Teaching history and geography:
The goal of education - Combining history and geography - The nature of history - Why teach history? - What to teach - How to teach - Learning and thinking - A note to new teachers


The National Geography Standards

In 1994, a coalition of four geography groups1 calling itself the Geography Education Standards Project released a set of National Geography Standards titled Geography for Life. As was the case with the National History Standards released in the same year, the developers of the geography standards identified a huge body of knowledge to be learned by students. Six "essential elements" expanded into 18 "standards" containing 124 "knowledge statements" with 426 "learning opportunities," totaling 716 various geography requirements for students at the secondary level.

Geography for Life attempted to replace the well-known "Five Themes of Geography" with a new formulation,"six essential elements" of geography. The five themes of geography are: location, place, human/environment interaction, movement, and region. The six essential elements of the National Geography Standards identify similar concepts with some additions: the world in spatial terms, places and regions, physical systems, human systems, environment and society, and the uses of geography.

The geography standards' framework found its way into state standards documents and mainstream textbooks. For example, the 2003 edition of the Glencoe world geography textbook briefly mentioned the Five Themes and then commented, "Most recently, geographers have begun to look at geography in a different way. Geography educators have created a set of eighteen learning standards called Geography for Life. Each of these eighteen standards is organized into six essential elements...Being aware of these elements will help you sort out what you are learning about geography."2

The National Geography Standards' six essential elements and eighteen standards are reproduced below. A listing of standards and benchmarks for the high school grades follows. (For a list of standards and benchmarks for all grade levels visit : http://www.hawaii.edu/hga/Standard/Standard.html.)

Notes:

1. American Geographical Society, Association of American Geographers, National Council for Geographic Education, National Geographic Society.

2. Boehm, Richard G., Glencoe World Geography, Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2003


Summary - National Geography Standards

The goal of the National Geography Standards is to produce a geographically informed person who sees meaning in the arrangement of things in space and applies a spatial perspective to life situations. The geographically informed person knows and understands:

The World in Spatial Terms
1. How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective
2. How to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context
3. How to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on earth's surface

Places and Regions
4. The physical and human characteristics of places
5. That people create regions to interpret earth's complexity
6. How culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions

Physical Systems
7. The physical processes that shape the patterns of earth's surface
8. The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on earth's surface

Human Systems
9. The characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on earth's surface
10. The characteristics, distribution, and complexity of earth's cultural mosaics
11. The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on earth's surface
12. The processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement
13. How the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of earth's surface

Environment and Society
14. How human actions modify the physical environment
15. How physical systems affect human systems
16. The changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources

The Uses of Geography
17. How to apply geography to interpret the past
18. How to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future


Standards and Benchmarks, Grades 9-12

A. The world in spatial terms
B. Places and regions
C. Physical systems
D. Human systems
E. Environment and society
F. The uses of geography


A. THE WORLD IN SPATIAL TERMS

Geography Standard 1: How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. How to use maps and other graphic representations to depict geographic problems
2. How to use technologies to represent and interpret Earth's physical and human systems
3. How to use geographic representations and tools to analyze, explain, and solve geographic problems

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Produce and interpret maps and other graphic representations to solve geographic problems, as exemplified by being able to

Develop maps to illustrate how population density varies in relation to resources and types of land use (e.g., variations in population density in cattle-raising areas versus truck-farming areas, residential areas versus inner cities, unused desert areas versus year-round vacation resorts)

Compile information from various media and then transform the primary data into maps, graphs, and charts (e.g., bar graphs showing wheat production in Argentina over a five-year period, charts developed from recent census data ranking selected information on such topics as high-school dropout rates per state, or literacy rates for the countries of Southwest Asia, cartograms depicting the relative sizes of Latin American countries based on their urban populations

Develop maps and graphs to show the spatial relationships within and between regions (e.g., transportation networks illustrating rail, air, and highway connections between northern and southern Europe, or time-to-travel distance ratios within the Northeast megalopolis in the United States)

B. Use maps and other geographic representations to analyze world events and suggest solutions to world problems, as exemplified by being able to

Develop maps, tables, graphs, charts, and diagrams to depict the geographic implications of current world events (e.g., maps showing changing political boundaries and tables showing the distribution of refugees from areas affected by natural disasters)

Modify selected characteristics of a region (e.g., population, environment, politics, economics, culture) to suggest long-range planning goals

Use several different maps to account for selected consequences of human/environment interactions (e.g., the impact of a tropical storm on a coral island, the draining of wetlands on bird and marine life, desertification on human settlement)

C. Evaluate the applications of geographic tools and supporting technologies to serve particular purposes, as exemplified by being able to

Provide evidence regarding the central role of maps to study and explore Earth throughout history (e.g., maps made by early navigators and by such polar explorers as Robert F. Scott, Robert E. Peary, and Matthew Henson)

Choose and give reasons to use specific technologies to analyze selected geographic problems (e.g., aerial photographs, satellite-produced imagery, and geographic information systems [GIS] to determine the extent of water pollution in a harbor complex in South Africa or the range of deforestation in Madagascar)

Geography Standard 2: How to use mental maps to organize information about people, places and environments in a spatial context

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. How to use mental maps of physical and human features of the world to answer complex geographic questions
2. How mental maps reflect the human perception of places
3. How mental maps influence spatial and environmental decision-making

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Use maps drawn from memory to answer geographic questions, as exemplified by being able to

