Mr David Boon1
1Curriculum Services, Department of Education, Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
While the local area is utilised for student learning, little research has been put into how students actually perceive that environment in a spatial sense. My experience as a primary classroom teacher and working with teachers in a number of support and professional learning roles is that students actually have greater awareness and perception of their surroundings than the adults teaching them. Teachers tend to focus attention on what it is they want students to learn. Students however don’t organise their perceptions into neat curriculum boxes, nor do they limit their observations to just what the teacher wants them to. This paper explores my teaching experiences and my leadership of professional learning which challenge traditional notions of how to utilise the local area. It suggests how we might better utilise student perceptions of the environment to engage them as learners and deepen their understanding of both the curriculum and their local area.
David Boon firstname.lastname@example.org (B Ed., MSc – Education) is a Principal Education Officer with the Department of Education, Tasmania and supports implementation of the curriculum kndergarten to year 8 across all learning areas. His Masters degree through Curtin University focused on student perceptions of learning environments. David was a participant in the Howard government’s National History Summit and worked on the framing paper for the Australian Curriculum: History. He is an author of Place and Time: Teaching History, Geography and the Social Sciences which is used in teacher training nationally and includes several chapters he co-authored on primary level geography.