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Biogeography’s place in higher education in Puerto Rico and Singapore

Authors: Carlos Morales-Ramirez*,
Topics: Biogeography, Geography Education
Keywords: biogeography education, education standards, Singapore, Puerto Rico, prior knowledge assessment
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Biogeography went through a period of expansion in the late 1960s, but many experts still think that the role of this discipline in education is not yet strong. In Puerto Rico, the state of biogeography is not known. Having no educational standards for geography, biogeography becomes a silent discipline. There is no mention of it in the standards of social studies or sciences - which includes environmental sciences, earth sciences, chemistry, physics, and biology. In 2009, it was discovered that at the K-12 level physical geography is taught more than human geography in geography classes, although biogeography was not mentioned. In Singapore, geography has been taught since the colonial days, being first introduced at the tertiary level. Today, geography in Singapore is a mandatory class at the lower secondary level. However, within the standards, there is no explicit mention of biogeography. There are a few content concepts mentioned such as biodiversity, but the overall use of these are not fully linked to biogeography. In this study, I provide a comprehensive review of the status of biogeography in education, specifically at the university level. I will also measure students' knowledge about the discipline and compare the results in the two study areas.

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