ERIC Number: ED201587
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Looking Toward the 21st Century: Implications for "Traditional" Undergraduate/Graduate Geography Programs.
Austin, C. Murray
This paper discusses the future of geography education at the college and graduate levels. The rapid changes in the world, the financial pressures at home, and a decrease in the recognition of the potential contributions of geography and geographers are signals of danger, but also opportunities for growth. If geographic education is to be of value, it must prepare students to deal with the geographic dimension of world-wide issues and problems. These issues include natural resource management, environmental protection, third-world development, political fragmentation, and demographic change. Geographic education programs must be redesigned to reflect an awareness of these issues and to provide students with the skills and perspective necessary to deal effectively with them. The author then discusses the implications for geographic education, in particular service and general education, undergraduate major programs, and graduate programs. Implications for service and general education include the following. Geography must provide courses which expose the general education student to basic geographic knowledge. Other programs--business, environmental studies, urban studies--must be encouraged to explicitly recognize the geographic component. Geography courses must be redesigned to make the importance of a geographic perspective more explicit and relevant to students and to deal with emerging issues. In undergraduate major programs, students should be exposed to eight components: geographic perspective; quantitative methods; cartography; geographic research; a physical and a social science systematic approach to geographic research; an analytic and integrative course on a geographical region; moderate exposure to other disciplines; and an exploratory, speculation, and intellectual examination of a significant issue. On the graduate level, programs must be expanded and their applied content strengthened. Also, geographers and geography departments must do more to identify and open up new career opportunities in the private sector and in government. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Conference of the Association of American Geographers (Los Angeles, CA, April 19-22, 1981).