chapter
1 Pages

of national geography requirements, a positive opportunity for teachers to regain agency and thus develop effective, professional curriculum making. The YoungGeographers Project: investigating teachers’ perspectives The GA’s Young Geographers Project was initiated to encourage primary school geography subject leaders to take initiatives in their professional practice as curriculum makers, as a prelude to curriculum development in their schools. Two cohorts of 10 primary teachers, with varied subject backgrounds in geography but who were strongly committed to the devel-opment of high quality geography in their classrooms and schools, partic-ipated, supported by two primary curriculum leaders in the GA. The project involved five aspects of practice: engaging practically in curriculum making through creating a class-based geography unit of work; using themotivation of ‘living geography’; engaging in learning outside the classroom, through fieldwork activities; focusing on education for sustainable development (one of the four aspects of the key stage 1 and 2 geography programmes of study); involving use of the local environment. It encouraged the use of ‘local solutions’, to enable the projects to be appropriate for each school’s context, including its children and its local-ity. The projects were run over one school term. The geography subject leaders in the two cohorts – one in the north and one in the south of England – met on two occasions to discuss their project ideas and present their work to each other. Following the first meeting they were encouraged to maintain contact across their cohort, as a basis for sharing their ideas for topics, curriculum making approaches and the challenges facing them, and to support and aid each other. This recognised that geography subject leaders, perhaps the only geography enthusiast in their school, were often isolated. In a climate of declining local authority support the teachers found using email communication to exchange ideas and share frustrations enhancing and invigorating. The focus of the study reported here was to investigate and evaluate the perspectives of the teachers about their experience of curriculum mak-ing (Catling, 2011a). The study was constrained by time, funding and the geographical distribution of the participants. Working with the two cur-riculum leaders, questionnaires and interviews were used to gather the teachers’ responses to open-ended questions. An interpretivist approach

Journal 435