A ROAD MAP FOR 21st CENTURY

 
A ROAD MAP FOR 21st CENTURY
A ROAD MAP
              Editors
Sarah Witham Bednarz
        Susan Heffron

                               FOR 21st CENTURY
       Niem Tu Huynh

                               GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION
                               Geography Education Research
                               Recommendations and Guidelines for Research in Geography Education

  A Report from the Geography Education Research Committee of the Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education Project
Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education Project

     Geography Education Research
  Recommendations and Guidelines for Research in Geography Education

                                 Editors

          Sarah Witham Bednarz, Susan Heffron, Niem Tu Huynh

                   Association of American Geographers
                             Washington, DC

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This report was created by the Road Map for 21st Century                                            The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and
Geography Education Project.                                                                        educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,”
                                                                                                    the Society’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 400
                                                                                                    million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic,
Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education Project
                                                                                                    and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio;
Daniel C. Edelson, Principal Investigator                                                           films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive
Virginia M. Pitts, Project Director                                                                 media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research,
                                                                                                    conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting
The Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education Project is a collaboration between the            geographic literacy.
National Geographic Society, the Association of American Geographers, the National Council for
Geographic Education, and the American Geographical Society. The views expressed in the report      The Association of American Geographers (AAG) is a nonprofit scientific, research, and
are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of these organizations.           educational society founded in 1904. Its 11,000 members from more than 60 countries share
                                                                                                    interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography (including GIScience, geographic
The Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education Project has been supported in part by             education, and geographic technologies). The AAG pursues its mission through its many
the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1049437. Any opinions, findings, and            conferences, scholarly publications, research projects, educational programs, topical specialty
conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not       groups, and its extensive international network of colleagues and organizational partnerships,
necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.                                   which encompass professionals working across public, private, and academic sectors all around
                                                                                                    the world.

                                                                                                    The National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) works to enhance the quality,
                                                                                                    quantity, and status of geography teaching and learning in primary, secondary, university, and
                                                                                                    informal educational settings. It develops and promotes curricular materials and two journals,
                                                                                                    fosters best practices in pedagogy and geotechnology, connects educators through online
                                                                                                    communication and through its annual conference, supports research in geographic education,
                                                                                                    recognizes exceptional supporters and teachers of geography, and collaborates with other
                                                                                                    organizations that have similar goals.

                                                                                                    The American Geographical Society is an organization of professional geographers and
                                                                                                    other devotees of geography who share a fascination with the subject and a recognition of its
Suggested citation:
                                                                                                    importance. Most Fellows of the Society are Americans, but among them have always been
Bednarz, S.W., Heffron, S., & Huynh, N.T. (Eds.). (2013). A road map for 21st century geogra-
                                                                                                    a significant number of Fellows from around the world. The Society encourages activities
phy education: Geography education research (A report from the Geography Education Research
                                                                                                    that expand geographical knowledge, and it has a well-earned reputation for presenting and
Committee of the Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education Project). Washington, DC:
                                                                                                    interpreting that knowledge so that it can be understood and used not just by geographers
Association of American Geographers.
                                                                                                    but by others as well—especially policy makers. It is the oldest nationwide geographical
Information about the project and copies of reports are available at http://natgeoed.org/roadmap.   organization in the United States. Its priorities and programs have constantly evolved with
                                                                                                    the times, but the Society’s tradition of service to the U.S. government, business community,
Copyright © 2013 by the National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.                           and nation-at-large has continued unchanged.

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Geography Education Research Committee
               Sarah Witham Bednarz, Chair
                   Texas A&M University

                  Susan Heffron, Co-Chair
             Association of American Geographers

           Niem Tu Huynh, Research Coordinator
            Association of American Geographers

         Margaret Smith Crocco, University of Iowa

     Richard A. Duschl, The Pennsylvania State University

            David Lambert, University of London

       Lynn S. Liben, The Pennsylvania State University

       William Penuel, University of Colorado Boulder

         Eui-kyung Shin, Northern Illinois University

         Diana Stuart Sinton, University of Redlands

     Michael Solem, Association of American Geographers

      Joseph P. Stoltman, Western Michigan University

            David Uttal, Northwestern University

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Project Steering Committee                                         Project Advisory Board
         Daniel C. Edelson, Principal Investigator and                           Gilbert M. Grosvenor, Chair
                Chair, Assessment Committee                                      National Geographic Society

              Virginia M. Pitts, Project Director

   Susan Heffron, Association of American Geographers and                  Harm de Blij, Michigan State University
     Co-Chair, Geography Education Research Committee
                                                                    Richard G. Boehm, Texas State University-San Marcos
                       Doug Richardson
             Association of American Geographers                  Barbara Chow, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

    Jerome E. Dobson, American Geographical Society and                            Jack Dangermond, Esri
    Study Director, Public Understanding and Values Study        Michael F. Goodchild, University of California, Santa Barbara
                      Kristin Alvarez                                             Brian McClendon, Google
          National Council for Geographic Education
                                                                         Alexander B. Murphy, University of Oregon
                       Joseph Kerski
          National Council for Geographic Education                          M. Duane Nellis, University of Idaho

                        Robert Dulli                                          Trevor Packer, The College Board
                 National Geographic Society
                                                                                        Lee Schwartz
               Sarah Witham Bednarz, Chair
          Geography Education Research Committee

                     Emily M. Schell, Chair
Instructional Materials and Professional Development Committee

                  Kathleen J. Roth, Co-Chair
Instructional Materials and Professional Development Committee

               Richard J. Shavelson, Co-Chair
                   Assessment Committee

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Table of Contents
Executive Summary............................................................................. 7              Chapter 4: Building Capacity in Geography Education Research........ 48

Preface................................................................................................ 10              Strategy 1: Coordinate Research
                                                                                                                        Strategy 2: Develop Lines of Research
Chapter 1: Context and Goals for the Road Map for
21st Century Geography Education Project........................................ 16                                     Examples of Lines of Research

