#GeoEdChat: How Can We Convince Policy Makers That Geography Education is Important?

Recently, National Geographic Education moderated a Twitter chat to discuss ways that we could convince policy makers to take geography education more seriously.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • What is the state of geography education where you live? Is it a priority? Is it inadequate?
  • Have you had any success lobbying for increased funding or programs for geography education?
  • How do you think we can make policy makers see the importance of this discipline?

Check out our think piece below and consider your own ideas, experiences or thoughts on how we could make a difference in geography education.

Think Piece:

More than a decade ago, the US government prioritized nine academic subjects—including geography—in the landmark No Child Left Behind legislation. However, of those nine subjects, geography is the only one that has never received any dedicated federal funding.

As we become a more global society, the lack of language skills and civic and global awareness among American students increasingly jeopardizes their ability to interact with local and global peers and to participate meaningfully in business, diplomatic and military situations.

In order to promote global competitiveness, diplomatic leadership and to fill and retain the tens of thousands of highly skilled jobs in the geospatial industry, students must be exposed to early and ongoing geography education.

But there is a disconnect between what is desperately needed and what lawmakers consider important. While geography is required as a stand-alone subject in most European countries, it appears sporadically—if at all—in the curriculum of American schools.

So how do we convince policy makers that geography education is essential to our global future?

Sound interesting? You can see the whole chat here!

[View the story “#GeoEdChat” on Storify]

Interested in moderating your own #GeoEdChat?

We’ll be moderating again, the second Wednesday in April. What do you think our topic of discussion should be this time? Let us know in the comments section below!

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