Prepare sketch maps indicating the approximate locations of different political cultures in the United States to predict voting patterns (e.g., changes in votes cast in presidential elections since 1960 related to voter migration to the Sunbelt states)

Prepare a sketch map to illustrate the spatial dynamics of contemporary and historical events (e.g., the spread of radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear accident or of the bubonic plague in fourteenth-century Europe, how physical features have deterred migrations and invasions)

Analyze world patterns of the diffusion of contagious diseases (e.g., AIDS, cholera, measles) to draw conclusions about spatial interactions (trade and transportation) in the present-day world

B. Identify the ways in which mental maps influence human decisions about location, settlement, and public policy, as exemplified by being able to

Collect information to understand decision-makers mental maps (e.g., conduct interviews with community leaders regarding their perceptions of the location of different community activities)

Identify the ways in which values, attitudes, and perceptions are reflected in past and present decisions concerning location (e.g., locating houses in areas with scenic views, selecting a building site in a dramatic physical setting for a house of worship in a new suburban community)

Draw conclusions about the roles that different sources of information play in peoples decisions to migrate to other countries (e.g., letters from relatives and friends, newspaper and magazine advertisements, television programs and movies)

C. Compare the mental maps of individuals to identify common factors that affect the development of spatial understanding and preferences, as exemplified by being able to

Speculate about the differences in peoples mental maps based on differences in their life experiences (e.g., the influence of age and sex on how people view housing preferences or public transportation in a city)

Analyze factors that influence peoples preferences about where to live (e.g., surveys of fellow students identifying choice residential areas within the community or within the country)

Compare maps of the world using different projections and perceptions of space (e.g., a map centered on the Pacific Ocean or a world map with Australia at the top) to draw conclusions about factors that influence mental maps

Geography Standard 3: How to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth's surface

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. The generalizations that describe and explain spatial interaction
2. The models that describe patterns of spatial organization
3. The spatial behavior of people
4. How to apply concepts and models of spatial organization to make decisions

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Apply concepts of spatial interaction (e.g., complementarity, intervening opportunity, distance decay, connections) to account for patterns of movement in space, as exemplified by being able to

Explain how places that are close together usually interact more than places that are far apart because the effort to overcome the friction of distance imposes costs in money and in time

Predict the effects of changing community transportation routes on the current structure and pattern of retail-trade areas, parks, and school-bus routes, given that such changes may create a new network of connections between locations and new intervening opportunities for shopping or services

Analyze the patterns of trade between the United States and Japan to explain the concept of complementarity (e.g., lumber from the United States to Japan and consumer electronics goods from Japan to the United States)

B. Use models of spatial organization to analyze relationships in and between places, as exemplified by being able to

Examine the differences in threshold population or demand needed to support different retail activities in a place and estimate how many people are needed to support a neighborhood convenience store, supermarket, regional shopping mall, and regional cancer-treatment center

Use Christallers central place theory to explain why there are many small central places and few very large central places (i.e., small communities serve small areas because they offer less expensive and less specialized goods and services, whereas very large cities such as London, New York, Moscow, and Tokyo serve large areas because they offer many expensive and specialized goods and services)

Conduct a community survey to test the law of retail gravitation (i.e., the number of visits a resident makes to competing shopping centers is inversely proportional to the distances between residence and center and proportional to center size)

C. Explain how people perceive and use space, as exemplified by being able to

Describe activity spaces of people according to such characteristics as age, sex, employment, and income level (e.g., school-age children traveling to and from school, employed people commuting by public transit, high-income people traveling long distances for vacations)

Explain why people have different preferences for residential locations and use different means to search for satisfactory residences (e.g., some people prefer to live in suburbs or edge cities and may search for a residence by working closely with a realtor, whereas others may explore many suburbs on their own before making a decision)

Evaluate reasons why people decide to migrate (e.g., people being influenced by pull factors of the potential destination or by push factors of the home area, people selecting different types of locations if they are seeking employment rather than a place for retirement)

D. Apply concepts and models of spatial organization to make decisions, as exemplified by being able to

Explain why optimum plant-location decisions in a commercial economy take into consideration labor costs, transportation costs, and market locations (e.g., the least-cost decision as to where to locate a furniture factory requires knowing wage levels for skilled workers, the cost of transporting raw wood and finished furniture, and the location of competing firms and wholesale and retail furniture outlets)

Explain why some specialized agricultural products are grown far from the point of consumption (e.g., cut flowers are grown in Venezuela, Colombia, and Israel because of transportation costs, labor costs, and climate)

Explain why there are advantages for retailers to locate in malls rather than in dispersed locations (e.g., malls bring many large and small stores together in close proximity and take advantage of sharing costs for parking lots, lighting, and other utilities while providing convenience and time efficiency for customers

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B. PLACES AND REGIONS

Geography Standard 4: The physical and human characteristics of places

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. The meaning and significance of places
2. The changing physical and human characteristics of places
3. How relationships between humans and the physical environment lead to the formation of places and to a sense of personal and community identity

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Explain place from a variety of points of view, as exemplified by being able to

Describe the same place at different times in its history (e.g., London as a Roman outpost in Britain, as a medieval trading center, and as the seat of a global empire in the nineteenth century or Tokyo in the three decades immediately before and after the Meiji Restoration)

Explain why places have specific physical and human characteristics in different parts of the world (e.g., the effects of climatic and tectonic processes, settlement and migration patterns, site and situation components)

Develop a definition of place appropriate for inclusion in a glossary of geographic terms

