The Deep South
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Antarctica is a place of pristine beauty and is of huge significance to humanity. It is important that young New Zealanders not only appreciate this significance but fully understand the insight that Antarctica can provide into how Earth’s environment is changing as a result of natural events and human activities. The New Zealand Curriculum supports this ideal through the Visions of developing young people who are ‘connected to the land and environment’ and are ‘contributors to the wellbeing of the New Zealand environment’. The Curriculum Principles state that the school should deliver a teaching and learning programme that ‘encourages students to look to the future by exploring future-focussed issues such as sustainability’. In May 2013, the New Zealand Government announced ten national science challenges that will be key areas of research over the next five to ten years; one of which is to ‘Understand the role of the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean on our climate and our future environment’. It is therefore timely to engage students in Science concepts in the context of Antarctica. The Deep South is a unit of work that is designed for the use within New Zealand at levels 4- 5 of the Science Curriculum. It covers Achievement Objectives within the four strands of The Living World, Planet Earth and Beyond, Material World and Physical World. The unit also supports the development of the key competencies, particularly Thinking (through the consideration of current socio-scientific issues), Relating to others (through the inclusion of cooperative, group tasks, discussions and debates) and Participating and Contributing (through reflection on an individual’s role within a global environment). The unit of work includes teacher resource sheets that outline the learning and provide guidance to teachers with little or no experience of Antarctica. The student resource sheets include information, questions and a range of activities related to the lesson. The Deep South covers the topics of Antarctica’s past, present and future and considers life in Antarctica and the connection to the rest of the world. This unit represents approximately 20 hours of class time. Additional resources are provided to support the implementation of this programme into schools. I hope that students and teachers will find this unit engaging and will develop an appreciation for Antarctica and the science that occurs there.