Search

GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

Author

sethdixon

I am a geography professor at Rhode Island College.

Tennessee schools need to teach geography better

Geography is a discipline that has students examine the world from cultural, physical, economic, and political standpoints, but you wouldn’t know that in many Tennessee schools.

During their middle and high school years, Tennessee’s students will take five required history courses and no required geography courses. The courses they do take have names that begin with “History and Geography”, but if one examines the full titles and the content of the courses, it is blatantly obvious that these are history courses.

This is the case for the current Social Studies standards and those that are proposed to soon replace the current standards. Some argue that geography can be adequately taught in such hybrid courses, but that is not the way it is taught in any college or university in the state.

Source: www.tennessean.com

Preach on Kurt, preach on.  And clearly, it’s not just Tennessee that needs this message. 

 

Tagseducation, geography, geography education,

Battle Cry for the Bodega

Why the chainification of the corner store is a bigger deal than losing book stores and record stores combined.

 

The term Bodega originally referred to a neighborhood grocery in a mostly Spanish-speaking part of town, it has come to be used (in my experience) to cover just about any independently owned small grocer in the city. The fear is that the corporate behemoth (7-Eleven) will destroy the neighborhood bodega, a New York institution of long standing. The quintessential bodega is a beloved part of the fabric of the city.  The outcry has been loudest in the East Village, a neighborhood that despite gentrification still prides itself on its countercultural attitude and grimy authenticity.

Source: www.citylab.com

When we discuss food deserts, we typically think about places that lack supermarkets.  In an urban context, the places that often fill this void are the bodegas.  In some major cities, these are going away as chains like 7-Eleven want to expand their reach and squeeze out these independent grocers. However you view this issue, “There’s no denying that the texture of the city would be flattened if the idiosyncratic bodega became an endangered species.”

 

Tags: food, urban, povertyplace, socioeconomic, food desert.

Hijab: Veiled in Controversy

Hijab is an Islamic concept of modesty and privacy, most notably expressed in women’s clothing that covers most of the body.

Source: www.nationalgeographic.org

What is the geography of the hijab?  Covering one’s head pre-dates Islam in the Middle East but many associate this practice strictly with Islam and only for women. Read this article (with teaching tips and supplemental resources) for more context on this cultural and religious practice.

Tags: Islam, perspective, religion, culture, National Geographic.

U.S.G.S. Topographical Maps

Think of them not as cartographic abstractions, but as incredibly affordable Pollocks.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Good cartography lies at the intersection of rigorous scientific data display and a aesthetic touch of beauty.  This article is an ode to the beauty of USGS topographic maps as affordable pieces of art.  Geography students that start their own mapping projects need to recognize that good cartographic work often needs to be both an art and a science to fit the needs of their intended audience. 

 

Tags: cartography, visualization, mapping, artgeo-inspiration.

America’s Empty-Church Problem

The culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse.

 

In his book Twilight of the Elites, the MSNBC host Chris Hayes divides American politics between “institutionalists,” who believe in preserving and adapting the political and economic system, and “insurrectionists,” who believe it’s rotten to the core. The 2016 election represents an extraordinary shift in power from the former to the latter. The loss of manufacturing jobs has made Americans more insurrectionist. So have the Iraq War, the financial crisis, and a black president’s inability to stop the police from killing unarmed African Americans. And so has disengagement from organized religion.

Source: www.theatlantic.com

Forgive the inflammatory title and the partisan source of this article if those are things that would worry you.  This discussion of how secularization is (and is not) changing the nature of American politics gives people much to consider–no matter where you fit on any political or religious spectrum. 

 

Tagsop-ed, religion, culture, political, USA.

Death toll doubles in Ethiopia garbage dump collapse

“The death toll from a collapse at a landfill outside Ethiopia’s capital has risen sharply to 113, an Addis Ababa city official said Wednesday, as the country began three days of mourning for victims who were mostly women and children. Saturday’s collapse of a mountain of garbage buried makeshift mud-and-stick homes inside the Koshe landfill on the outskirts of the capital.”

Source: www.cbsnews.com

Some geographies are uncomfortable to discuss because they expose some of the social and spatial inequalities that we wish weren’t part of economic geographies.

 

Questions to Ponder: Why did this happen?  Why were so many people in the landfill?  

 

Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, development, urbanpoverty, squatter.

Flat Earth Theory

Source: www.youtube.com

I think we all need a laugh sometimes.  Flat earth videos are incredibly entertaining.  

 

DISCLAIMER THAT I WISH I DIDN’T HAVE TO MAKE: I don’t believe in the flat Earth theory and think that this video is total jibberish; but it is delightfully inaccurate!  This is a good way to get students to think critically about epistemology (how we know what we know) and defend their own world view.  This also helps students to assess the validity of online sources

 

Tagsfun, mapping, social media.

C3 Framework: Implications for Geography Instruction

The C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards is a powerful guide to help each state strengthen instruction in the social studies by establishing fewer, clearer, and higher standards for instruction in civics, economics, geography, and history, kindergarten through high school.

 

Tagseducation, geography, geography education.

Source: www.youtube.com

50% of the Canadian population lives in these counties

“I was inspired by 50% of the U.S. lives in these counties. map. I was wondering what the equivalent map for Canada would look like. I couldn’t find one, so I created my own.”

Source: www.reddit.com

During the U.S. presidential election much was made about the differences between rural and urban regions of the United States.  Clearly the United States isn’t the only North American country that has a highly clustered population distribution. 

 

Question to Ponder: How does this basic demographic reality impact Canadian politics, policies, infrastucture, culture, etc.?

 

TagsCanadamap, North America, population, density.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