The remit of the Subject Centre for Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences (GEES) is to provide support for teaching and learning in these subject areas in higher education (including HE in FE), with the ultimate aim of enhancing the student learning experience. Details of our Resources, Publications, Projects / themes, Events and Funding opportunities are provided within our main web pages (click on the links in the blue bar above). If you are new to this site or want information specific to your context then the following sections will provide a brief overview of directly relevant activities and resources.
- New and Aspiring Lecturers
- Experienced Lecturers
- Support Staff
- Departments / Schools
- Staff and Educational Developers
- Secondary Education Teachers
There are a multitude of books, papers and sources of advice and guidance available to staff who are new to teaching in higher education; however, the sheer volume of these resources can be daunting. The GEES Subject Centre is here to help. As well as our own activities that we organise specifically for new lecturers (including postgraduates / GTAs who may be aspiring to be lecturers) we have listed below a few useful starting points for advice and guidance.
- Start here...! series This brand new series of short resource lists is designed to support early career lecturers, covering a wide range of different L&T themes. It complements the ‘New and Aspiring Lecturers Resource pack’ with general tips and quick links. Download the Start here...! series
- The New and Aspiring Lecturers resource pack has been developed to provide new and aspiring members of staff with examples of resources in ‘learning and teaching’, both generic and discipline-specific. The pack consists of 7 different resource lists covering major learning & teaching topics, such as Curriculum design, Teaching methodology, Key Skills, Pedagogic Research, Employability and Enterprise, and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Download the New and Aspiring Lecturer Resource Pack (175kb PDF).
- Changing Academic Practice: Implications for future Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences Academics. This document, written by the 'Preparing for Academic Practice' Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) , results from a joint event between the University of Oxford and the GEES Subject Centre. Doctoral students and academics from nine institutions met to discuss how aspiring academics might better prepare themselves for a rapidly changing workplace. This summary may be useful in helping you think about your own learning and experiences. Download the 'Preparing for Academic Practice' document (122kb word doc).
- Annual workshop for early career lecturers in Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. This workshop is designed for recently-appointed teaching staff and postgraduates/GTAs who are aspiring to be lecturers in Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES). The aim is to help participants learn about, evaluate and discuss a range of approaches, methods and resources for learning, teaching and assessment in these disciplines. By being discipline-specific the event will complement any generic-based institutional courses that delegates are attending or have taken. It will also provide an informal opportunity for delegates to meet and share experiences with other new GEES staff from other institutions. This event ususally runs in May every year - details are made avaialble on our events page
- Supporting New Academic Staff (SNAS) Database. The Supporting New Academic Staff (SNAS) Database (hosted by the Higher Education Academy) provides links to selected resources in the GEES disciplines on a variety of topics: assessment, curriculum design, e-learning, employability, fieldwork, group work, linking teaching and research, pedagogic research and skills. For more resources in these topic areas and more, trying exploring our Resource Database.
- Your local educational development unit. Most higher education institutions in the UK have an educational development unit or centre for learning and teaching. This unit is an invaluable source of advice and guidance on learning and teaching in higher education in general and at your institution specifically. This unit /centre will probably also run a local course for new lecturers. Find and contact your local educational developer today for more information.
If you are looking for new ideas for your classes, then the GEES Resource Database has a wide range of examples of practice for lectures, groupwork, fieldwork, laboratory work and much more. In addition, we'd be delighted to hear from you if you would like to contribute an example from your own teaching; this might be a brief 500 word case study or perhaps you might want to write something longer for our publication, Planet.
If you need funding to support a small teaching and learning research or development project, then we may be able to help you. We have an annual programme of small-scale project funding available to colleagues in GEES departments throughout UK HE. New rounds of funding are usually advertised around Easter for commencement in the following academic year. For further information, have a look at our Funding or contact the Subject Centre Manager, Yolande Knight.
We run a variety of Events on different themes and look foward to your contribution as a presenter or participant. We have agreements with the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG), the Geological Society and the Insitution of Environmental Sciences such that your participation in any GEES Subject Centre activities could count towards your formal CPD with these professional bodies.
We are keen to provide for those colleagues who support student learning in the GEES disciplines but who may not have a formal teaching role, such as lab technicians, cartographers, adminstrators and subject librarians. You may find that the examples of practice in our Resource Database offer some ideas to help you and we encourage you to read and contribute to our publication, Planet.
Support staff are also eligible to apply for Funding; and we are happy to offer feedback on draft proposals if required. We occasionally run events and programmes of funding specifically for support staff, so watch this space for more information.
Past Events (including presentations):
- 'Supporting the Supporters II' (January 2008)
- 'Supporting the Supporters': Encouraging Continuing Professional Development for Support Staff (June 2004)
Support Staff Enhancement Funding:
- Support Staff Enhancement Fund programme report
Resources for Support Staff:
As well as providing activities for individual members of staff, the GEES Subject Centre is also keen to support the learning and teaching issues and goals for UK HE departments and schools. To this end we provide an annual programme of free Departmental workshops. In discussion with you and your colleagues, we will organise the logistics and particular emphasis of your workshop and select an appropriate member of the GEES Subject Centre facilitator team to deliver it. This ensures an approach that is both professional and tailored to your department's needs and circumstances. Workshop topics currently include:
- Independent Learning
- Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
- Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
- Teaching at Masters Level
- Developing an Inclusive Curriculum
- Linking Teaching & Research
- Open Educational Resources (OER)
- Practicals and Laboratory Work
- Student Retention and Transition
- Problem Based Learning
- Work-based Learning
- Learning Outcomes and Assessment
- Personal Development Planning (PDP)
Through our events, projects, enquiry service & other activities we aim to:
- complement institutional and other generic programmes & events.
- help place generic principles and issues in context.
- address issues unique to our disciplines.
Working collaboratively with generic educational developers has been an integral part of the GEES Subject Centre from the start. We recognise that much experience and expertise lies within the area of staff & educational development and utilise this whenever we can.
What resources are available to you and the staff in your institution?
Our annual programme of activities includes:
- Events on a variety of different themes;
- a residential workshop for new and aspiring lecturers;
- Funding for small-scale learning and teaching projects;
- a programme of Departmental workshops
- Publications including learning and teaching guides and our regular magazine, Planet;
- an on-line Resource Database containing case studies and examples of practice;
- selected learning and teaching resources for the GEES disciplines in the HE Academy's Supporting New Academic Staff (SNAS) Database.
- The New and Aspiring Lecturer Resource Pack has been developed to provide new and aspiring members of staff with examples of resources in ‘learning and teaching’, both generic and discipline-specific.
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Whilst the Subject Centre's main remit is to support the GEES disciplines in higher education we are mindful of the need to maintain strong links with secondary education schools and colleges. This is achieved through:
- Formal contacts with bodies such as the Earth Science Teachers' Association (ESTA), the Geographical Association (GA) and the Scottish Earth Sciences Education Forum (SESEF) ;
- Collaborative activities (e.g. the School Student Perceptions of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences project);
- Events (e.g. 'Recruitment and Retention in the GEES Disciplines': June 2007);
- Contributions toward policy debates and changes such as the 14-19 diploma and other curriculum design issues.
For more information on the GEES Subject Centre's activities in this area please contact Yolande Knight, Associate Director (firstname.lastname@example.org).