          The State of Geography Education in the United States
                                                                                                              Chapter 5: Geography Education Research Committee
          The Importance of Geography Education
                                                                                                              Recommendations............................................................................... 56
          The Need for a “Road Map” for Geography Education
                                                                                                                        Recommendations Focused on Charge 1
          Establishing a Destination: Goals for K–12 Geography Education
                                                                                                                        Recommendations Focused on Charge 2
          Describing the Destination: Effectiveness and Balance
          Mapping a Bright Future
                                                                                                              Appendix A: Geography Education Research Committee
                                                                                                              Biographies......................................................................................... 62
Chapter 2: Improving Research in Geography Education.................... 26
          Research in Education as a Model for Geography Education
                                                                                                              References........................................................................................... 64
          Crafting an Agenda in Geography Education

Chapter 3: Review of Geography Education Research......................... 32
          Status and Characteristics of Research in Geography Education
          Research on Key Research Questions for Geography Education

             In the online version of this report, the                       icon on the lower left corner of the following pages will bring you back to this Table of Contents.

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Executive                               Context and            Improving            Research              Building
Summary              Preface              Goals                 Research             Review               Capacity          Recommendations             Appendix A              References

                                                                than 30% of American students were proficient in            research communities develop and adopt to maximize the
  Executive Summary                                             geography, meaning that they were able to perform at        cumulative impact of education research in geography?
                                                                the level that is expected for their grade. More than
  Introduction                                                                                                              The first question is addressed in Chapter 2. This
                                                                70% of high school graduates are not prepared to do the
                                                                                                                            Committee suggests two strategies to improve geography
  In our rapidly changing, interdependent, and complex          ordinary geographic thinking required in the course of
                                                                                                                            education research: (1) careful consideration of education
  world, the importance of “the geographic advantage”           caring for themselves and their families, making conse-
                                                                                                                            research in related fields, including science and math-
  (Hanson, 2004) and geography education is evident.            quential decisions in the workplace, and participating in
                                                                                                                            ematics education, more specifically, research in learning
  Geography education provides critical preparation for         the democratic process.
  civic life and careers in the 21st century. It also is es-                                                                progressions or trajectories and related instructional inter-
  sential for postsecondary study in a wide range of fields     We need better and more research before we can un-          ventions; and (2) creation of a framework for geography
  from marketing and environmental science to inter-            derstand even the most fundamental ways individuals         education research. The framework consists of two parts:
  national affairs and civil engineering. In the modern         develop proficiency in geography. The current state of      the practices of geography and four key research ques-
  world, every member of society increasingly is called on      geography education across the United States is a threat    tions. The geographic practices, which Geography for Life
  to make decisions that have far-reaching consequences.        to our social, political, and economic well-being.          argues are essential to learning and thinking proficiently
  Geography education helps prepare people to make                                                                          in geography, are:
  these decisions.                                              A Road Map for 21st Century
                                                                                                                              • formulating geographic questions;
                                                                Geography Education: Geography
                                                                                                                              • acquiring, organizing, and analyzing geographic
  Yet the current state of geography education in the           Education Research
  United States is a concern. Although examples of                                                                              information; and

  excellence in geography education can be identified in        The Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education             • explaining and communicating geographic pat-
  every part of the country, they are the exception. More       Project focuses special attention on the practices of           terns and processes.
  typically, the amount of geography instruction that stu-      thinking geographically and doing geography, that
                                                                                                                            To understand in depth how students learn each of
  dents receive, the preparation of their teachers to teach     is, the behaviors that comprise geographic inquiry
                                                                                                                            these geographic practices, four education-related key
  geography, and the quality of instructional materials are     and problem solving. The project adopts the learn-
                                                                                                                            research questions are proposed. These questions are ap-
  inadequate to prepare students for the demands of the         ing goals of the second edition of Geography for Life:
                                                                                                                            plicable to geography learners of all ages and educational
  modern world.                                                 National Geography Standards, Second Edition (Heffron
                                                                                                                            backgrounds, whether they are engaged through schools
                                                                & Downs, 2012) to provide a structure outlining what
  Assessments of geographic concepts and skills confirm                                                                     or informal communities. The four key research ques-
                                                                students must know and what they must be able to do
  the failure of our educational system to provide students                                                                 tions are: (1) How do geographic knowledge, skills, and
                                                                to be geographically proficient.
  with an adequate understanding of geography. The 2010                                                                     practices develop across individuals, settings, and time?
  National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP),           This report focuses on two questions, posed as charges      (2) How do geographic knowledge, skills, and practices
  known as “The Nation’s Report Card,” indicated that           to the Geography Education Research Committee:              develop across the different elements of geography?
  the overwhelming majority of American students are            (1) What areas of research will be most effective in im-    (3) What supports or promotes the development of geo-
  geographically illiterate (National Center for Education      proving geography education at a large scale?               graphic knowledge, skills, and practices? (4) What is nec-
  Statistics, 2011). It found that fewer                        (2) What strategies and methodologies can relevant          essary to support the effective and broad implementation

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Executive                                Context and             Improving            Research              Building
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  of the development of geographic knowledge, skills, and         individuals and groups reading and responding to this        Recommendations Focused on Charge 2
  practices? Together, the practices of geography and key         report to prioritize the recommendations.
                                                                                                                               What strategies and methodologies can relevant research
  research questions provide an agenda and direction for
                                                                  Recommendations Focused on Charge 1                          communities develop and adopt to maximize the cumula-
  geography education research.
                                                                  What areas of research will be most effective in improving   tive impact of education research in geography?
  The second question posed to the Committee, “What               geography education at a large scale?
                                                                                                                               Recommendation 6
  strategies and methodologies can relevant research com-
                                                                                                                               The Committee recommends interdisciplinary and
  munities develop and adopt to maximize the cumulative           Recommendation 1
                                                                                                                               multidisciplinary approaches, drawing on relevant
  impact of education research in geography?” is addressed        The Committee recommends that geography
                                                                                                                               research results.
  in Chapter 4. The Committee recommends connecting               education researchers engage in systematic
  the relatively small community of geographers and others        efforts to identify learning progressions in
                                                                                                                               Recommendation 7
  who conduct research in geography education with the            geography both within and across grade bands
                                                                                                                               The Committee recommends that geography
                                                                  (e.g., grades K–4, 5-8, 9-12).
  broader community of scholars from the learning sci-                                                                         education researchers follow established
  ences, education, and related fields. This cooperation and                                                                   principles for scientific research in education
                                                                  Recommendation 2
  collaboration will inform, assist, and enable more genera-                                                                   (National Research Council, 2002), and that they
                                                                  The Committee recommends research that
  tive activities such as developing a suite of exemplars that    examines the components and characteristics of               collect data scientifically from large samples of
  can be used in geography and other fields. It also will         exemplary geography curricula.                               students in schools, other learning environments,
  encourage studies that align to the key research questions                                                                   and laboratory settings.
  suggested previously; are situated in a problem context;        Recommendation 3
  focus on the core ideas, knowledge, skills, and practices       The Committee recommends research to                         Recommendation 8
  of geography; draw from research about cross-cutting            investigate the characteristics of effective                 The Committee recommends researchers develop
  themes and foundational concepts from other disciplines;        geography teaching.                                          and study exemplary programs, curricula, tasks,
  and use common tasks, measures, and assessments.                                                                             measures, and assessments to build the body of
                                                                  Recommendation 4                                             knowledge about effective geography teaching
  Recommendations                                                 The Committee recommends research about                      and learning.
                                                                  fieldwork and its impact on learning geography
  The report concludes with 13 recommendations to                 knowledge, skills, and practices.                            Recommendation 9
  improve research in geography education and, thus,                                                                           The Committee recommends building partnerships
  to develop a more geographically proficient and liter-          Recommendation 5                                             with formal and informal educators to conduct
  ate society.                                                    The Committee recommends that research about                 research in a range of learning contexts and
                                                                  teacher preparation in geography be conducted                to share findings among the community of
  The Committee’s recommendations are organized                   with the goal of determining what is needed to               geography education researchers.
  around the two key charges to the Geography                     produce educators able to understand and teach
  Education Research Committee. A hierarchical order              for student mastery of the content and practices
  of recommendations is not implied as both charges               of geography.

  are equally important. The Committee leaves it to the

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Executive                          Context and      Improving         Research           Building
Summary            Preface           Goals           Research          Review            Capacity      Recommendations          Appendix A           References

  Recommendation 10                                  National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Fostering     online tools and exemplars and that suggests
  The Committee recommends the creation or           Interdisciplinary Research on Education (FIRE),   areas in need of additional research.
  designation of an institution to coordinate the    can prepare participants for a range of career
  implementation, dissemination, and knowledge                                                         Recommendation 13
                                                     opportunities that promote and disseminate
  transfer of research results.
                                                     geography education research.                     The Committee recommends that the National
                                                                                                       Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Geog-
  Recommendation 11
  The Committee recommends development               Recommendation 12                                 raphy assessment be conducted at more frequent
  of “learning research” opportunities. Pre- and     The Committee recommends the development          and regular intervals and that more funding for
  post-doctoral training programs, similar to the    and publication of a handbook that includes       greater analysis of the test results be provided.

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Executive                               Context and             Improving           Research             Building
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                                                                 We have pursued these issues through the develop-           (1) pose significant questions that can be investigated em-
  Preface                                                        ment of three consensus reports, including this one,        pirically; (2) link research to relevant theory; (3) use the
  This report is a product of the Road Map for 21st              that cover:                                                 most appropriate and effective methods that permit direct
  Century Geography Education Project (referred to as                                                                        investigation of the research question(s); (4) provide a
                                                                  • assessment,
  the Road Map Project), supported in part by a grant                                                                        coherent and explicit chain of reasoning, linking evi-
                                                                  • geography education research, and
  from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Grant                                                                          dence to theory, and describe procedures in a sufficiently
  No. DRL-1049437. The Road Map Project was created               • instructional materials and professional                detailed fashion to allow replication; (5) be replicable and
                                                                     development.                                            generalizable in a range of settings and populations; and
  to respond to a directive from Congress in the NSF’s
  fiscal year 2010 budget to “work with external partners        The fourth issue of public support for geography educa-     (6) embrace ideals of scholarly behavior through wide dis-
  with experience in geographic education to improve             tion was the focus of a study of public understanding       semination, peer review, and public scrutiny.
  geography teaching, training, and research in our              and values; results will be published in 2013.
  Nation’s schools” (U.S. House of Representatives, 2009,
                                                                                                                             Development of the Road Map
  p. 767). Building on three decades of collaboration, the       Purpose and Charges of the                                  Project and the Geography Education
  four national geography organizations—the National             Geography Education Research                                Research Report
  Geographic Society, the Association of American                Committee                                                   Three committees were organized to address the key
  Geographers, the American Geographical Society, and                                                                        issues identified by the Road Map Project: Assessment;
                                                                 This report was created by the Geography Education
  the National Council for Geographic Education—re-                                                                          Geography Education Research; and Instructional
                                                                 Research Committee convened by the principal in-
  sponded to this opportunity with a proposal to create a                                                                    Materials and Professional Development. The Chair
                                                                 vestigator and educational partners of the Road Map
  set of consensus reports that would create a Road Map                                                                      and Co-Chair for the Geography Education Research
                                                                 Project. It represents a consensus of the members of the
  for large-scale efforts to improve geography education                                                                     Committee, Sarah Witham Bednarz and Susan Heffron,
                                                                 Geography Education Research Committee.
  over the coming decade.                                                                                                    were selected by the four partner organizations as part
                                                                 The report focuses on two questions, posed as charges to    of the proposal process in May 2010. A Project Steering
  The Road Map Project provides a plan for this initiative.      the Committee:                                              Committee was formed in September 2010 to coordi-
  Its goal is to learn from the experiences of earlier edu-                                                                  nate all project efforts; the Project Steering Committee
                                                                  1. What areas of research will be most effective in
  cational improvement efforts in geography and other                improving geography education at a large scale?         was composed of representatives from the four national
  subjects to establish guidelines and set priorities for the                                                                geography organizations, the leadership of the Geography
                                                                  2. What strategies and methodologies can relevant
  future of geography education.                                                                                             Education Research Committee, and the leadership of the
                                                                     research communities develop and adopt to
                                                                     maximize the cumulative impact of education
                                                                                                                             other two committees (Daniel C. Edelson and Richard
  In planning for the Road Map Project, the collaborat-                                                                      J. Shavelson of the Assessment Committee, and Emily
                                                                     research in geography?
  ing organizations identified four issues critical for the                                                                  M. Schell and Kathleen J. Roth of the Instructional
  improvement of geography education: (1) assessment,            The principles for scientific research in education out-    Materials and Professional Development Committee).
  (2) instructional materials and professional development,      lined in the report of the National Research Council,       This Committee was charged with selecting members for
  (3) research in geography education, and (4) public sup-       Scientific Research in Education (2002), form the founda-   each committee that included representatives of some
  port for geography education.                                  tion of this report. Research in geography education must   or all of the following groups:

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Executive                                 Context and             Improving           Research              Building
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   • academic experts in geography education,                     January 28-29, 2011, Kickoff Meeting                        Suggestions from all three committees were prioritized
   • academic geographers,                                        (Washington, DC): Introductions to the project and          and synthesized, in preparation for the next round of
                                                                   to the membership of the three committees were made.        reviews. Second drafts were made available for public
   • academic experts in education in other areas of
                                                                   The Geography Education Research Committee shared           comment in March 2012. A review board was estab-
      social and behavioral sciences and science,
                                                                   influential research in the field and brainstormed about    lished to invite outside organizations in relevant fields
   • K–12 practitioners (teachers and administrators),
                                                                   key geography education research questions. This was        to identify one reviewer for each report. Those review-
      and
                                                                   followed by a review and revision of its charge.            ers were asked to provide feedback during the public
   • experts in the specific foci of each commit-                                                                             comment period. Committee members were invited to
      tee report group (assessment, education re-                  June 16-18, 2011, Geographic Thinking Workshop
                                                                                                                               comment on both sets of drafts.
      search, instructional materials, and professional            (Washington, DC): Eighteen eminent scholars from
      development).                                                geography (academic and applied), spatial thinking, and     April 26-27, 2012, Project Steering Committee
                                                                   related disciplines (geology, history, and science educa-   Meeting (Washington, DC): The Project Steering
  Members of the Geography Education Research                      tion) provided unique perspectives about the core ele-      Committee meeting took place after comments were
  Committee were selected to represent a range of talents          ments of thinking, doing, learning, and teaching geog-      received from the public review. On the first day, the
  and perspectives. The Committee includes cognitive               raphy. The Geography Education Research Committee           Geography Education Research Committee Chair, Co-
  scientists, educationalists, geography educators, geogra-        dedicated the last day of the meeting to discussing and     Chair, and Research Coordinator reviewed each public
  phers, learning scientists with research expertise in science    extracting essential themes from the presentations to lay   comment and decided how each would be addressed.
  education, and psychologists. Administrative support for         the foundation of the report.                               On the second day, the Project Steering Committee
  the Geography Education Research Committee was pro-                                                                          shared comments each had received and worked to-
  vided through the Association of American Geographers,           September 23-24, 2011, Geography Education
                                                                                                                               gether to clarify terminology and definitions to main-
  which hired Niem Tu Huynh as the Committee’s research            Research Committee Meeting (Washington, DC):
                                                                                                                               tain consistency across the three reports.
  coordinator. The three Road Map committees have                  The Committee vigorously discussed the areas of
  coordinated efforts through regular teleconferences and          research likely to be most useful in improving geog-        May 18-19, 2012, Geography Education Research
  meetings led by Principal Investigator Daniel C. Edelson         raphy education. A table of contents was drafted and        Committee Meeting (Evanston, IL): Committee
  but each separate committee was empowered to make its            Committee members were given writing assignments            members reviewed and discussed each chapter of the re-
  own decisions and to exercise independent editorial judg-        that would form the initial draft report to be reviewed     port and suggested revisions. Based on these comments,
  ment over its own product.                                       in January 2012.                                            a third draft was produced and shared with Committee
                                                                                                                               members for their review.
                                                                   January 3-4, 2012, Geography Education Research
  The Geography Education Research Committee met
                                                                   Committee Meeting (Washington, DC):                         Summer 2012: As each chapter was reviewed by
  five times over the course of the writing process. These
                                                                   The primary meeting goal was to review the initial          Committee members, changes were made, and content
  meetings sometimes were held in conjunction with the
                                                                   draft report. A professional writer, hired to organize      finalized.
  other two committees to allow an exchange of ideas.
                                                                   the writing, attended the meeting. The writer was
  A timeline for development efforts follows:
                                                                   tasked with preparing a report, which was reviewed by
                                                                   all Road Map Project committees from January 20 to
                                                                   February 3, 2012.

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  Organization of the Report                                     4. What is necessary to support the effective and           In this report, we do not suggest that there is a single
                                                                    broad implementation of the development of                way to conduct geography education research. However,
  The report consists of five chapters. Chapter 1 provides          geographic knowledge, skills, and practices?              the Committee recommendations and lines of research
  the overall context and goals for the project. It pro-                                                                      presented here, underpinned by the principles of scien-
  vides the definition of geography used in the Road Map        Chapter 3 begins by charting the direction of previ-
                                                                                                                              tific education research, provide a plan for the focused,
  Project and argues for the importance of geography            ous geography education research. The chapter then
                                                                                                                              concerted, and systematic efforts needed to enhance
  education in preparing young people for the decision          synthesizes the literature organized around the four key
                                                                                                                              geography education research.
  making required of 21st century citizens. It describes        research questions, summarizing what is known about
  evolving views of geography education in the United           how students learn and identifying gaps in the research       Acknowledgments
  States through a brief review of four efforts to reform       literature.
                                                                                                                              We wish to extend our appreciation to a number
  and reconceptualize it. The chapter concludes with a          Chapter 4 addresses the second charge: What strategies        of people who contributed to this report. Notably,
  description of the practices of geography as they relate      and methodologies can relevant research communities           we thank the key contributors to this report, the
  to the skills and perspectives presented in Geography         develop and adopt to maximize the cumulative impact of        members of the Geography Education Research
  for Life: National Geography Standards, Second Edition        education research in geography? The chapter proposes         Committee: Margaret Smith Crocco, Dean, College
  (Heffron & Downs, 2012).                                      two strategies to accomplish these goals: (1) organize        of Education, University of Iowa; Richard A. Duschl,
  Chapter 2 addresses the first charge: What areas of           research around a coordinated set of priorities focused on    Waterbury Chair Professor, Secondary Education, The
  research will be most effective in improving geography        the four key research questions, and (2) identify and use     Pennsylvania State University; David Lambert, Professor
  education at a large scale? The chapter outlines two          attributes that characterize effective, replicable research   of Geography Education, Institute of Education,
  strategies to enhance geography education research:           in geography education. The chapter also suggests the         University of London; Lynn S. Liben, Distinguished
  (1) careful consideration of education research in related    development of exemplars as a method of coordinat-            Professor of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State
  fields, including science and mathematics education;          ing geography education research, and it describes four       University; William Penuel, Professor of Educational
  and (2) creation of a geography education research            research projects to illustrate and communicate what the      Psychology and Learning Sciences, University of
  agenda based on the practices of geography outlined in        Committee considers to be key features of studies that        Colorado Boulder; Eui-kyung Shin, Associate
                                                                will advance the agenda in geography education.               Professor, Northern Illinois University; Diana Stuart
  Chapter 1 and organized around the following four key
                                                                                                                              Sinton, Director of Spatial Curriculum and Research,
  research questions.
                                                                Finally, Chapter 5 presents a set of specific recom-          University of Redlands; Michael Solem, Educational
   1. How do geographic knowledge, skills, and                 mendations for researchers, educators, policy mak-            Affairs Director, Association of American Geographers;
      practices develop across individuals, settings,           ers, and funders about the actions required to further        Joseph P. Stoltman, Professor of Geography and
      and time?                                                 develop and expand research in geography education.           Science Education, Department of Geography, Western
   2. How do geographic knowledge, skills, and                 The recommendations address issues identified by the          Michigan University; and David Uttal, Professor of
      practices develop across the different elements           Committee in previous chapters. The ultimate goal of          Psychology and Education, Northwestern University. In
      of geography?                                             this project is to improve learning and teaching in ge-       addition we wish to acknowledge the contribution of
   3. What supports or promotes the development of             ography and thereby develop a geographically proficient       the individuals who helped hone and edit this docu-
      geographic knowledge, skills, and practices?              and literate society.                                         ment: Amy Ashley, Arizona State University, and Robert

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  S. Bednarz, Texas A&M University. Thanks go also to Joy      Gersmehl, James Hauf, Joseph Kerski, Daniel Montello,      Sarah Witham Bednarz
  K. Adams and Mark V. Revell, Association of American         and Rebecca Theobold for providing comments on             Chair, Geography Education Research Committee
  Geographers, for providing background information            the report. We also thank the other Committee chairs,      College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University
  on careers in geography. The testimony of the geogra-        co-chairs, project director, and research directors for
                                                                                                                          Susan Heffron
  phers, cognitive psychologists, and others who spoke at      their feedback across all three reports: Audrey Mohan,
                                                                                                                          Co-Chair, Geography Education Research Committee
  the June 16–17, 2011 Geographic Thinking Workshop            Virginia Pitts, Kathleen Roth, Emily Schell, Richard
                                                                                                                          Association of American Geographers
  (listed on page 15) was especially helpful, particularly     Shavelson, and Jill Wertheim. Finally, we thank Doug
  that of Susan Hanson for elucidating the geographic          Richardson, Executive Director, Association of American    Niem Tu Huynh
  advantage; and Roger Downs for giving us the idea of         Geographers, and Daniel C. Edelson, Vice President for     Research Coordinator, Geography Education
  exemplars as a way to develop geography education            Education, National Geographic Society, and princi-        Research Committee
  research. The Review Board (listed on page 14) provided      pal investigator for the Road Map for 21st Century         Association of American Geographers
  crucial feedback that helped us immensely in crafting the    Geography Education Project, for facilitating and giving
  final report. In addition, we thank Simon Catling, Phil      us the freedom to complete a challenging project.

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                           Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education Project
                                                                          Review Board

  The following organizations nominated reviewers to serve on the Review Board of              The following individuals nominated by these organizations reviewed one or more
  the Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education Project:                                   of the Road Map Project Committee reports:
     American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)                                Assessment Committee Report               Instructional Materials and
     American Federation of Teachers (AFT)                                                                                               Professional Development
                                                                                                  (AGI)                                  Committee Report
     American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
                                                                                                  (NCSS)                                     (AAAS)
     Council of State Social Studies Specialists (CS4)
                                                                                                  (AAAS)                                     (CS4)
     National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
                                                                                                  (NBPTS)                                    (NCSS)
     National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
                                                                                                  (AFT)                                      (AFT)
     National Education Association (NEA)
                                                                                                  (NBPTS)                                    (NBPTS)
     North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)
                                                                                                  (NAAEE)                                    (NEA)

                                                                                               Geography Education Research
                                                                                               Committee Report

  By participating in this review process, these organizations and individuals                    (CS4)
  made an important contribution to the Road Map for 21st Century Geography                       (AGI)
  Education Project. However, they were not asked to endorse the reports that                     (NCSS)
  they reviewed, so the participation of these organizations and individuals does                 (AAAS)
  not constitute an endorsement of the reports. While the members of the Review
                                                                                                  (AFT)
  Board were nominated by organizations, they did not represent the views of
  their organizations in the review process.                                                      (NAAEE)
                                                                                                  (NEA)

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                         Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education Project
                                                                           Presenters

                                                 Workshop on Geographic Thinking
                                                                      Washington, DC, June 16–17, 2011

            The following invited speakers presented at a workshop     Richard Duschl                                     Janice Monk
            on geographic thinking convened by all three com-          The Pennsylvania State University                  University of Arizona
            mittees of the Road Map for 21st Century Geography
            Education Project in June 2011:                            Carol Gersmehl                                     Daniel Montello
                                                                       New York Geographic Alliance and                   University of California, Santa Barbara
            Thomas Baerwald                                            Renaissance Charter School
            National Science Foundation                                                                                   Alec Murphy
                                                                       Phil Gersmehl                                      University of Oregon
            Douglas Batson                                             Michigan Geographic Alliance and
            National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency                    New York Center for Geographic Learning            Nora Newcombe
                                                                                                                          Temple University
            Scott Bell                                                 Patricia Gober
            University of Saskatchewan                                 Arizona State University                           Jeanette Rice
                                                                                                                          Rice Consulting, LLC
            Sarah Brinegar                                             Susan Hanson
            U.S. Department of Justice                                 Clark University                                   Peter Seixas
                                                                                                                          University of British Columbia
            Roger Downs                                                Kim Kastens
            The Pennsylvania State University                          Columbia University

                                                                       Lynn Liben
                                                                       The Pennsylvania State University

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       Chapter 1: Context and Goals for the Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education Project

  The State of Geography Education                                Assessments of geographic concepts and skills confirm          grade, more than 30% of students scored below “basic,”
  in the United States                                            the failure of our educational system in geography,            indicating that they had not mastered even foundational
                                                                  indicating that the overwhelming majority of American          geographic concepts or skills.
  This report is one of three synthesis reports on geogra-        students are geographically illiterate. The 2010 National
  phy education from the Road Map for 21st Century                                                                               From the NAEP results and other data, we conclude
                                                                  Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known
  Geography Education Project. The Road Map Project                                                                              that an overwhelming majority of high school graduates
                                                                  as “The Nation’s Report Card,”(National Center for             are not prepared to do the ordinary geographic reasoning
  has been a collaborative effort of four national orga-          Education Statistics, 2011) found that fewer than 30%          that is required of everyone in our society in the course
  nizations: the American Geographical Society (AGS),             of American students were proficient in geography;             of caring for themselves and for their families, making
  the Association of American Geographers (AAG), the              more than 70% of students at fourth, eighth, and 12th          consequential decisions in the workplace, and partici-
  National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE),               grades were unable to perform at the level that is ex-         pating in the democratic process. Furthermore, we
  and the National Geographic Society (NGS). These                pected for their grade (NCES, 2011, Figure 1). At 12th         conclude that more than 30% of high school students
  organizations share a concern that the dismal state of
  K–12 geography education across the United States is a          Figure 1. Comparison of Results for Students in Grades 4, 8, and 12 on National Assessment of
  threat to our country’s well-being, and by extension, the       Educational Progress (NAEP) Geography Test in 1994, 2001, and 2010
  well-being of the global community. The project partners
                                                                                         Trends in NAEP Geography Achievement Results
  share the belief that geography education is essential for
                                                                                                    for 1994, 2001, and 2010
  preparing the general population for careers, civic lives,
  and personal decision making in contemporary society.                            Grade 4                                   Grade 8                               Grade 12
  It also is essential for the preparation of specialists ca-      100%                                     100%                                  100%

  pable of addressing critical societal issues in the areas of
                                                                   80%
  social welfare, economic stability, environmental health,                                                 80%                                    80%

  and international relations. The Road Map Project part-
                                                                   60%                                      60%                                    60%
  ners fear that by neglecting geography education today,
  we are placing the welfare of future generations at risk.        40%                                      40%                                    40%

  While inspiring examples of highly effective geography
                                                                   20%                                      20%                                    20%
  education can be found in every part of the United
  States, the amount of geography instruction that the              0%                                      0%                                     0%
  overwhelming majority of students receive, the prepa-                  1994*   2001*      2001    2010         1994*   2001*    2001     2010         1994*     2001*      2001    2010
  ration of their teachers to teach geography, and the
  quality of their instructional materials are inadequate to                                  Below basic            Basic         Proficient         Advanced
  prepare students for the demands of the modern world.
                                                                   Test administrations in which accommodations were not permitted                                        Source: NCES, 2011

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  are so far behind that it is unlikely they will ever reach      In addition, we need to provide young people with the            and events around the world and put appropriate
  proficiency. To compare with textual literacy, this level       opportunity to develop the understanding and inter-              responses forward for decision-makers. We need peo-
  of geographic illiteracy is analogous to having 70% of          est to pursue the geography-dependent careers that               ple who are able to operate on the ground in every
  high school graduates unable to read a newspaper edito-         are critical to our national interests. The Geo-Literacy         kind of foreign context and can read the cultural and
  rial and identify the assumptions, evidence, and causal         Coalition, a consortium of businesses including                  physical landscape appropriately.
  connections in its argument.                                    Google, CH2M HILL, Esri, and the U.S. Geospatial
                                                                                                                                This Road Map Project is taking place against a backdrop
                                                                  Intelligence Foundation, had the following to say about
                                                                                                                                in which many members of the global community are
  The Importance of                                               the importance of geography education for our nation
                                                                                                                                renewing their commitment to geography education. In
  Geography Education                                             (National Geographic, 2011):
                                                                                                                                Australia, a national curriculum is being introduced for
  K–12 geography education is critical preparation for               [America’s] inattention to [geography education]           the first time. In England, geography is a component of
  civic life and careers in the 21st century. It also is es-         stands in contrast to the demand for geographically        the recently introduced English Baccalaureate. In most
  sential for postsecondary study in a wide range of fields,         literate individuals in the workforce. There is substan-   of the world, geography holds a higher place in the K–12
  from marketing and environmental science, to interna-              tial demand in both the public and private sectors for     curriculum than it does in the United States. In most
  tional affairs and civil engineering.                              people who have the ability to interpret and analyze       countries, geography is required every year through age
                                                                     geographic information. The number of jobs for             16, in addition to history or other social studies subjects.
  Everyone in modern society faces personal decisions                such analysts is growing rapidly, while the supply of      In fact, the United States is almost unique in its treat-
  that require geographic reasoning. These decisions, such           Americans who can fill them is not. By not preparing       ment of geography as part of a single curriculum with
  as where to live and how to travel from place to place,            young people for careers that depend on geographic
                                                                                                                                history, government, and economics.
  can have an enormous impact on one’s life. We also                 reasoning, we are leaving ourselves vulnerable.
  must make decisions that have far-reaching consequenc-                                                                        The Road Map Project partners believe that we, as a
                                                                     In our global economy, the understanding and ana-
  es, such as which products to buy and how to dispose                                                                          society, have a responsibility to prepare all young people
                                                                     lytical skills developed through geography education
  of them. While these decisions may seem insignificant,                                                                        for their personal needs and civic responsibilities, and we
                                                                     are essential to make well-reasoned decisions about
  when they are multiplied by the number of people                                                                              have a further responsibility to prepare sufficient num-
                                                                     where to conduct business, how to conduct business
  making them each day, they have enormous cultural,                                                                            bers of young people for geography-dependent careers.
                                                                     in particular locations, and how to transport materi-
  economic, and environmental repercussions for other                                                                           We are not currently living up to those responsibilities,
                                                                     als and goods from one location to another. Critical
  people and places. Finally, in our democratic society, we                                                                     and we fear the consequences that our society will suffer
                                                                     business choices such as where to build facilities,
  all participate in societal decision making about public
                                                                     how to design a supply chain, and how to market to         if we continue to neglect geography education.
  health, social welfare, environmental protection, and
                                                                     different cultures all require geographic reasoning.
  international affairs. In this era of such global challenges
                                                                                                                                The Need for a “Road Map” for
  as ethnic and religious conflict, growing populations              These skills are equally important for emergency
                                                                                                                                Geography Education
  in poverty, increasing competition for limited natural             preparedness, defense, intelligence, and diplomacy.
  resources, and degradation of the environment, it is es-           In our government and military, we need individuals        Over the past several decades, a small but dedicated
  sential that all members of society be prepared to make            who understand the dynamics of specific locations          community of geographers and educators has harbored
  these decisions. Geography education helps prepare                 well enough to prepare for and respond to emergen-         concerns about the state of geography education and
  people for these tasks.                                            cies. We need analysts who are able to track people        has worked diligently to improve geography education.

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  Their greatest success has been in establishing a firmer         accurately reflect its importance for our society.            current state of the instructional materials for
  place for geography in K–12 education. The Elementary                                                                          teaching geography and the preservice and
                                                               This work targets the three audiences that are in the best
  and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 2001 (January                                                                            inservice education that teachers who are respon-
                                                               position to effect improvement in our system of public            sible for geography education receive. Based on
  8, 2002) recognized geography as a core academic sub-
                                                               education:                                                        this analysis and a review of the literature on the
  ject, and all 50 states now have K–12 standards for ge-
  ography. Geography has been included in the National          1. Front-line professionals: educators, teacher                 design of instructional material and the design of
  Assessment of Educational Progress since 1994, and the           educators, developers, and researchers who                    teacher professional development, the Committee
                                                                   directly influence instruction, assessment,                   formulated recommendations and guidelines
  College Board established an Advanced Placement exam
                                                                   and research;                                                 for both instructional materials and professional
  for Human Geography in 2001.
                                                                                                                                 development that will lead to improvements in
                                                                2. Policy makers: individuals at national, state, and
  However, these successes in improving the place of                                                                             instruction and in learning outcomes.
                                                                   local levels who establish the goals and processes
  geography in the educational system have not been fol-                                                                         The Assessment Committee studied the current
                                                                   for public education; and
  lowed up with the levels of effort or resources necessary                                                                      state of assessment in geography and reviewed its
  to bring about widespread improvement in the quality          3. Funders: decision-makers in government and                   history. Based on their analysis of existing assess-
  of instruction. As a result, educators and students who          private organizations who provide the funding to              ment practices and a review of the literature on
  have had the good fortune of being impacted directly             support public education.                                     assessment as a support for improving educational
  by the efforts of the geography education reform com-                                                                          outcomes, the Committee formulated guidelines
                                                               In planning the project, the partners identified five criti-
  munity have benefited enormously, but they represent                                                                           for developing assessment instruments and for
                                                               cal issues for improving geography education:                     conducting assessment that will lead to improve-
  a small minority. As measured by NAEP, there has been
  no broad improvement in students’ learning of geogra-         1. preparation and professional development                     ments in instruction and outcomes.
  phy during the 17−year period of testing.                        of teachers,                                                  The Geography Education Research Committee
                                                                2. instructional materials to support classroom                reviewed the existing education and cognitive sci-
  The project partners launched the Road Map Project               instruction,                                                  ence research literature to identify gaps in our abil-
  with the goal of increasing the scale and accelerating                                                                         ity to answer significant questions about geogra-
                                                                3. assessment of learning outcomes and
  the pace of efforts to improve geography education                                                                             phy education based on research. Drawing on this
                                                                   instructional effectiveness,
  to meet our responsibility to prepare young people                                                                             analysis, the Committee formulated recommenda-
  for the world they will inherit. The partners have two        4. research on teaching and learning, and                       tions for research questions and approaches that
  goals for this work:                                          5. cultivation and maintenance of public support.
                                                                                                                                 will build a knowledge base to guide improvement
                                                                                                                                 efforts for geography education in the future.
   • first and foremost, to make future efforts to
                                                               The partners divided these issues among four efforts,
      improve geography education more strategic,                                                                             For the final issue—developing and maintaining public
      focused, and coherent, so they can have greater          deciding to address the first four issues through syn-         support for geography education—the partners did
      and more enduring impact; and                            thesis reports to be developed by three committees of          not believe the existing knowledge base on public
                                                               experts identified by the project partners:                    beliefs and attitudes about geography education would
   • second, to provide a rationale for establishing
      requirements for geography education and allocat-           The Instructional Materials and Professional               support the development of a synthesis report at this
      ing resources to improve geography education that           Development Committee considered the                        time. Instead, the partners initiated a pilot study of

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  public beliefs and attitudes under the direction of the       1. reflect the essence of geography as defined by            documenting, analyzing, and explaining: 1) the lo-
  American Geographical Society.                                   geographers;                                               cation, organization, and character of physical and
                                                                2. convey the qualities of geography that capture its        human phenomena on the surface of Earth; and
  Establishing a Destination: Goals for                            distinctive benefits as a subject of study; and            2) the interplay of arrangements and processes,
  K–12 Geography Education                                      3. focus on the portions of geography that have the
                                                                                                                              near and far, human and environmental, that shape
                                                                   greatest value for students and society.                   the evolving character of places, regions, and eco-
  The value of a road map is that it enables you to select
                                                                                                                              systems (p. 10).
  a route to your destination. Therefore, the first step in    We approached the challenge of defining the goals for
  developing our Road Map for geography education was                                                                      This report characterizes geography as being forward-
                                                               geography education from two perspectives—those
  establishing a common destination. In education, des-                                                                    thinking and essential to society for key issues includ-
                                                               of geographers and educators. To explore the perspec-
  tinations are expressed in terms of learning outcomes,                                                                   ing sustainability, economic stability, national security,
                                                               tive of geographers, we surveyed the existing literature
  so in the case of geography education, we will be able                                                                   and response to environmental change.
                                                               on the nature of geography, and we convened cur-
  to say that we have reached our destination when our         rent thinkers and practitioners for a workshop on           A consensus also has evolved in recent decades about
  schools make it possible for all students to achieve the     “geographic thinking.” At this workshop, we invited a       the key themes of geography. Pattison (1964) identified
  learning goals for geography that we have set for them.      wide variety of academic and practicing geographers,        geography’s core as consisting of four “traditions,” the
  Because the national geography standards were devel-         cognitive scientists, and individuals with other relevant   spatial tradition, the area studies tradition, the human-
  oped through an earlier collaboration of the project         perspectives to present on what it means “to think like     land tradition, and earth science tradition. Taaffe
  partners, they represent a logical choice of “destina-       a geographer” or “to do geography.” To explore the          (1974) identified three key organizers for geography:
  tion.” However, the members of the Road Map Project          perspective of geography educators, we examined the         spatial organization, area studies, and human-land
  committees thought we should use this opportunity to         history of efforts to conceptualize geography education     relationships. Contemporary geographers agree that the
  consider alternatives as well. Therefore, as a collabora-    during the past half century. We summarize the find-        discipline focuses on a similar set of core ideas: spatial-
  tive effort across all three committees, we conducted        ings of these investigations below.                         ity, human-environment interaction, interconnections
  an investigation into what it means to “do geography”                                                                    between places, and place-based and regional analysis
                                                               Geographers on Geography
  in the 21st century and what that implies for the goals                                                                  (Abler, 1987; Baerwald, 2010).
                                                               We started our investigation with a review of the ways
  of K–12 geography education. The remainder of this
                                                               that geographers have defined geography in recent           Because geographers work on many of the same ques-
  chapter describes that process and its outcomes.
                                                               decades. While there is great diversity of opinion          tions and problems as specialists in other fields, they
  Establishing goals for geography education is no small       among geographers about where the boundaries of             have faced the challenge of differentiating geography
  challenge because geography is a broad field and it is       geography lie, there is considerable consensus about        from those fields. Susan Hanson confronted this chal-
  constantly evolving. Fortunately, geographers and others     its core. Geographers engage in a range of activities       lenge in a presidential address to the Association of
  have wrestled with this challenge for generations, and       related to space, place, and the dynamic interactions of    American Geographers. In this presentation, Hanson
  we were able to benefit from that work. Our investiga-       agents within and across spaces and places (Baerwald,       (2004) described the unique aspects of geography as
  tion was guided by three criteria that we believe the        2010; National Research Council, 1997). As described        “the geographic advantage,” and she enumerated four
  goals for K–12 geography education should meet.              in a recent National Research Council report (NRC,          aspects of this advantage:
  Specifically, goals for geography education should:          2010), geography involves:                                    1. Geography considers the relationships between

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