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‘Curricular Mapping’: A Case Study of Civic Engagement in Geography

Authors: Laura Smith*, Macalester College
Topics: Geography Education
Keywords: community partnerships, civic engagement, participatory research, geography education, assessment
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Geography has been described as an “out in the world” discipline. Civic engagement and community partnerships within the classroom have been shown to produce substantial – and potentially transformative – benefits for student learning. The Macalester College Geography Department has a lengthy history of engaging with community through individual courses, and has recently considered whether or not to institute a formal “civic engagement” requirement within the Geography major. With support from the college’s Civic Engagement Center, a working group of department faculty convened around the issue of creating curricular pathways; results included the production of a “curricular map” of civic engagement within the Geography major. This presentation will trace the process of creating a curricular map, as well as examine the implications of such an exercise, including subsequent questions of assessment and messaging.

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