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ERIC Number: EJ1158077
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2146-0353
Geocapabilities: Toward an International Framework for Researching the Purposes and Values of Geography Education
Solem, Michael; Lambert, David; Tani, Sirpa
Review of International Geographical Education Online, v3 n3 p214-229 Win 2013
GeoCapabilities is a transatlantic collaborative project for researching the purposes and values of geography education through a "capabilities approach." Inspired by the writings of philosopher Amartya Sen and economist Martha Nussbaum, the capabilities approach provides a normative framework for understanding the broader aims of geography in education and how these aims may be shared internationally, irrespective of differences in the scope and sequencing of national geography standards. We posit a capabilities approach also offers significant practical benefits by clarifying for teachers the ways geography imparts a "powerful knowledge" and an essential perspective for life and citizenship in a highly interdependent world. This article reports the outcomes of the first phase of research for GeoCapabilities. A content analysis was performed for the purpose of auditing the national geography standards in the United States, England and Finland for evidence of capabilities as intended educational aims for geography in schools, specifically with regard to the geo-capabilities of making personal choices for sustainability, being creative and productive in a global economy and culture, and achieving personal autonomy. This analysis is followed by a synthesis showing how the results of the three national case studies potentially provide a shared conceptual basis for geography curriculum making for human capability development across national boundaries. The article concludes with recommendations for expanding the research and enhancing curriculum making from a capabilities approach.
Review of International Geographical Education Online. Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Meselik Campus, Eskisehir City, 26480, Turkey. Tel: +90-222-239-37-50; Tax: +90-222-229-31-24; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States; United Kingdom (England); Finland
Grant or Contract Numbers: BCS1155255