Edited by Helen Walkington, Jennifer Hill and Sarah Dyer
Chapter 15: Who owns the curriculum? Co-production of an evolving research-informed module
A joke (of sorts) between environmental change academics appears on social media every handful of years, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases a new assessment report: now we have to update our lecture slides. This speaks to the important need to keep our curricula and content current, but also falls into the familiar trap of regarding teaching as a unidirectional knowledge transfer. In fast-changing fields, as in a fast-changing society, the ability to update knowledge and understanding is a key skill that students need to develop at least as much as academics. This chapter discusses how students can be co-producers of up-to-date content, rather than recipients of content mediated by a lecturer, through enabling them to evaluate accessible sources such as online commentaries and explainers as pathways into the specialist literature. This is a key skill of particular importance in geography, which, as an integrating subject, draws its strength from rendering specialist material relevant and accessible to wider fields and audiences. An assessment-based case study is presented, in which students examine and present an account of a contemporary issue at the interface of environmental change and societal impact, from perspectives of escalating specialism and detail.
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