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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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K12

The Guardian view on geography: it’s the must-have A-level

“Geography, for so long a Cinderella subject, the easy option for students who found physics or chemistry too daunting, is soaring in popularity. According to the Royal Geographical Society, 13% more took the subject at A-level this year than last, up to 37,100 – the biggest jump of any of the major subjects.”

Source: www.theguardian.com

In a world that increasingly values people who can work across the physical and social sciences, geography’s all the rage…in the UK.  This editorial from the Guardian is a nice example of articles that demonstrate why geography matters in the world today.  

 

Tagseducation, K12geography education, geography matters. 

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Geography undervalued in understanding of world

Improving skills in ­literacy and numeracy are vitally important components of school education. But it is wrong to assume that these can only be achieved by teaching English and Mathematics respectively. Many other subjects can and do teach these skills using real life examples. Geography is one of these ­subjects. Articulating orally and in writing one’s understanding of the world is one sure way of increasing literacy. Collecting, analysing and using information about the world increases ­students’ numeracy, and gives them a better grounding as ­citizens and future employees. But geography is much more than this. Surely we should aspire to our children and ­grandchildren having a greater understanding of their world: what is happening around them, ­analysing the causes and ­assessing solutions?”

Source: www.scotsman.com

I know that understanding the importance of geography is nothing new to my readers, but I am gathering articles that are useful to share with administrators and colleagues in the fight against geographic ignorance.  One this site I’ve tagged these articles under tag “geography matters.”  

 

Tagseducation, K12geography education, geography matters.

Geographic analysis for the zombie apocalypse

Can geography save your life in case of, say, a zombie apocalypse? Understanding the push and pull factors that create geographic movement — or how people, resources, and even ideas travel — might help you determine the location that’s best for survival. David Hunter playfully analyzes the geography skills that you’d need to escape the zombies.

Source: www.youtube.com

This tongue -in-cheek TED-ED lesson shows how the concepts of movement are spatial, and of course, critical in an zombie apocalypse.  Good vocabulary (push factors, pull factors, migration, infrastructure, etc.) is used in this clip.  

 

Tags: mobilitymigration, TED, video.

Choosing a Map Projection

“Cartographers at National Geographic discuss how they select an appropriate map projection for the September 2012 magazine map supplement. –World maps usually center on the land, with the Pacific Ocean divided as bookends. To show each ocean as a whole with the least distortion for our ‘Beneath the Oceans’ supplement map, we used a map projection called an interrupted Mollweide centered on the Pacific.”

Source: www.youtube.com

There is no one perfect map projection that fits all circumstances and situations. Think of a situation in which this map projection would be an ideal way to represent the Earth and in another situation that same projection would give you an incredibly limited perspective.  This video provides good insight into how to choose a map projection for a cartographic project. Here is National Geographic’s lesson using this video.

Tags: cartography, K12, geospatial, NationalGeographic, water.

Announcing a New Feature to Build Students’ Geography Skills

“As the image above shows, The Times reports from all over the globe. We have journalists in more than 30 international news bureaus worldwide, and every day we publish news, feature stories, videos, slide shows and more from dozens of countries around the world. Our new ‘Country of the Week’ feature celebrates this abundance to help build students’ geography skills. A weekly interactive quiz will first introduce students to a country via a recent video or photograph, then ask them to find that place on a map. Next, the quiz will focus on the demographics and culture of the country. Finally, we’ll include links to recent reporting from that place in case they, or you, would like to go further.

In ‘Why Geography Matters,’ Harm de Blij wrote that geography is ‘a superb antidote to isolationism and provincialism,’ and argued that ‘the American public is the geographically most illiterate society of consequence on the planet, at a time when United States power can affect countries and peoples around the world.’

This spatial illiteracy, geographers say, can leave citizens without a framework to think about foreign policy questions more substantively. ‘The paucity of geographical knowledge means there is no check on misleading public representations about international matters,’ said Alec Murphy, a professor of geography at the University of Oregon.”

 

Tagseducation, K12geography education, geography matters.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Esri GeoInquiries™ for World History

“The Esri Education Outreach team is pleased to announce the release of a sample pack from the forthcoming GeoInquiries™ collection for World History classrooms.  The sample pack includes the first four activities supporting high school World History instruction with ArcGIS Online.  Eleven additional activities will be released over the coming weeks.”

Source: education.maps.arcgis.com

ESRI has produced GeoInquires for Earth Science, US History, Environmental Science, AP Human Geography, 4th grade, and has recently released a now has a set for World History.

Tagsmappinggeospatialempire, historical, ESRI, K12, edtech.

Why geography matters for students now more than ever

Students need to know human geography; they need to understand the relationships that exist between cultures.

Source: www.pbs.org

This is more example of me preaching to the choir, but I hope that this will arm you with resources to use in discussions with administrators and colleagues in the fight against geographic ignorance.  This is a great article to put into my new tag of article that discuss why geography matters.   

 

Tagseducation, K12geography education, geography matters.

U.S. Students Are Really Bad at Geography

Your kid has no idea where Saudi Arabia – or maybe even South Carolina – is. Here’s why.

Source: www.usnews.com

The U.S. government report on 8th grade geography is not a ‘pick-me-up’ but a sobering reminder of the task that lays before us.  This article quotes a few alliance coordinators on the current situation and how to change it. 

 

TagseducationK12geography education.

Why I make cartograms with second graders

“There are few sights more heartening than that of an elementary school whose classrooms and hallways are decorated with world maps. Yet teachers should be careful to make sure that the standard depiction of the world map is not the only map their students encounter. Otherwise, they run the risk that children will assume ‘this is the way the world looks,’ rather than the more complicated reality that ‘this is one of many ways of representing our world.’ One useful antidote to this way of thinking is for students to explore cartograms, which are maps that use the relative area of places to present statistical data.  Please check out my cartogram lesson plan.”

Source: populationeducation.org

I love this post because it shows that–adjusting for mathematical proficiency and cartographic skill–just about any group of students can work on projects to work with data and explore various ways of how to represent that data.  

 

Tagseducation, K12geography education, statistics, spatial, mapping. 

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