Moxon, Ray and Stanley, Linda and Retter, Karen and Hayward, Marie (2007) Urban development: exploring the complexities. In: Austin , Jon and Hickey, Andrew, (eds.) Education for healthy communities: possibilities through SOSE and HPE. Pearson Education Australia, Sydney, Australia, pp. 255-266. ISBN 978-0-7339-8962-9
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Due to increased demands for living space, master planned communities have shown an emerging importance in the daily lives of students living in certain high growth areas around the state (Walsh, 2005). Therefore this module has been developed to link experiences of interacting with a master planned community to the school contexts. Throughout the teaching and learning experiences of this module, students investigate the connections (including differences) between built and natural environments in order to form an understanding of the concepts pertaining to urban development. These include changes that occur as a result of human impact on the natural environment; importance of ecological sustainability and maintaining a balance between human impacts and the needs of the natural environment. As master planned communities are becoming more common in major metropolitan and regional cities, the likelihood of current school students living or interacting with these urban spaces is increasing. The outcomes of this module can be achieved by using either an actual or an imagined master planned community as a case study in urban development. Environmental impacts and the decisions that are made about urban developments influence future social networks and community environments of current students. Understanding the direct impact decision making has on the lives of the students, could in turn encourage them to take a more active role in the decision-making processes within their community. Throughout the study of this module, students will be equipped with skills to demonstrate active participation, a component of SOSE (QSCC, 2000, p. 1). In this module, students will be required to inquire, analyse and compare natural, built and social environments; to discover what changes, positive and negative, have occurred within a selected master planned community. As a result, students will compare the need for urban expansion with the threats to the existing natural environment, with consideration also given to economic and ecological sustainability (SOSE, 2000, p. 10). It is anticipated that this will encourage students to adopt principles of active citizenship through understanding the democratic processes of availability of choices, a balance of certain rights while actively participating in decision-making towards future urbanisation strategies, which may directly impact on their lives now and in the future (SOSE, 2000, p.2).
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