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Assessing World Regional Interests Among College Students: Who, Where, Why?

Authors: Bryan Winter*, University of South Florida
Topics: Geography Education, Regional Geography
Keywords: World Regional Geography, Education, Teaching, Classroom, College
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

World Regional Geography, whether taught thematically or regionally, is often part of a college or university's common core curriculum. As a geographer and educator I've always wondered which regions of the world students find most fascinating? Are there any differences among gender in these preferences for world regions? Or, do upperclassmen have different regional interest as opposed to those new to college? Additionally, what do students have to say in support of their favorite or least favorite regions of the world that are covered in class time? This presentation describes the survey results of roughly 300 undergraduates in response to the questions: (1) what is the region you find most interesting and (2) what is the region you find least interesting in the world? Additionally, survey takers were also asked to support why their favorite region is important to be emphasized during class time and to be learned about. What is revealed is that an affinity or dislike for certain regions becomes clearly present in the data gathered with some regions of the world being seen as "uninteresting" to some students. While preliminary in design, it is hoped that this simple survey data will discussion in two ways. Firstly, why some regions are found to be so uninteresting? And, secondly, sparking conversation between presenter and fellow educators in attendance in the hope of learning from each others past teaching experiences concerning this common and wide-spread course found across so many geography departments both big and small.

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