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Globalizing the Anthropocene: Threshold Concepts in World Regional Geography

Authors: Larianne Collins*, University of North Carolina - Charlotte, Jamie Strickland, University of North Carolina Charlotte
Topics: Geography Education
Keywords: geography education
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Understanding in a discipline can be thought of as consisting of a combination of knowledge, skills and perspectives. In the case of geography, learners must know something about geographic information (facts), exercise skills that help them apply that geographic knowledge and, ultimately, develop a holistic perspective that allows them to think with geography (Geography For Life, Second Edition). Within the undergraduate geography curriculum, World Regional Geography provides an excellent opportunity to work toward this model of deeper learning and thinking like a geographer. Fouberg (2012) introduced the idea of threshold concepts to the geographic education community as a way of articulating fundamental and powerful concepts in geography. Threshold concepts can be thought of as core disciplinary ideas that, once grappled with and integrated into a student’s existing schemata, move students toward thinking like a geographer. This paper focuses on the use of two previously identified threshold concepts (globalization and Anthropocene) as guiding constructs for a world regional curriculum. Results from a pre- and post-class survey on conceptual learning gains is presented.

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