The Economics of Ecological Sustainability – An Introduction for Geography Teachers

This course is about the economic dimension of ecological sustainability, revolving around the conflict between economic growth and ecosystem services. It addresses standards 2.1.2, 6.2.2, and 6.3.2 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and, once certified, will be worth 5 hours of NESA Registered PD. You must use the same email address throughout to ensure you get credit for the course.

Note: by taking this course, you will have to submit answers online which will be reviewed to verify you have fulfilled the requirements of the course. The rigour of this course is reflected in the time taken to complete it, and only genuine attempts to complete all questions will result in course certification. By taking this course you agree to having your submitted answers reviewed to improve the quality of the course, and to have your answers used for further research purposes. Where any answers are used as part of a research publication, they will be strictly de-identified and presented anonymously.

Part 1

Standard 6.2.2 – Participate in learning to update knowledge and practice targeted to professional needs and school and/or system priorities.

To begin you will first need to read the article, How Big Should the Economy Be? You can read the article by clicking here. Once you have finished reading the article, click here to finish Part 1 of the course by answering some questions about the content of the article, summarising it in your own words, and completing a K-L-W Chart (what you already Knew, Learned, and Want to know about the economics of ecological sustainability).

Part 2

Standard 6.3.2 – Contribute to collegial discussions and apply constructive feedback from colleagues to improve professional knowledge and practice.  

Now that you have some understanding of the economics of ecological sustainability and have completed your K-L-W analysis, teach this topic to a colleague. You may wish to use your summary of Part 1 to help you do this. Once you have done this, get your colleague to complete their own K-L-W analysis of the economics and ecological sustainability and record their answers. You will fill out their K-L-W answers and reflect on and compare your K-L-W analyses and understandings of the economics of ecological sustainability to complete this part of the course. When you are ready, do this by clicking here.

Part 3

Standard 2.1.2 – Apply knowledge of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area to develop engaging teaching activities.

In this final part of the course you will apply what you have learned in previous parts to develop an engaging teaching activity that is appropriate to your own students and environment and incorporates the economics of ecological sustainability. In order to proceed you will need your junior geography program; please get it now.

Before proceeding, make sure you have read the section ‘Applications for Junior Geography’ of the article in Part 1, including the case study on Byron Bay (pp. 37-39). It may help to compare and contrast the economic and ecological circumstances of your community with those in the article in order to come up with an appropriate activity. In the article you read an attempt was made to give students a chance to include field work in their exploration of this topic, but that may be difficult in the circumstances of your own class. In that case, you can still investigate this topic using secondary data for a chosen ecosystem service and relate that to economic growth theory, as done in the article.

With your existing junior geography program in front of you, you now need to choose an outcome(s) which your teaching activity will address. What follows are probably the most relevant outcomes in the NSW geography syllabus, but you are welcome to develop an activity that addresses a different outcome if you think it will fit better for your program and students.

The Stage 5 outcomes are:

GE5-2 explains processes and influences that form and transform places and environments

GE5-3 analyses the effect of interactions and connections between people, places and environments

GE5-5 assesses management strategies for places and environments for their sustainability

The Stage 4 outcomes are:

GE4-2 describes processes and influences that form and transform places and environments

GE4-3 explains how interactions and connections between people, places and environments result in change

GE4-5 discusses management of places and environments for their sustainability

When you have chosen an outcome(s) and with your existing geography program in front of you, consider the following questions:

1. How does your existing program address the outcome(s) you have chosen?

2. How, if at all, might the conflict between economic growth and ecological sustainability be integrated into your existing program and address the outcome(s) you have chosen? If integration is not possible, how might you adapt the existing program to accommodate the material in this course?

3. How will your activity be tailored to your own school, community, and environment?

When you are ready to describe your engaging activity to teach the economics of ecological sustainability, click here. You will also be asked to reflect on the controversial nature of this topic.

Course Evaluation and Feedback

In order to get credit for taking this course, you will now need to fill out this final section evaluating the course and giving feedback. When you are ready to do this, click here.

In order to get credit you will also need to pay for the course which you can do below. Make sure you add a note to the PayPal transaction to send the same email address you used to complete each part of the course, as well as your full name and NESA Number. Note that PayPal may charge a fee for transactions; if you cannot use PayPal, or would prefer to make a bank transfer, please contact me via the Contact tab above and include your email address that you used to complete the course, your full name, and NESA Number.

Course Payment

Course fee:

A$70.00

Congratulations! You have now completed the course!