Monday, 1 May 2017

GA Conference 2017 #12 - Danny Dorling

I ended the first full day of the conference sessions with two geography big-hitters.

Danny Dorling's
lecture was next. I've met and chatted to Danny quite a few times, most recently at the Charney Manor Conference, where he was introducing some ideas for Primary geography.

New GCSE Geography: Key changes and challenges
The UK in 2017


A few notes on the lecture… all notes my own so any errors in inference also my own.

Danny started by providing a few key statistics on inequality in the UK, including the statement that the UK is the most unequal country in Europe.

That fact however, like many others, will not be tested in the GCSE – it is not in the specification. There has been massively increased wealth for private landlords, and people are not moving from private renting to owning their home with age, as used to happen in the past.

In 1997, 27% of children were living in poverty, and 26% of pensioners.
By 2010 those figures were 18% and 17% respectively.
By 2021, it is thought that child poverty will be back up to 26%, with pensioners still 17% (not much better off…)

There has been no recent improvement in life expectancy in the UK (the only country in Europe where this is the case)
Norway, since 2011 has seen life expectancy go up a year.

In the latest Eurostat figures, released a few weeks ago, Greeks are now living longer than people in the UK despite their financial issues.

Danny shared interesting infographics such as the one below, which would encourage students to be critical of data and sources (in an era of ‘fake news’):

http://tokyobybike.com/2013/10/how-many-japanese-cycle-to-work.html

e.g. Inequality and transport are worth exploring further – is there scope for that within the specification.

Do the exams result in better geographers?

Danny then identified some elements of specifications and exam questions that he had concerns about.
An interesting perspective on the changes to GCSE specifications.

Coming soon: a review of a new atlas that Danny Dorling co-authored...

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