World Regional Geography

This document was last updated on 11 April 2001. (Ver. 1.5)

Five Geography Themes and National Standards Page


Why Geography ? With some Existential - Ethical - Intellectual - Practical Reasons... 5, 6

What is Geography ? 2, 5
  • A physical science - Geographers study, measure and map the elemental forces that shape our planet.
  • A social science - Geographers study families, tribes and nations and how they grow and change through time.
  • The study of spatial relationships - Geographers study & map relationships between people, places & environments.
  • A bridge among disciplines - Geographers work with individuals and organizations with many interests.

    Geography consists of three interrelated and inseparable components: 2, 5
  • subject matter - the foundation for national geography standards
  • skills - utilizes the Five Sets of Geographic Skills
  • perspectives - spatial (pattern and Earth processes) and ecological (complex web of relationships between living and nonliving elements on the Earth's surface)

    Four Geographic Traditions 3, 4
  • geography is a spatial science
  • geography involves area studies
  • geography studies human - environmental relationships
  • geography is a physical science

    Five Geographic Themes 1, 3, 4
  • Location - Absolute and Relative
  • Place - Physical and Human
  • Human - Environment Interaction
  • Movement - Earth's processes, people, products, ideas
  • Region - Physical and Human

    Six essential Elements 2, 3, 5
  • the World in Spatial Terms - Geographers study the relationships between people, places and environments.
  • Places and Regions - Geographers study individuals & groups of people in physical places & human regions.
  • Physical Systems - Geographers study physical processes, ecosystems & their relationships with plants & animals.
  • Human Systems - Geographers study human activities, settlements, structures and human competition.
  • Environment and Society - Geographers study the relationships between the natural world and human activity.
  • The uses of Geography - Geographers learn from the relationship between people, places & environments over time.

    18 Geography Standards The geographically informed person knows and understands... 2, 3, 5
    1 how to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.

    2 how to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context.

    3 how to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth's surface.

    4 the physical and human characteristics of places.

    5 that people create regions to interpret Earth's complexity.

    6 how culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.

    7 the physical processes that shape the patterns of Earth's surface.

    8 the characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth's surface.

    9 the characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth's surface.

    10 the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth's cultural mosaics.

    11 the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on the Earth's surface.

    12 the process, patterns, and functions of human settlement.

    13 how the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth's surface.

    14 how human actions modify the physical environment.

    15 how physical systems affect human systems.

    16 the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources.

    17 how to apply geography to interpret the past.

    18 how to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future.

    Geographic Skills 4, 5
  • Asking and answering geographic questions
  • Acquiring geographic information
  • Organizing and presenting geographic information
  • Analyzing geographic information
  • Developing and testing geographic generalizations

    O.S.A.E. Skills (Salter et al) 8
  • Observe - note precisely the physical and human characteristics of the landscape. Peel away the layers.
  • Speculate - ask questions about the physical and human processes, patterns, perceptions and artifacts.
  • Analyze - seek answers from various sources to your questions. Talk with people; get online.
  • Evaluate - reach conclusions, make judgements about the landscape, its functions and values to society.

    NGS Geography Education Program Strategic Areas : 7
  • Grass-roots organization - academic geographers, teachers, decision-makers and citizens promote geography.
  • Teacher education - NGS and state Alliances conduct summer geography and leadership institutes & workshops.
  • Materials Development - Lesson plans, resource guides, TC In-Service kits, computer & multimedia products.
  • Public Awareness - Geography Awareness Week involves students while GEP supports teachers.
  • Outreach to decision - makers - local - national politicians, curriculum consultants are involved; GAW proclamations.

    Sources
    1 Binko, James      Spreading the Word About Geography : A Guide for Teacher - Consultants in Geography Education, National Geographic Society 1989

    2 deSouza, Anthony      Geography for Life : Executive Summary, 1994 National Geographic Research & Downs, Roger M. and Exploration ISBN Q-7922-2777-B for the AGS, AAG, NCGE and NGS.

    3 Hardwick, Susan W.      Geography for Educators : Standards, Themes, and Concepts Prentice Hall, Upper & Holtgrieve, Donald Saddle River NJ 07458 1996 ISBN 0 - 13 - 442377 - 1

    4 Ludwig, Gail      Directions in Geography : A Guide for Teachers, National Geographic Society 1991 et al

    5 ---      Geography for Life, National Geographic Research and Exploration Washington DC 1994 ISBN 0 - 7922-2775 - 1

    6 ---      Goals 2000 : Educate America Act, Section 102, 1994

    7 ---      "Resources for Geography Education", National Geographic Society 1990, Rev. 1991

    8 Salter, Christopher "How to read a City : A Geographic Perspective" Magazine of History, Vol. 5, No. (Fall, 1990) 68 - 71.

    What have you done to promote geography today ?

    Spreading the Word About Geography ...


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