Objectivity and Normativity in Geography Education: The Role of Teaching Moral Sensitivity and Ethical Reasoning Skills in Geography

Authors: David Mcgraw*, James Madison University
Topics: Human Rights, Geography Education, Higher Education
Keywords: Ethics, Human Rights, Geography Education
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM
Room: Directors Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The discipline of geography has often struggled with its role in the academy. On the one hand, geographers are scientists who objectively study human activity to generate knowledge. But geographers are also called upon to make normative judgments, especially in relationship to human rights, migration, and human interactions with the environment. The author will argue that geographic education should include instruction to help make students more aware of ethical issues (moral sensitivity) and should teach ethical reasoning skills as part of the endeavor of learning to become a geographer.

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