Within the Central Study, Biodiversity, students undertook a task focusing on the geology of a local conservation park. The geology of this park provides evidence for climatic changes, shifting landmasses and the rise and fall of sea levels over time.
Students were tasked with creating and presenting an educational resource on the geology of the park. They were required to include a geological description of several of the major landmarks which included an explanation of how this evidenced climate change, continental drift or sea level changes.
Students were able to spend 400 minutes in preparation for their visit to the park in which they researched appropriate geological theories, practiced skills in observing and recording geological phenomenon, planned their visit to ensure that they would be able to visit and record each of the landmarks and wrote a script to accompany their ‘educational resource’. Students undertook this task in teams of three to four (consisting of both Year 10s and Year 11s).
The excursion to the park was approximately two hours in length. Students then had a further 100 minutes to collate their findings from the park and produce the ‘resource’ for submission.
The Australian Curriculum Learning Outcomes were taken from the Year 9 Achievement Standard, ‘They explain global features and events in terms of geological processes and timescales.’
The SACE Learning Outcomes were taken from Stage 1 Earth and Environmental Science – Composition of the Geosphere.
The Australian Curriculum Achievement Standards assessed were taken from Year 10 Science Inquiry Skills –
• Demonstrate attitudes and behaviours of a successful learner
• Demonstration of knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts
• Select appropriate representations and text types to communicate science ideas for specific purposes.
The SACE Performance Standards assessed were A2, A3, KU1 and KU3.
In addition, the Learning Design Criteria of the ASMS were considered in the development of this task. These are elaborated below.
1 – ASMS students strive to use their learning to develop the capabilities and dispositions that equip them for their futures including life, work and study. They are curious and this supports them to persevere and make meaning.
The capabilities and dispositions that we aimed to develop in this task revolved around teamwork and communication. Students were required to work in teams of 3 to 4 students ( a teacher directed mixture of Year 10’s and 11’s) to undertakes a range of formative learning tasks, research the geology of Hallett Cove and finally produce a multimedia piece in which they could showcase their understanding. This further involved them planning their trip to the Hallett Cove conservation park and collaborating on collecting images whilst there.
2 – Students are equipped with the skills to solve problems and challenges using a growth mindset and being able to see and appreciate beauty in challenges.
The two greatest challenges within this task were utilising the technology to produce a multimedia production and in collaborating in a team (which was not of their own choice).
3 – They are able to select, use, synthesise, and apply information critically, thoughtfully, creatively and judiciously depending on the situation. Students operate in innovative, ethical ways in a local, national and global context.
Students were required to synthesise geological information from a range of sources and apply it creatively to the task. The task had a local focus as many of our students live in the vicinity of Hallett Cove.
4 – The study in interdisciplinary contexts supports students to make connections and value diversity as well as multiple perspectives.
The interdisciplinary nature of this task focused on synthesising geological information and communicating it effectively to a particular audience. Although only outcomes from Science subjects were assessed, there was a strong focus on communication appropriate to audience throughout the task.
5 – They know how to manage their physical, mental and social wellbeing and understand that they are owners and drivers of their own learning.
Students were required to plan (with support) their own trip to Hallett Cove. This involved them being proactive in planning their own route through a park which is notoriously hilly! They also had to do this in negotiation with their team mates. This required collaboration in deciding how to manage their time within the two hour window between arriving at the park and returning to school.
6 – Students develop the characteristics of a self-directed learner, and are able to transfer their learning between contexts.
Learning how to research, synthesise information, collaborate, plan within a team and communicate information effectively are skills which are transferable to many areas of life.
7 – They communicate in a variety of contexts and to different audiences. They can work independently as well as in teams and understand that effective collaboration requires effort and the use of skills specific to different situations.
These skills were the driving force behind this task. Communicating within a team requires a set of skills which are learnable and transferable.
Teams were encouraged to work collectively in a Google Doc (to which their teacher was also ‘shared’) to facilitate the collection and collation of information and resources.