Geographic contributions to institutional curriculum reform in Australia

the challenge of embedding field-based learning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


In the context of continuing pressures from managerialist and neoliberal drivers of university reform in Australia, Macquarie University’s recent undergraduate curriculum innovation, based on “People,” “Planet,” and “Participation,” has resulted in the embedding and integration of experiential learning in its curriculum and institutional framework. Such an approach challenges academic and administrative staff, students, and partners in industry, the community and public sector settings, to engage and collaborate across significant boundaries. This article outlines the scope and nature of the curriculum reform, then considers the way geographers have both shaped and responded to the opportunities it created. In so doing, it proposes a number of challenges and recommendations for geographers who might seek to extend their longstanding commitment to field-based learning through similar reforms. In this regard, the discipline of geography and its tendency to engage with the “field” can offer much in fostering deeply transformative learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-503
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geography in Higher Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2015

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