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GEOP3090 – Thinking Space

2020 – Session 1, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor, Lecturer, Tutor
Associate Professor Donna Houston
Contact via donna.houston@mq.edu.au
Room 418, 6 First Walk (W3A)
By appointment
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
40cp at 2000 level or above
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

Why do we need theoretical concepts to think critically and reflectively about human geography and planning? This unit offers you an advanced introduction to key theoretical paradigms and to the ways in which they have influenced geographical and planning imaginations. A key focus of the unit is the use of theory to develop critical, situated and ethical standpoints that inform academic and professional practice. ‘Thinking Space’ will help you to develop these skills by learning how to identify your own theoretical perspectives in relation to the perspectives of others. You will work individually and in groups on themes related to the critical study of space and apply theoretical perspectives to the historical and lived conditions experienced by different groups over time.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Identify and discuss the key paradigms and concepts that inform contemporary geographical and planning theory.
  • ULO2: Develop an understanding of the use of theory in formulating critical perspectives and ethical standpoints in addressing real world issues and in recognising the perspectives and standpoints of others.
  • ULO3: Apply theoretical perspectives to the historical and lived spatial conditions experienced by different social groups
  • ULO4: Develop your own theoretical and ethical standpoints and relate these to your professional and/or academic practice.

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Assessment Information

Where can I find out more detailed information about assignments?

Please consult the folder in the GEOP3090 iLearn page labeled 'Assessment'.  Here you will find more detailed instructions for each assessment item, marking criteria and rubrics.  This is the first time GEOP3090 is offered, so unfortunately there are no sample assignments for the unit.  The assessment folder does contain links to useful resources and guides.  You are encouraged to post questions about assignments in the General Discussion Forum on the main iLearn page.

Group assignments

The 'Thinking Space Media Project' is a group based assessment that you will undertake throughout the semester.  Two workshops and three tutorials are dedicated to this task so that your group has an opportunity to work together during class time.  Please note that 25% of the mark for the 'Thinking Space Media Project' is individually assessed.   The individual component of the task requires you to keep a 'Media Project Research and Activity Log'.  This is a separate item from the Reflective Reading Log (see below) and it is where you will record your research notes, ideas and keep a time sheet of your contribution to the group project.  You will hand in your 'Media Project Research and Activity Log' to Turnitin in Week 13.   The group media projects will be presented and marked in class in Week 13. 

Reflective Reading Log

From Week 1, you are required to keep a 'Reflective Reading Log'. It will include a summary and critique of key theories (or arguments) identified in the readings and a reflection on how the reading contributes to your own theoretical development. Please note that in some weeks, there are also shorter media and blog pieces included in the readings.  While it is okay to draw the blogs and media articles into to your reflections, please make sure that you use  1 of the 2 scholarly articles and book chapters assigned to each week for your entry. Please keep your summaries and reflections insightful and to-the-point (aim for no more than 350 words per entry).

Handing in your assignments

Unless otherwise specified, you are required to submit your assignments by the time and date specified via the Turnitin link provided in iLearn.  Please keep an electronic copy of your assignment and a record of your submission for reference. If you are having trouble submitting your assessment to Turnitin, please contact Donna immediately.

Late assignments

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments – e.g. quizzes, online tests.

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

GEOP3090 Thinking Space is an advanced introduction to geographical and planning theory which is offered internally and which will be conducted in an Active Learning classroom.  The unit is structured as a 3-hour seminar that includes a mixture of lectures, guest lectures, workshops and tutorials where you will learn about different theoretical approaches and their application to real world problems that are of significance to professional planners and geographers. It is expected that you will attend the 3-hour seminars and come prepared to participate in class. There will be allocated time in class for working on group tasks.  While the lectures will be recorded and made available in iLearn, the workshops and tutorials which will include a mixture of skills-based activities, discussions, debates and feedback on assignments will not be recorded.  

Unit Schedule

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The unit schedule/topics and any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19. Please consult iLearn for latest details, and check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

The Seminar schedule is located on the GEOP3090 Thinking Space iLearn page under the 'Unit Information' section.  Please also scroll down the iLearn main page where each week there is an overview of the weekly theme, workshops and tutorials.

Unit readings can be accessed via Leganto.  The Leganto link is located in the top right panel of the GEOP3090 iLearn main page.  Please contact Donna if you are having trouble accessing the readings as they are essential to your assignments and to the class discussions.

Schedule at a glance

Mondays 9:00am-12pm, 21 Wally's Walk, 2.300 Active Learning Space

Week 1:     Thinking Space: An Introduction

Week 2:     Paradigm 1, Authority and Rationalism

Week 3:     Paradigm 2, Knowledge and Power

Week 4:     Paradigm 3, From the Margins

Week 5:     Intersections 1, Place

Week 6:     Intersections 2, Community

Week 7:     Intersections 3, Commons

Week 8:     No classes, Self-guided group fieldwork

Week 9:     Applications 1, Place-making (Fire)

Week 10:   Applications 2, Place-making (Biodiversity)

Week 11:   Applications 3, Place-making (Heat)

Week 12:   Applications 4, Planning in a Post-political World

Week 13:   'Thinking Space Media Projects' Presentations

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

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Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

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If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

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When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Changes from Previous Offering

GEOP3090 Thinking Space is a new unit being offered for the first time in 2020.  

Changes since First Published

Date Description
12/02/2020 I made a change to the unit schedule - I had incorrectly scheduled the Anzac public holiday