A book of prompts, provocations and possibilities designed to nourish creativity and generate ideas that will get teachers excited about learning.
Uncharted Territories invites a reassessment of what curriculum coverage can look like in the classroom, or even in the home. All the ideas in this book are rooted in practice, grounded in research and have been subject to the scrutiny of professionals from all over the world. There are no ‘knowledge organisers’ or ‘schemes of work’, only motivational butt-kicks – ideas to get teachers and children foaming at the mouth with a sense of purpose whilst motivating children to acquire, interpret and apply knowledge and use it to solve problems. Whether in an Early Years setting or a secondary school geography classroom, in each chapter you’ll find woven ideas that will place children in a dilemma which they will have to think deeply about to comprehend, and bring together analytic and imaginative thinking to overcome.
Each chapter is illustrated with an image that can be used as a hook in its own right, with story starters and questions attached to stimulate the imagination and provoke discussion and writing. In addition, each chapter is packed with starting points and ‘what ifs?’ to establish rich contexts and situations supported by inductive questioning.
Each chapter focuses on a place. The place is where learning will be applied, where it will be challenged and where it will exist. This imagined context, as fantastical as it may appear, will always have the real world as its destination. These places are imagined in the classroom, but teachers are urged to link them to real, lived experiences by taking children out into forests and caves, mountains and castles, zoos and theme parks. There is a world of curriculum in each of these places. Although the authors develop a single idea in more detail in each chapter, these are meant to stimulate teachers’ own thoughts and imaginations and to liberate them from the same old, same old.
In this time of high-stakes testing, rising mental health issues among young people and increasing pressure on teachers to remove engagement and relevance from learning and replace it instead with rote repetition, practice papers and panic, we have to step back and ask the question: “What is the purpose of education?” As far as the authors are concerned, it is to develop wisdom in children – the capacity to think, to apply knowledge, to empathise, to weigh up evidence, to consider consequences and to make informed choices. It is their firm belief, rooted in their combined 40 years of experience, that the most successful schools see examinations as by-products of a great education – not the end product. That education itself is a much more complex journey into the heart of what it is to be human.
Suitable for all teachers, from Early Years settings to secondary schools.