VCE Geography Units 1 & 2
Geography is the study of where geographical features are located and why they are there, and what makes one place different from another, and how and why these differences matter. It looks at the interaction between human activities and natural processes, and develops understanding of the distribution of human and natural phenomena on or near the surface of the Earth from a spatial perspective.
The purpose of this study is to develop in students an ability to see meaning in the arrangement of natural and human phenomena in space; to see and understand the interrelationships between people, places and environments; and to use geographic skills and apply spatial perspectives to describe and interpret patterns on the surface of the Earth and the processes that created them.
This study investigates a diversity of themes, environments and places at different scales (local, regional, national, international and global) and in different contexts, particularly in Australia. It explores the patterns and processes of physical geography and their interaction with aspects of human geography. Geographers use a number of spatial concepts as tools to help them to investigate, interpret and explain these patterns. The spatial concepts provide a unique conceptual structure and framework of ideas for geographic investigations of phenomena.
This study design focuses on the following spatial concepts: location, scale, distance, distribution, region and movement, spatial change over time, spatial association and spatial interaction. These spatial concepts are all interconnected and to some degree overlap.
The study of Geography addresses the following questions: What is there? Where is it? Why is it there? What are the effects of it being there? How is it changing over time? Should it be like this? What will it be like in the future.
Through studying Geography, students develop knowledge and skills that enable them to understand the complex interactions of their world from a spatial perspective. They learn to participate effectively as global citizens in the sustainable se and management of the world’s resources.
Unit 1: Natural environments
This unit investigates the geographic characteristics of natural environments and landforms and the natural processes that shape and change the Earth’s surface. It investigates how the interactions between natural processes and human activities can also change natural environments.
The world’s physical environments are composed of four natural systems: atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, which are fundamental to the operation of all interactions within the environment. There are few places in the world where only natural processes operate.
Human activities interact with natural processes, each affecting the other. The nature of change caused by the interaction between natural processes and human activities varies at a range of scales, over space and over time.
Students must investigate at least two natural environments in each area of study. The natural environments selected for investigation may be the same in each area of study. Each environment selected for investigation must focus on physical geography at two different scales.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe the geographic characteristics of at least two natural environments and explain how they are developed by natural processes, including extreme natural events.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse and explain the changes in natural environments due to natural processes and human activity.
Unit 2: Human environments
This unit investigates the characteristics of rural and urban environments which are developed by human activities and their interactions with natural environments. Rural and urban environments vary significantly from place to place and across a variety of scales. Rural and urban environments are significant because they are the locations where people live. Their presence creates settlements which vary in size and complexity from individual farm houses to small villages, regional towns, large metropolitan cities and mega cities.
Rural environments are those produced by human activities such as farming, forestry, tourism, mining, fishing and rural settlements. Urban environments are those produced by human activities created by housing, work and leisure pursuits. The nature of change in human environments varies across a range of scales over space and over time.
Rural and urban environments are dynamic. They can be changed in the long or short term by advances in technology, individual and organisational decisions, as well as by natural and human processes and events. Decisions that affect the management and the sustainability of rural and urban environments, and the distribution of rural and urban activities are made by governments, organisations and individuals.
Students must investigate at least two human environments in each area of study. The environments selected for investigation may be the same in each area of study, but one of the environments must be a rural environment and one an urban environment; one must be from Australia and one must be from another country. Each environment selected for investigation must focus on human geography at two different scales.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe and explain the geographic characteristics of different types of rural and urban environments.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse and explain changes due to human activities in rural and urban environments.