GA Events

Quality secondary geography for non-specialists

Quality secondary geography for non-specialists

 17/04/2024 - 13/06/2024    


This course provides key skills at secondary level for non-specialist teachers of geography, teaching assistants and those newly transitioning to the subject.


Whether you are a non-specialist teacher of geography, new to the subject, or a Teaching Assistant who wants to better support their geography colleagues, this course is designed to support you by providing practical ideas for some of geography’s signature teaching approaches. Catherine helps you to consider what it means to teach geography effectively and the importance of curriculum making. You are then introduced to geographical enquiry and practical resources designed to encourage to think critically about the world around them. You also have the opportunity discuss the importance of fieldwork and explore how maps and GIS can be used effectively in the geography classroom.

Meet your course leader, Catherine


Supporting research/references

In their rapid evidence review, Cordingley et. al. (2018) highlight that subject-specific professional development – which focuses on enhancing teachers’ understanding of the subjects they teach, how pupils learn in those subjects and how to teach them – is more effective than that which is generic.

Rachel Spronken-Smith (2013) highlights the importance of geography’s signature pedagogies in giving students the knowledge and skills that they need. 

Practical classroom strategies to support geography’s signature teaching approaches can be found on the GA website.

Key learning aims

  • To better understand what it means to teach geography effectively.
  • To better understand geography’s signature teaching approaches of enquiry, fieldwork and using maps and GIS.

Expected impact on teachers

  • Increased confidence for teaching or supporting geography in secondary schools.
  • Increased understanding of curriculum making and geographical enquiry.
  • Increased understanding of some of geography’s signature teaching approaches, specifically fieldwork and the use of maps and GIS.

Expected impact on student outcomes

  • Research suggests that the quality of teacher knowledge of subject-specific teaching approaches has a significant impact on student achievement.  Also, students perceive that they receive higher quality instruction from teachers who have this knowledge (OECD, 2019).

Course outline

This course runs as a series of three sessions, each running from 16.00–17.30. The course outline is as follows:

17 April: Session 1 – What does it mean to teach geography effectively?

16 May: Session 2 – Teaching geography through enquiry

13 June: Session 3 – The importance of fieldwork and using maps and GIS 

Recordings are provided as standard after each session or full day but live attendance is recommended to make the most of discussion.





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