NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ944287
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Who Lives on the Other Side of that Boundary: A Model of Geographic Thinking
Schmidt, Sandra J.
Social Education, v75 n5 p250-255 Oct 2011
As a geography educator, it is hard to miss geography's bad rap. There is no shortage of stories and quizzes that show just how bad Americans are at geography and, by implication, how bad geography teachers are. What the public means when they say Americans don't know geography is that people cannot pinpoint countries/states on a map, cannot name the capitals of those countries/states, and cannot use maps effectively. Geography teachers know they taught these skills, but each mistake on Jay Leno's show, on the Senate floor, or at a beauty pageant makes them cringe. Somewhere in there the teachers are implicated. It is impossible to have students memorize details about every country or region in the world. It would take years and, in the lengthy process, material would be forgotten. Additionally, places are more complex and contested than geography textbooks can or do present them. It is not merely the information teachers give students, but the questions they help them ask about the world that is essential. U.S. students cannot understand the rhythms of life in Iraq if their understanding of other cultures is narrow. Students must learn to be receptive to difference and search for understanding amidst difference. In this article, the author describes an activity which highlights the human dimension of geography. It is an example of how she teaches students to make inquiries about places and understand how and why the "Other" is represented in text. (Contains 5 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iraq; United States