B. Describe and interpret physical processes that shape places, as exemplified by being able to

Describe how forces from within Earth (e.g., tectonic processes such as volcanic activity and earthquakes) influence the character of place

Analyze the role of climate (e.g., the effects of temperature, precipitation, wind) in shaping places

Describe and interpret the importance of erosional processes in shaping places (e.g., the cliffs of Malibu or the sand dunes of Cape Cod)

C. Explain how social, cultural, and economic processes shape the features of places, as exemplified by being able to

Describe how culture (e.g., toponyms, food preferences, gender roles, resource use, belief systems, modes of transportation and communication) affects the characteristics of place

Identify how places have been altered by major technological changes (e.g., advances brought about by the agricultural and industrial revolutions, the invention of the automobile, the development of machinery for large-scale agriculture, the invention of the computer)

Analyze the ways in which the character of a place relates to its economic, political, and population characteristics (e.g., how a large state university influences the small town in which it is located or how the location of a regional medical center attracts senior citizens as residents)

D. Evaluate how humans interact with physical environments to form places, as exemplified by being able to

Identify the locational advantages and disadvantages of using places for different activities based on their physical characteristics (e.g., floodplain, forest, tundra, earthquake zone, river crossing, or coastal flood zone)

Explain how places are made distinctive and meaningful by human activities that alter physical features (e.g., the construction of the interstate highway system in the United States, the terracing of hillsides to grow rice in Thailand)

Evaluate the effects of population growth and urbanization on places (e.g., air pollution in Mexico City, Los Angeles, and Milan; the loss of farmlands to rapidly growing urban areas)

Geography Standard 5: The people create regions to interpret Earth's complexity

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. How multiple criteria can be used to define a region
2. The structure of regional systems
3. The ways in which physical and human regional systems are interconnected
4. How to use regions to analyze geographic issues

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. List and explain the changing criteria that can be used to define a region, as exemplified by being able to Identify the physical or human factors that constitute a region (e.g., soils, climate, and vegetation have created the fertile triangle in Russia; common language, religion, and history have established Portugal as a region

Explain how changing conditions can result in a region taking on a new structure (e.g., the reshaping of Miami and south Florida resulting from the influx of people and capital from some areas of the Caribbean Basin, or the reshaping of southern Africa resulting from the economic and political realignments that followed the end of European colonialism)

Explain why regions once characterized by one set of criteria may be defined by a different set of criteria today (e.g., the Caribbean Basins transition from a major sugarcane and hemp producer to a center for tourism, New England's gradual conversion from a region of small textile mills and shoe factories in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to one of high-technology industries in the 1980s and 1990s)

B. Describe the types and organization of regional systems, as exemplified by being able to

Identify the differences among formal, functional, and perceptual regions (e.g., a formal region with some homogeneous characteristic in common, such as a desert climate; a functional region marked by its interdependent parts, such as the structure of the Federal Reserve banking system in the United States; or a perceptual region as a commonly understood conceptual construct such as Dixie or the rust belt)

Explain how functional regions are held together (e.g., by nodal centers such as a neighborhood coffee shop, city hall, or suburban shopping mall)

Identify the ways in which the concept of a region can be used to simplify the complexity of Earth's space (e.g., by arranging an area into sections to help understand a particular topic or problem)

C. Identify human and physical changes in regions and explain the factors that contribute to those changes, as exemplified by being able to

Use maps to illustrate how regional boundaries change (e.g., changes resulting from shifts in population, environmental degradation, or shifts in production and market patterns)

Identify some of the reasons for changes in the worlds political boundaries (e.g., the frequently changing political boundaries of Poland over the centuries owing to Poland being partitioned by stronger neighbors, the creation of landlocked states such as Bolivia as a result of wars, or territorial issues resulting from disputes about access to resources)

Explain factors that contribute to the dynamic nature of regions (e.g., human influences such as migration, technology, and capital investment; physical influences such as long-term climate shifts and seismic activity)

Geography Standard 6: How culture and experience influence peoples perceptions of places and regions

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. Why places and regions serve as symbols for individuals and society
2. Why different groups of people within a society view places and regions differently
3. How changing perceptions of places and regions reflect cultural change

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Explain why places and regions are important to individual human identity and as symbols for unifying or fragmenting society, as exemplified by being able to

Interpret how people express attachment to places and regions (e.g., by reference to essays, novels, poems, and short stories, feature films, or such traditional musical compositions as God Bless America and America the Beautiful)

Explain how point of view influences a persons perception of place (e.g., how various ethnic groups have a point of view about what constitutes an ideal residential landscape, how an environmentalist and real estate developer would be likely to differ on the best use for a barrier island)

Identify how places take on symbolic meaning (e.g., Jerusalem as a holy city for Muslims, Christians, and Jews; Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as places to honor the war dead of the United States)

B. Explain how individuals view places and regions on the basis of their stage of life, sex, social class, ethnicity, values, and belief systems, as exemplified by being able to

Make inferences about differences in the personal geographies of men and women (e.g., perceptions of distance, impressions about what makes a place secure, or how space can be organized)

Speculate on how the socioeconomic backgrounds of people influence their points of view about a place or a region (e.g., their views of public housing, wealthy urban neighborhoods, or busy commercial strips along an arterial street)

Explain how places and regions are stereotyped (e.g., how the West became wild or how all of Appalachia is associated with poverty)

C. Analyze the ways in which peoples changing views of places and regions reflect cultural change, as exemplified by being able to

Explain how shifts from a predominantly rural to a predominantly urban society influences the ways in which people perceive an environment (e.g., rural settings becoming attractive as recreation areas to people living in densely populated cities, old mining ghost towns becoming tourist and gambling centers)

Explain how increases in income, longer life expectancy, and attitudes toward aging influence where people choose to live (e.g., retirement communities in Florida and Arizona)

Examine the sequential occupance of a specific habitat (e.g., the impact of settlement on an Arctic archipelago by: indigenous peoples; a group of nineteenth century shipborne explorers; subsequent settlers from abroad who came to hunt, fish, and trade; seasonal whalers and fishermen; and geologists searching for petroleum reserves in the area)

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C. PHYSICAL SYSTEMS

Geography Standard 7: The physical processes that shape the patterns of Earth's surface

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. The dynamics of the four basic components of Earth's physical systems; the atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere
2. The interaction of Earth's physical systems
3. The spatial variation in the consequences of physical processes across Earth's surface

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Describe how physical processes affect different regions on the United States and the world, as exemplified by being able to

Explain how extreme physical events effect human settlements in different regions (e.g., the destructive effects of hurricanes in the Caribbean Basin and the eastern United States or of earthquakes in Turkey, Japan, and Nicaragua)

Use maps to illustrate how such natural disasters as floods and hurricanes can alter landscapes (e.g., the impact of the Mississippi River floods of the summer of 1993 on the structure of the river valley in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri or the changes along the Florida coast caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992)

Describe the physical processes that occur in dry environments (e.g., desertification and soil degradation, flash floods, dust storms, sand movement, soil erosion, salt accumulation)

B. Explain Earth's physical processes, patterns, and cycles using concepts of physical geography, as exemplified by being able to

Explain the distribution of different types of climate (e.g., marine climate or continental climate) that is produced by such processes as air-mass circulation, temperature, and moisture

Describe the physical processes (e.g., erosion, folding and faulting, volcanism) that produce distinctive landforms (e.g., specific types of mountains, such as buttes and mesas, block mountains or horsts, ridge-and-valley systems)

Explain the effects of different physical cycles (e.g., world atmospheric circulation, ocean circulation) on the physical environment of Earth

C. Explain the various interactions resulting from Earth-Sun relationships, as exemplified by being able to

Describe the effects of the tilt of the Earth's axis on the cycle of the seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres

Explain the difference between solstices and equinoxes and the reasons why they occur

Speculate on various possible scenarios of future world climates should there be an increase in the greenhouse effect

D. Describe the ways in which Earth's physical processes are dynamic and interactive, as exemplified by being able to

Explain why the features of the ocean floor are evidence of the dynamic forces that shape continents and ocean basins

Explain the relationships between changes in landforms and the effects of climate (e.g., the erosion of hill slopes by precipitation, deposition of sediments by floods, shaping of land surfaces by wind)

Identify the conditions that cause changes in climate and the consequent effects on ocean levels, agricultural productivity, and population distribution

Geography Standard 8: The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth's surface

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. The distribution and characteristics of ecosystems
2. The biodiversity and productivity of ecosystems
3. The importance of ecosystems in peoples understanding of environmental issues

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Analyze the distribution of ecosystems by interpreting relationships between soil, climate, and plant and animal life, as exemplified by being able to

Analyze the nature of plant communities in an area in terms of solar energy and water supply

Describe how physical characteristics such as climate and soil affect the number, kinds, and distribution of plants and animals in an ecosystem

Describe the factors and processes involved in the formation of soils in different ecosystems (e.g., climate type, parent-rock materials, slope of land, effects of human activities)

B. Evaluate ecosystems in terms of their biodiversity and productivity, as exemplified by being able to

Use knowledge of the cariable productivity of different ecosystems to develop a set of general statements about the nature of such systems

Characterize ecosystems by their level of biodiversity and productivity (e.g., the low productivity of deserts and the high productivity of mid-latitude forests and tropical forests) and describe their potential value to all living things (e.g., as a source of oxygen for life forms, as a source of food for indigenous peoples, as a source of raw materials for international trade)

Evaluate the carrying capacity of different ecosystems in relation to land-use policies (e.g., the optimal number of cattle per square mile in a grassland)

C. Apply the concept of ecosystems to understand and solve problems regarding environmental issues, as exemplified by being able to

Describe the effects of biological magnification on ecosystems (e.g., the increase in contaminants in succeeding levels of the food chain and the consequences for different life-forms)

Describe the effects of both physical and human changes on ecosystems (e.g., the disruption of energy flows and chemical cycles and the reduction of species diversity)

Evaluate the long-term effects of the human modification of ecosystems (e.g., how acid rain resulting from air pollution affects water bodies and forests and how depletion of the atmospheres ozone layer through the use of chemicals may affect the health of humans)

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D. HUMAN SYSTEMS

Geography Standard 9: The characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth's surface

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. Trends in world population numbers and patterns
2. The impact of human migration on physical human systems

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Predict trends in the spatial distribution of population on Earth, as exemplified by being able to

Develop and defend hypotheses on how the spatial distribution of population may change in response to environmental changes (e.g., global warming, desertification, changes in sea level, tectonic activity)

Develop and defend hypotheses on how the spatial distribution of population may change in response to sociocultural changes (e.g., technological advances, political conflict, the growth of ethnic enclaves)

Develop and defend hypotheses on how the spatial distribution of population may result in changes in social and economic conditions (e.g., availability of water and space for housing, transportation facilities, educational and employment opportunities)

B. Analyze population issues and propose policies to address such issues, as exemplified by being able to

Evaluate past and present government policies designed to change a country's population characteristics (e.g., the ongoing policies to limit population growth, the policy in the former Soviet Union to encourage ethnic Russians to have large families)

Explain how government population policies are linked to economic and cultural considerations (e.g., the belief systems of the people, the food traditions of the people, the country's need for more or fewer workers)

Describe the reasons why a governments population policy may be opposed by the people (e.g., the policy may be in conflict with the peoples cultural values and attitudes toward family size, cultural traditions, and belief systems)

C. Explain the economic, political, and social factors that contribute to human migration, as exemplified by being able to

Explain how human mobility and city/region interdependence can be increased and regional integration can be facilitated by improved transportation systems (e.g., the national interstate-highway system in the United States, the network of global air routes)

Explain how international migrations are shaped by push and pull factors (e.g., political conditions, economic incentives, religious values, family ties)

Explain why countries develop emigration and immigration policies (e.g., to control population size and density or encourage immigration to meet demands for either skilled or unskilled workers)

D. Evaluate the impact of human migration on physical and human systems, as exemplified by being able to

Describe how mass migrations have affected ecosystems (e.g., the impact of European settlers on the High Plains of North America in the nineteenth century)

Describe how large-scale rural-to-urban migration affects cities (e.g., suburban development, lack of adequate housing, stress on infrastructure, difficulty in providing such city services as police and fire protection)

Describe the socioeconomic changes that occur in regions that gain population and in regions that lose population (e.g., the expansion of population and jobs in the southeastern United States and the concurrent decline in parts of the northeastern United States during the 1970s and 1980s)

Geography Standard 10: The characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth's cultural mosaics

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. The impact of culture on ways of life in different regions
2. How cultures shape the character of a region
3. The spatial characteristics of the processes of cultural convergence and divergence

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Compare the role that culture plays in incidents of cooperation and conflict in the present-day world, as exemplified by being able to

Identify the cultural factors that have promoted political conflict (e.g., the national, ethnic, and religious differences that led to conflict in sub-Saharan Africa in the 1960s, central Europe in the 1980s and 1990s, countries within the former Soviet Union in the 1990s)

Identify the cultural characteristics that link regions (e.g., the religious and linguistic ties between Spain and parts of Latin America; the linguistic ties between Great Britain and Australia; the ethnic ties among the Kurds living in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey)

Explain how members of the U.S. Peace Corps have to adjust to living and working in countries with cultural traditions that differ significantly from their own (e.g., how they learn and are taught to adapt themselves to non-American dietary habits, social customs, lifestyles, and family and community values)

B. Analyze how cultures influence the characteristics of regions, as exemplified by being able to

Analyze demographic data (e.g., birthrates, literacy rates, infant mortality) to describe a regions cultural characteristics (e.g., level of technological achievement, cultural traditions, social institutions)

Compare the economic opportunities for women in selected regions of the world using culture to explain the differences (e.g., the lives of Bedouin women within the Islamic tradition versus those of women in Scandinavian countries)

Describe the relationship between patterns of in-migration and cultural change in large urban and manufacturing centers, especially those near international borders (e.g., how the presence of large numbers of guest workers or undocumented aliens results in modification of an urban centers cultural characteristics)

C. Explain how cultural features often define regions, as exemplified by being able to

Identify the human characteristics that make specific regions of the world distinctive (e.g., the effects of early Spanish settlement in the southwestern United States, the influence of mercantilism and capitalism as developed in post-Renaissance Europe on the economies of North and South America)

Explain the importance of religion in identifying a culture region (e.g., the impact of Buddhism in shaping social attitudes in Southeast Asia, the role of Christianity in structuring the educational and social-welfare systems of Western Europe)

Explain why great differences can exist among culture regions within a single country (e.g., the specific qualities of Canada's culture regions resulting from the patterns of migration and settlement over four centuries)

D. Investigate how transregional alliances and multinational organizations can alter cultural solidarity, as exemplified by being able to

Explain the adaptation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to different cultural contexts (e.g., the Red Cross versus the Red Crescent distinction)

Identify and map changes in the nature of selected international partnerships and alliances (e.g., NATO and the former Warsaw Pact nations since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the additions to OPEC since its creation in 1960)

Predict how evolving political and economic alliances affect the traditional cohesiveness of world culture regions (e.g., post-reunification Germany and its economic effect on the European Union, NAFTAs effect on trade relations among the United States, Canada, and Mexico)

E. Explain the spatial processes of cultural convergence and divergence, as exemplified by being able to

Describe how communications and transportation technologies contribute to cultural convergence (e.g., how electronic media, computers, and jet aircraft connect distant places in a close network of contact through cross-cultural adaptation)

Analyze how the communications and transportation technologies that contribute to cultural convergence may also stimulate cultural divergence (e.g., how culture groups use such technologies to reinforce nationalistic or ethnic elitism or cultural separateness and independence)

Evaluate examples of the spread of culture traits that contribute to cultural convergence (e.g., U.S.-based fast-food franchises in Russia and Eastern Europe, the English language as a major medium of communication for scientists and business people in many regions of the world, the popularization of Chinese foods in many countries)

Geography Standard 11: The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. The classification, characteristics, and spatial distribution of economic systems
2. How places of various size function as centers of economic activity
3. The increasing economic interdependence of the worlds countries

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Classify and describe the spatial distribution of major economic systems and evaluate their relative merits in terms of productivity and the social welfare of workers, as exemplified by being able to

Describe the characteristics of traditional, command, and market economic systems and describe how such systems operate in specific countries (e.g., describe North Korea as a command economy, Burkina Faso as a traditional economy in the hinterlands beyond its cities, Singapore as a market economy)

Use multiple points of view to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different economic systems (e.g., unemployment as viewed by an economist in China versus unemployment as viewed by an economist in Japan)

Identify geographic problems in the transition period as a country shifts from one economic systems to another (e.g., from a command economy to a market economy in the republics of the former Soviet Union)

B. Identify and evaluate the spatial aspects of economic systems, as exemplified by being able to

Identify market areas around major business establishments (e.g., supermarkets, shopping malls, banks, discount centers, theme parks) in the students own community on the basis of surveying consumer travel behavior

Explain how market areas are examples of functional regions (e.g., newspaper-circulation areas, television-viewing areas, radio-listening areas)

Explain why some places have locational advantages as assembly and/or parts distribution centers (e.g., furniture manufacture and assembly in North Carolina; electronics assembly in northern Mexico; a wholesale auto pats distribution company near a regional trucking facility)

C. Analyze the relationships between various settlement patterns, their associated economic activities, and the relative land values, as exemplified by being able to

Analyze the spatial relationships between land values and prominent urban features (e.g., central business districts, open spaces near public parks, prominent natural features [e.g., waterfronts, land elevation, prevailing wind direction])

Explain the spatial relationships between the zoned uses of land and the value of that land (e.g., an industrial park for light industry in a planned community versus a discount mall in an unincorporated ex-urban areas)

Relate economic factors to the location of particular types of industries and businesses (e.g., least-cost location in terms of land values, transportation, agglomeration, utilities)

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E. ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY

Geography Standard 14: How human actions modify the physical environment

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. The role of technology in the capacity of the physical environment to accommodate human modification
2. The significance of the global impacts of human modification of the physical environment
3. How to apply appropriate models and information to understand environmental problems

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Evaluate the ways in which technology has expanded the human capability to modify the physical environment, as exemplified by being able to

Evaluate the limitations of the physical environments capacity to absorb the impacts of human activity (e.g., use the concepts of synergy, feedback loops, carrying capacity, thresholds to examine the effects of such activities as levee construction on a floodplain, logging in an old-growth forest, construction of golf courses in arid areas)

Analyze the role of people in decreasing the diversity of flora and fauna in a region (e.g., the impact of acid rain on rivers and forests in southern Ontario, the effects of toxic dumping on ocean ecosystems, the effects of overfishing along the coast of northeastern North America or the Philippine archipelago)

Compare the ways in which the students local community modified the local physical environment (e.g., rivers, soils, vegetation, animals, climate) a hundred years ago with the community's current impact on the same environment, and project future trends based on these local experiences

B. Explain the global impacts of human changes in the physical environment, as exemplified by being able to

Describe the spatial consequences, deliberate and inadvertent, of human activities that have global implications (e.g., the dispersal of animal and plant species worldwide increases in runoff and sediment, tropical soil degradation, habitat destruction, air pollution, alterations in the hydrologic cycle)

Identify and debate the positive and negative aspects of landscape changes in the students local community and region that relate to peoples changing attitudes toward the environment (e.g., pressure to replace farmlands with wetlands in floodplain areas, interest in preserving wilderness areas, support of the concept of historic preservation)

Examine the characteristics of major global environmental changes and assess whether the changes are a result of human action, natural causes, or a combination of both factors (e.g., increases in world temperatures attributable to major global action, the link between changes in solar emissions and amounts of volcanic dust in the atmosphere attributable to natural causes)

C. Develop possible solutions to scenarios of environmental change induced by human modification of the physical environment, as exemplified by being able to

Identify possible responses to the changes that take place in a river system as adjacent farmland is fertilized more intensively and as settlement expands into the floodplain

Choose examples of human modification of the landscape in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and compare the ways in which the physical environments ability to accommodate such modification has changed (e.g., urban development in the United States, especially in the High Plains, the Southwest, and Northeast; suburban and residential expansion into farmland areas)

Develop a list of the potential global effects to the environment of human changes currently in progress and devise strategies that could lessen the impacts in each case (e.g., the effects of groundwater reduction caused by overpumping of centerpivot irrigation systems could be lessened by implementing changes in crops and farming techniques; desiccation of the Aral Sea and associated dust storms caused by the diversion of water to irrigation projects in Central Asia could be lessened by ending the diversion and finding alternative water sources)

Geography Standard 15: How physical systems affect human systems

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. How changes in the physical environment can diminish its capacity to support human activity
2. Strategies to respond to constraints placed on human systems by the physical environment
3. How humans perceive and react to natural hazards

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Analyze examples of changes in the physical environment that have reduced the capacity of the environment to support human activity, as exemplified by being able to

Describe and evaluate the carrying capacity of selected regions to predict the likely consequence of exceeding their environmental limits (e.g., the impact of the economic exploitation of Siberia's resources on a fragile sub-Arctic environment)

Develop contemporary and historical case studies to serve as examples of the limited ability of physical systems to withstand human pressure or of situations in which the environments quality and ability to support human populations has diminished because of excessive use (e.g., the drought-plagued Sahel, the depleted rain forests of central Africa, the Great Plains Dust Bowl)

Develop a model using concepts of synergy, feedback loops, carrying capacity, and thresholds to describe the limits of physical systems in different environments to absorb the impacts of human activities

B. Apply the concept of limits to growth to suggest ways to adapt to or overcome the limits imposed on human systems by physical systems, as exemplified by being able to

Describe the limits to growth found in physical environments and describe ways in which technology and human adaptation enable people to expand the capacity of such environments

Describe the conditions and locations of soil types (e.g., soils with limited nutrients, high salt content, shallow depth) that place limits on plant growth and therefore on the expansion of human settlement and suggest alternative uses for areas of those soil types

Identify physical environments in which limits to growth are significant (e.g., extremely cold, arid, or humid tropical climates and mountainous and coastal environments), describe the conditions that may threaten humans in these environments (e.g., rises in population that place pressure on marginal areas), and then develop plans to alleviate such stresses

C. Explain the ways in which individuals and societies hold varying perceptions of natural hazards in different environments and have different ways of reacting to them, as exemplified by being able to

Collect personal and group responses to different natural hazards before, during, and after the event, and summarize the varying perceptions of natural hazards in different regions of the world

Conduct interviews to assess peoples attitudes, perceptions, and responses toward natural hazards in the local community and explain patterns that may emerge (e.g., the effects of religious beliefs, socioeconomic status, previous experience, and other factors on perception and responses toward hazards)

Evaluate the effectiveness of human attempts to limit damage from natural hazards and explain how people who live in naturally hazardous religions adapt to their environments (e.g., the use of sea walls to protect coastal areas subject to severe storms, the use of earthquake-resistant construction techniques in different regions within the Ring of Fire

Geography Standard 16: The changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. How the spatial distribution of resources affects patterns of human settlement
2. How resource development and use change over time
3. The geographic results of policies and programs for resource use and management

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Analyze the relationships between the spatial distribution of settlement and resources, as exemplified by being able to

Describe how patterns of settlement are associated with the location of resources (e.g., the organization of farming activities around agglomerated settlements in Southeast Asia; the spatial arrangement of villages, towns, and cities in the North American corn belt)

Explain how the discovery and development of resources in a region attract settlement (e.g., the development of cities in Siberia resulting from the discovery of coal, nickel, and iron ore; the increasing occupance of the Laurentian Shield in northern Ontario and Quebec as a consequence of the areas mining and hydroelectric-power potential)

Describe how settlement patterns are altered as a result of the depletion of a resource (e.g., the creation of ghost towns in the mining areas of Colorado; the depopulation of fishing communities in Canada's Maritime Provinces)

B. Explain the relationship between resources and the exploration, colonization, and settlement of different regions of the world, as exemplified by being able to

Explain the geographic consequences of the development of mercantilism and imperialism (e.g., the settlement of Latin America by the Spanish and Portuguese in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the development of spheres of influence by the Dutch and the British in Asia in the nineteenth century)

Identify and discuss historic examples of exploration and colonization of the world in a quest for resources (e.g., the voyages of Columbus undertaken to find a passage to India and China for easy access to spices and precious metals; Russian settlement of Siberia, Alaska, and California as sources of fur, fish, timber, and gold)

Identify and discuss examples of resources that have been highly valued in one period but less valued in another (e.g., the use of salt and spices for the preservation of food before the advent of refrigeration, the dismissal of petroleum as a nuisance product known as ground oil before the invention of the internal combustion engine)

C. Evaluate policy decisions regarding the use of resources in different regions of the world, as exemplified by being able to

Discuss how and why some countries use greater than average amounts of resources (e.g., German iron-ore imports, and petroleum consumption in the United States and Japan)

Explain the geographic consequences of the development and use of various forms of energy (e.g., renewable, nonrenewable, and flow resources)

Evaluate the short- and long-term economic prospects of countries that rely on exporting nonrenewable resources (e.g., the long-term impact on the economy of Nauru when its phosphate reserves are exhausted; the economic and social problems attendant to the overcutting of pine forests in Nova Scotia)

D. Identify the ways in which resources can be reused and recycled, as exemplified by being able to

Explain the changing relocation strategies of industries seeking access to recyclable material (e.g., paper factories, container and can companies, glass, plastic, and bottle manufacturers)

Discuss the geographic issues involved in dealing with toxic and hazardous waste at local and global levels (e.g., the movement, handling, processing, and storing of materials)

Compare recycling laws in states of the United States and other countries to explain peoples attitudes toward resource management (e.g., attitudes on comprehensive versus haphazard, stringent versus permissive, fully enforced versus consistently neglected approaches to resource management)

E. Evaluate policies and programs related to the use of resources on different spatial scales, as exemplified by being able to

Evaluate the geographic impacts of policy decisions related to the use of resources (e.g., community regulations for water usage during drought periods; local recycling programs for glass, metal, plastic, and paper products)

Develop objective evaluations regarding the performance of the last four presidential administrations in the United States in terms of resource management policies

Evaluate resource degradation and depletion in less developed countries from multiple points of view (e.g., different points of view regarding uses of the Malaysian rain forests expressed by a Japanese industrialist and a conservationist with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization)

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F. THE USES OF GEOGRAPHY

Geography Standard 17: How to apply geography to interpret the past

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. How processes of spatial change affect events and conditions
2. How changing perceptions of places and environments affect the spatial behavior of people
3. The fundamental role that geographical context has played in affecting events in history

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Explain how the processes of spatial change have affected history, as exemplified by being able to

Trace the spatial diffusion of a phenomenon and the effects it has had on regions of contact (e.g., the spread of bubonic plague in the world; the diffusion of tobacco smoking from North America to Europe, Africa, and Asia)

Use maps and other data to describe the development of the national transportation systems that led to regional integration in the United States (e.g., the construction of a canal system in the early nineteenth century, the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s, the national interstate highway system in the mid-twentieth century)

Trace the geographic effects of migration streams and counterstreams of rural African Americans from the South to urban centers in the North and West throughout the twentieth century

B. Assess how peoples changing perceptions of geographic features have led to changes in human societies, as exemplified by being able to

Compare the attitudes of different religions toward the environment and resource use and how religions have affected world economic development patterns and caused cultural conflict or encouraged social integration

Research and develop a case study to illustrate how technology has enabled people to increase their control over nature and how that has changed land-use patterns (e.g., large-scale agriculture in Ukraine and northern China, strip-mining in Russia, center-pivot irrigation in the southwestern United States)

Prepare a series of maps to illustrate the Russian perception of encirclement by enemies and how this perception influenced the development of Russian (and Soviet) foreign policy

C. Analyze the ways in which physical and human features have influenced the evolution of significant historic events and movements, as exemplified by being able to

Assess the role and general effects of imperialism, colonization, and decolonization on the economic and political developments of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (e.g., European disregard for existing African political boundaries in the organization of colonies and subsequent independent nations; the exploitation of indigenous peoples in the European colonization of the Americas)

Examine the historical and geographical forces responsible for the industrial revolution in England in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (e.g., the availability of resources, capital, labor, markets, technology)

Evaluate the physical and human factors that have led to famines and large-scale refugee movements (e.g., the plight of the Irish in the wake of the potato famine in 1845 to 1850, the cyclical famines in China, the droughts and famines in the Sahel in the 1970s and 1980s)

Geography Standard 18: How to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future

By the end of the twelfth grade, the student knows and understands:

1. How different points of view influence the development of policies designed to use and manage Earth's resources
2. Contemporary issues in the context of spatial and environmental perspectives
3. How to use geographic knowledge, skills, and perspectives to analyze problems and make decisions

Therefore, the student is able to:

A. Develop policies that are designed to guide the use and management of Earth's resources and that reflect multiple points of view, as exemplified by being able to

Prepare a panel simulation with participants who represent different points of view on sustainable development to explain the effects of such a concept in a variety of situations (e.g., toward cutting the rain forests in Indonesia in response to a demand for lumber in foreign markets, or mining rutile sands along the coast in eastern Australia near the Great Barrier Reef)

Explain the extent and geographic impact of changes in the global economy on the lives of affluent and poor people (e.g., in African, Asian, and South American cities) to demonstrate the inequities of urban life, resource use, and access to political and economic power in developing countries

Use a variety of resources, including maps, graphs, and news clippings, to describe the impact of a natural disaster on a developed country versus a developing country, to understand the private and public reaction to the disaster, and to evaluate the policies that have been formulated to cope with a recurrence of the disaster (e.g., compare the 1991 eruption of Mount Unzen in western Japan with the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in central Luzon, the Philippines; the 1993 floods in the Mississippi Valley with the 1993 floods in the Rhine River Valley; Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the 1992 monsoon-caused floods in Bangladesh)

B. Develop plans to solve local and regional problems that have spatial dimensions, as exemplified by being able to

Develop plans to safeguard people and property in the event of a major natural disaster (e.g., use maps to prepare an evacuation plan for low-lying islands threatened by hurricanes)

Use a series of maps or a geographic information system (GIS) to obtain information on soil, hydrology and drainage, sources of water, and other factors and then use the information to choose the best site for a sanitary landfill in an urban region

Design a mass-transit system to move large groups of people from the site of a new sports arena in a city, taking into account such factors as where people live, present transportation facilities, and carrying capacities

C. Analyze a variety of contemporary issues in terms of Earth's physical and human systems, as exemplified by being able to

Explain the processes of land degradation and desertification as the interaction of physical systems (e.g., dry lands, drought, and desiccation) and human systems (e.g., exceeding the ability of vulnerable land to support settlement)

List the consequences of population growth or decline in a developed economy for both human and physical systems (e.g., dependency problems, exceeding available resources, contracting economic markets)

Write a scenario predicting the likely consequence of a world temperature increase of 3 F on humans, other living things (including plants and phytoplankton), and physical systems

D. Use geography knowledge and skills to analyze problems and make decisions within a spatial context, as exemplified by being able to

Develop a strategy to substitute alternative sustainable activities for present economic activities in regions of significant resource depletion (e.g., propose alternatives to fishing in Atlantic Canada, where fish populations have been depleted; alternatives to irrigated farming in the area served by the Ogallala Aquifer, which has been used too intensively)

Prepare a mock State Department-style briefing on a specific world region (e.g., outline broad global and region-specific patterns in the locations, distribution, and relationships of countries, their borders, relief features, climatic patterns, ecosystems, and population distribution and density, as well as the urban arrangement and communication networks within them, and evaluate the future of the region based on appropriate sustainable approaches to economic, social, and political development)

Examine tourism in a developed or a developing country to identify conflicts over resource use, the relative advantages and disadvantages of tourism to local resident and the costs and benefits of tourism from several points of view (e.g., those of the owner of a diving shop, a hotel maid, a tourist, and a local fisherman) to put together a position paper for or against developing tourism in a new location

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