and evaluation of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in junior secondary geography.
Product: Artefact - Professional, and Written Piece
Create an inquiry-based lesson sequence that would be required to be covered before the assessment task you created for task 2 can be provided to students. You will: 
1. Create an inquiry-based sequence of three lessons and explain and justify a) how the curriculum and assessment task connects to the lesson sequence content, b) how a variety of teaching strategies and resources, including literacy, numeracy and ICT, c) how learning goals support the assessment task and create an achievable challenge, e) student engagement and participation are enacted f) how geographical inquiry is evidenced. 
2. Explain and evaluate the challenges you might face as a beginning teacher planning, teaching, marking, and reporting the fieldwork and ways you might improve your teaching practice as an explanation of your reflection on your developing identity as a junior secondary geography teacher.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Application and explanation of geography content and curriculum to fieldwork planning and assessment.
Application and explanation of a range of teaching and learning strategies, literacy and numeracy, and the ethical use of ICT to engage students.
Description and justification of the use of geographical inquiry, student engagement, participation and achievable challenge
Explanation and evaluation of your developing identity as a junior secondary teacher.
4 5
Creation of communication using credible sources
1 2 3 4 5

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Simone Barlow,Ashlee Horyniak 0 Dark Emu in the Classroom n/a n/a
Required Malcolm McInerney,Susan Caldis,Stephen Cranby,John Butler,Alaric Maude,Susanne Jones,Michael Patrick Law,Rebecca Nicholas 2021 Teaching Secondary Geography n/a Cambridge University Press

Specific requirements

It is expected that you will require Internet access and a personal computer. Recommendations from information and technology services are available via the Student Portal if you search for computer specifications. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is necessary for each class session. Access to a mobile device with a camera and microphone is recommended for participation in online sessions.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

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