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Level 1 Standards for 2011
For detailed interpretation of terms used in these standards being used for the first time in 2011 refer to the latest clarifications document that appears on the Geography subject-specific page.
Explanatory Notes for this standard give this definition of environment - (EN2): ‘Environment refers to a part of the earth’s surface characterised by a specific use’
The term ‘Environment’ as used in this standard may be considered as referring to the region in which the study activity occurs.
This environment could be micro scale (e.g. a single farm or single mine site) or macro scale (e.g. a region like the Mackenzie Basin or Amazonia or a large urban area). A specific use could be taken as singular or plural and would reflect the environment chosen. For example, if a single farm was chosen as the environment, then the use could be a particular type of farming e.g. Dairy farming or viticulture; if the environment was a large one like Amazonia then multiple uses could be considered e.g. logging, farming and hydro power generation. The standard requires that the sustainability of the use of the environment be considered in relation to the singular or multiple uses of that environment.
In describing the consequences of the use of the selected environment on people and on places, both positive and negative effects could be considered.
The perception and reaction people have about the use of an environment could also be considered when describing the sustainability, or otherwise, of the continued use of the environment. For example, the sustainability of dairy farming involves farming practices that make it renewable, but also practices that will ensure wider public support for dairying. For example, studying a dairy farm on the Canterbury Plains will involve teaching about soil, pasture and livestock practices that make dairy farming renewable, but will also involve a study of water use in Canterbury and its sustainability as dairying will be a big user of water through irrigation. The public outcry over ‘dirty dairying’ also determines the sustainability of dairying in Canterbury, and elsewhere, and needs to be considered when teaching for the last bullet point in each level of EN3.
All of the Level 1 Achievement Standards have gone from three achievement criteria to one achievement criterion. Although the standards all have an explanatory note that outlines what a student must do to achieve at each level of achievement, the final judgement should be based on an assessment of the student performance overall, and not the least level achieved for a task.
How to achieve a consistent holistic judgement has been discussed at Best Practice Workshops and various association meetings. A standard approach to making holistic judgements is being devised and will be available shortly.
Using Powerpoint is becoming increasing popular for presenting evidence instead of the more traditional method of writing essay style answers. One drawback of using Powerpoint is the lack of space to provide detailed answers, especially at Level 3. One way round this problem is for students to place the main points they want to get across onto the slide and then use the attached notes to write their more substantive explanations. Completely filling a slide with text in a small font should be avoided.