why geography matters more than ever

Editor’s Note: As teens scroll through their news feeds, glimpses of the conflict and atrocities unfolding in Syria, South Sudan, or even violence in the US, they What are we learning about our interconnected world? How can teachers help students understand how they are affected and connect with people in faraway places they may never see? Chris Heffernan, a teacher of 20 years, says the answer lies in a topic many think is next to, but more vibrant than ever: geography. Heffernan, a seventh-grade math and social science teacher at Jefferson Middle School in Naperville, Illinois, said he no longer thinks of map quizzes when he thinks of geography, but instead “human geography”, the study of culture and economics. and politics, will ultimately affect us all. I am a historical person. I knew strange things about ancient American history and civilization, but nothing about geography. For that first year, my career plan was simple: wait it out. Wait until there is an opening in ancient civilizations or American history, then move on to that curriculum. The only geography class I ever took was in seventh grade. I remember learning basic cartographic skills – latitude and longitude, key directions, scale, and key interpretation. We learned about landforms such as peninsulas, straits, and mountains. We discussed climate and biomes. Most importantly (obviously), we did map quizzes.But since I started my geography career in August 2001, I experienced a geographic “Sputnik” moment on 9/11. Read more: Why robbed the schneider and not the adults 2 Like everyone else, I have vivid memories of that day. I remember my students doing an activity using road maps to find the best route through Illinois. But while my students sat in groups with giant road maps of Illinois, trying to figure out routes between states and states, the world changed dramatically. Why? Why would anyone want to do this to us? I remember Fareed Zakaria’s Newsweek cover story a few weeks later called “Why They Hate Us.” Unbeknownst to most of us, it’s clear that not only do my students need to learn about the world, but so do I. I know where Afghanistan is on the map, but I don’t know much more than that. I don’t know what the Taliban is. I don’t understand that the government is one of the most repressive in the world. In my mind, Afghanistan is a country that fought with the Soviet Union in the 1980s, so they must be our allies. I may have known about the physical geography of Afghanistan, but I knew nothing of the human geography that existed there. Geography is more important today than ever, but only if we are looking at the right things. Google has changed our world and geolocation is included in it. I haven’t had my students take the map quiz for years because there’s really no need to memorize the locations of the countries. Students can Google any country in the world to find its location. Geography is more important than ever because students need to know human geography. They need to understand the relationships that exist between cultures. They need to see not only differences in cultures, but also similarities. Students need to know that the child sitting in a school in Afghanistan today may not speak the same language, practice the same religion, or live in a home that looks like a student in the United States, but they have a lot of things. Common point. Both love their families, both want to play and both want to learn. When we focus on the similarities instead of the differences, it changes the picture Read more: why does my dog ​​get under the bed | Top geography matters today more than ever because our students are growing up in a globalized world. Nearly all business is international. Our students will never work in isolation. They need to know that the other people they work with, whether in a room in the hallway or on a screen halfway around the world, all have ideas and values. Even though they may see problems and solutions differently, they still see problems and have solutions. We must take action to address them. Geography matters because we are all connected. Geography matters because this is our world. The original version of this story appeared on the #worldgeochat blog here Read more: why did Constantine move the capital | Top Q&A

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