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The GA’s Annual Conference

April each year is time for the Geographical Association’s Annual Conference. At 2010’s conference in Derby, The Geography Collective launched Mission:Explore:

And I was involved in a number of workshops and a Mission:Explore field visit.

The conference is always a great opportunity to catch up with the Geography community and there is usually a great buzz. This year the event will be just up the road, and I’m going to use this post to highlight a number of workshops, lectures and events that are of interest. This is quite scary for me, as I usually like to see where events end up! The full programme is available to download here. I’ll also be tweeting during the conference using the #gaconf11 hastag.


Thursday 14th April

This is the pre-conference event. The main focus is a think-tank style meeting of Geography activists and members of the GA.  I’m very much looking forward though to the free Public Lecture which is being given by Mike Parker, the author of Map Addict. I’m also hoping that there will  be the traditional meet up….

Friday 15th April

9:50 – The Presidential Lecture on Progress in Geography – I wonder how much the recent White Paper will feature?

11:40 – A SPC workshop – Geography: it tick(les) the boxes others cannot reach. I’ll be coordinating this one and have a feeling that this one will be influences by recent / future changes and the adaptability and relavance of modern school geography to the learning of all young people.

13:00 – My department colleague Lisa Whiting will be leading a Teacher-to-Teacher session entitled ‘My PGCE and NQT survival kit.’ I hope that she will have kind words about her PGCE and NQT mentor Winking smile

13:50 – A useful double workshop led by Bob Lang on A beginners’ guide to GIS.

16:30 – A useful looking workshop for international colleagues and those interested in the International Baccalaureate led by Richard Allaway. I wonder if there will be any useful crossover and links between the IB and proposed English Baccalaureate?

This time slot also sees the second SPC workshop which is being coordinated by award winning geographer Rebecca Kitchen entitled ‘Geography – let’s make it happen.’

17:35 – Finally there is an interesting looking session led by former National Subject Leader David Rayner on a new KS3 textbook series, but I have to admit a vested interest in that Winking smile

Saturday 16th April

An early start on this one!

9:00 – Department colleague Jo Debens and myself talk about how young people can become school space creators – a lecture where we’ll be showcasing some of the work of our students and some of the methods used in this project supported by the RGS(IBG), 21st Century Learning Alliance and The Geography Collective. Find out how we increased the confidence of young people when dealing with professionals.

This time slot also sees the third SPC workshop this time coordinated by Stephen Schwab entitled ‘Britain’s got talented and gifted.

10:05 – I’m very much looking forward to the keynote address from Professor Hans Rosling the Director of the Gapminder Foundation. This is followed up at 11:45 by a Lecture by Bob Lang on how to use Gapminder in the classroom.  It’s really great to see this sort of link at a conference so that the ideas of a keynote can be explored in more depth and it’s applications to the classroom can be discovered.


13:15 – Sees the second Mission:Explore field visit – I’ll be donning my Geography Collective special safety jacket and leading (in a very loose sense of the word!) this energetic and pysychogeographcial outdoor guerrilla geography event where participants will be challenged to discover new, engaging, critical, creative and alternative activities for young people.


After all of that – I’ll need a lay down before heading to Iceland with 31 students and 2 members of staff! Hope to see you there in Guildford!


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