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ERIC Number: ED188972
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
An Analysis of the Status of Geography in American Schools.
The paper provides a brief overview of the state of geography instruction in the schools and discusses current problems within the discipline. Specifically, the paper examines enrollment and course offerings in geography in the elementary and secondary schools, textbooks, and student achievement. Findings indicate that less than 20% of all students will have taken a geography course by the time they graduate from high school. Geography at the high school level is usually an elective, while at the elementary level it is usually integrated into the social studies curriculum. Also, elementary school social studies textbooks contain an average of 25% geographic content; at the high school level new textbooks are being published, but most offer few alternatives to the world regional approach. Finally, statistics from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) indicate that geographic knowledge of students is inadequate. The author states that these problems result from the inability of educational decision makers to understand the value of geographic education and from the failure of geographers to create a position statement on the role of geography in the schools. Another problem is the lack of communication between geographers and social studies educators. The conclusion is that the future of geographic education depends on the willingness of geography educators to investigate, develop, and promote the teaching and learning of geography. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (Louisville, KY, April 13-16, 1980).