ERIC Number: ED313317
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
The Geography Learning of High School Seniors.
Allen, Russell; And Others
This report presents results of the 1988 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) survey of the geographic knowledge and skills of high school seniors. A national stratified sample of more than 3,000 twelfth graders from approximately 300 public and private schools responded to 76 multiple-choice questions about the following 4 topics in geography: (1) knowing locations, such as countries, cities, and physical places; (2) using the skills and tools of geography, such as map and globe symbols and longitude and latitude; (3) understanding cultural geography, including human-environment relationships and cultural change; and (4) understanding physical geography, including climate, weather, tectonics, and erosion. The respondents correctly answered only 57 percent of the test items. Average scores for the four topics in the test ranged from 52.5 percent correct on geographic skills to 59.5 percent correct in the cultural geography category. These results indicate that students generally are deficient in geographic knowledge and skills. This problem may be associated with inadequate treatment of geography in the high school curriculum. Much of the geography presented to high school students is integrated with courses in history and science. Less than two-thirds of these respondents had taken a high school course in geography. There was no relationship, however, between taking geography coursework and better performance on this test. But students who studied geography in a U.S. history course performed better than those without this academic experience. Better performance on this test was linked to certain background factors, such as well-educated parents, both parents living at home, availability of many reading materials, limited viewing of television, and time spent doing homework. Additional materials include reactions of researchers and educators, press release materials, and statements from officials of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, the NAEP, and the National Geographic Society. (JP)
Descriptors: Educational Research, Geographic Concepts, Geography, Geography Instruction, Grade 12, History, Map Skills, Secondary Education, Secondary School Curriculum, Social Studies, Statistical Analysis
NAEP, Educational Testing Service, Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ 08541-0001.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
Sponsor: National Geographic Society, Washington, DC.; National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Assessment of Educational Progress, Princeton, NJ.; Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress