Securing the Future of Geography in K-12 Education

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM (MDT)
Room: Studio 4, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Candice Luebbering, Michael Solem
Chairs: Michael Solem


In 2015, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report that identified major challenges the nation faces in providing K-12 geography instruction: a pronounced shortage of teachers with geography backgrounds, poor public perceptions of geography, uneven access to geographic technologies and quality educational materials, and limited support from the federal government and private sector stakeholders. The GAO report arrived on the heels of data from the U.S. National Assessment of Educational Progress showing majorities of K-12 students failing to achieve proficiency in geography since 1994.

While these challenges are certainly daunting, many efforts are underway to secure a strong future for geography in American schools, including activities designed to implement strategies recommended in the NSF-funded Road Map Project reports on geography education research, assessment, and teacher professional development. This session will report on these developments and feature remarks by panelists representing the AAG, National Center for Research in Geography Education, National Geographic Society, American Geographical Society, and National Council for Geographic Education. Panelists will discuss current work and initiatives by the organizations that aim to support and improve K-12 geography education, how these activities address the challenges identified in the GAO report, and where additional focus and resources may be needed to overcome barriers to progress in geography education.

Attendees will also be encouraged to share information about their own work and research in geography education, and share ideas for strengthening the capacity of the geography community to respond to the discipline’s ongoing educational challenges in elementary and secondary education.


Type Details Minutes
Panelist Kim Hulse National Geographic Society 15
Discussant Sarah Bednarz Texas A&M University 15
Introduction Michael Solem National Center for Research in Geography Education 15
Discussant John Wertman American Association of Geographers 10
Discussant Candice Luebbering American Association of Geographers 10
Panelist Zachary Dulli National Council For Geographic Education 15
Panelist Marie Price George Washington University 15

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