While the significance of the cross-curriculum priorities for Earth and Environmental Science varies, there are opportunities for teachers to select contexts that incorporate the key concepts from each priority.
The Earth and Environmental Science curriculum provides an opportunity for students to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. It acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have longstanding scientific knowledge traditions that inform understanding of the Australian environment and the ways in which it has changed over time. In exploring scientific knowledge and decision making about Earth processes, environments and resources, students could develop an understanding that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have particular ways of knowing the world and continue to be innovative in providing significant contributions to development in science. Students could investigate examples of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander science and the ways traditional knowledge and Western scientific knowledge can be complementary.
Students could investigate a wide range of contexts that draw on Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia through Earth and Environmental Science. Students could explore the diverse environments of the Asia region and develop an appreciation that interaction between human activity and these environments continues to influence the region, including Australia, and has significance for the rest of the world. Through an examination of developments in Earth and Environmental Science, students could appreciate that the Asia region plays an important role in scientific research and development, including through collaboration with Australian scientists, in such areas as natural hazard prediction and management, natural resource management, energy security and food security.
The Sustainability priority is explicitly addressed in Earth and Environmental Science. The Earth system model that frames the curriculum requires students to understand the interconnectedness of Earth’s biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere and how these systems operate and interact across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Relationships including cycles and cause and effect are explored, and students develop skills of observation and analysis to examine these relationships in the world around them now and into the future.
In Earth and Environmental Science, students appreciate that Earth and environmental science provides the basis for decision making in many areas of society and that these decisions can impact the Earth system, its environments and its resources. They understand the importance of using science to predict possible effects of human and other activity, and to develop management plans or alternative technologies that minimise these effects and provide for a more sustainable future.