ERIC Number: ED199167
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jan
Geography and Interdisciplinary, Future Oriented Education.
Austin, C. Murray
This paper identifies issues which can best be understood within a geographic dimension and suggests how educators at all levels can help students understand the increasing interdependence in economic, political, social, and technological systems by emphasizing geography's integrative dimensions. Geography's potential as an integrating force in education is said to be due to its tendency to examine simultaneously a variety of forces and events in the overall spatial context. The premise is that policy makers and the general public have misunderstood many issues because they have failed to apply a geographic perspective. Examples of issues on which a geographic perspective is particularly important include storage of toxic chemicals and wastes, development of an efficient energy system, decay of central cities, the misuse of land for short term profit, and water crises of western and southern states. Specific tools, methods, and values which geography can bring to these issues and to the educational process in general include maps, field measurement, qualitative methods, remote sensing and interpretation, simulation and analog models, computer graphics, interactive explorations, belief that all events and occurrences interact with other things in space, and commitment to the concept of global interdependence. Specific ways in which geography can be incorporated into the curriculum are (1) helping students organize events in their spatial context (elementary grades); (2) encouraging students to use geographic methodology (intermediate grades); and (3) helping students explore specific issues and problems by using materials and methodologies from a variety of disciplines (advanced levels). The conclusion is that educators will enhance students' capabilities for understanding complexity and interdependence if they integrate geographic concepts into the curriculum. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the "Educational Alternatives for A Changing Society" Conference (Miami Beach, FL, January 27-30, 1980).