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Volume 3, Number 1

Environmental Futures: Educating for Sustainability in the 21st Century
James Eflin and David L. Ferguson
Volume 3 (2001), Number 1, Pages 3-31

Integration of environmental education within geographic education stands at a crossroads. The emergence of sustainability, integrating the “three E’s” of ecology, economics, and social equity, presents both important opportunities and challenges for environmental and geographic education. A way forward will require holistic integration of the three E’s to embrace education for sustainability (EFS). This paper is not a research article but presents a conceptual framework that is useful for encouraging geographic and environmental education and research, and it includes a background of the sustainability movement. Projects implementing sustainability education at institutions of higher education are presented, with a case study focusing on an integrated approach at one institution.

Key Words: environmental education, education for sustainability, sustainability, sustainable development.

World Sketch Maps: Drawing Skills or Map Knowledge?
Thomas f. Saarinen
Volume 3 (2001), Number 1, Pages 32-50

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether sketch maps drawn by adults reflect drawing ability or geographic knowledge. Data come from the “Parochial Views of the World” project, a worldwide study of mental maps of the world. Three types of data are analyzed: 1) answers provided by participants who completed follow-up interviews and questions immediately following a world map sketching exercise, 2) a complete sketch map by a fine sketcher, and 3) sample portions of two representative sketch maps. Results indicate that geographic knowledge is the key factor in sketch map quality with sketchers’’ home continents and most familiar areas being best represented irrespective of the difficulty involved in drawing them.

Key Words: mental maps, sketch maps, geographic education, drawing ability, geographic knowledge.

Geography Tools as Education Technology in Preservice Teacher Education
Scott Walker
Volume 3 (2001), Number 1, Pages 51-69

A common phrase used in K-12 education is that teachers need to “integrate technology.” However, given geography education inadequacies in preservice teacher education, the mantra may need to become on of “integrating geography.” This paper describes how geography was integrated into a preservice teacher education technology class using ESRI’s Community Atlas project as a model. The results were assessed using the newly-developed Test of Geography-Related Outcomes (ToG-RO). Preliminary indications are that preservice teachers’ knowledge of and attitudes toward geography increased when a Community Altas-like class project was introduced in the education technology course at a small liberal arts university.

Key Words: preservice education technology, geography tools, survey instrument, student perceptions, community geography, geographic education.


The Focus Section offers a glimpse into our future, highlighting research being conducted by early career scholars in the field of geographic Education. This collection of brief articles showcases a broad range of research topics being explored by current Ph.D. students and new, untenured faculty, including but not limited to, spatial cognitive abilities, geographic education in foreign countries, the subject matter content and disciplinary identities of geography, and teachers’ understanding and use of map skills.

Contributors Volume 3 (2001), Number 1

  • Teaching the Tool of the Trade: Understanding Teachers’ Beliefs, Knowledge, and Practices about Map Skills, Gillian Acheson p.71-75
  • Analysis of College Students’ Spatial Knowledge and Misconceptions Related to Earthquakes and Volcanoes, Meredith Beilfuss p.76-81
  • Coordinating Children’s Spatial Knowledge, Scott Bell p.82-85
  • Backwards in High Heels: Liberal Education at the American University in Cairo, Jeffrey Lash p.86-91
  • Does Completing a GID Course Affect Spatial Cognitive Abilities as Measured by Cognitive Mapping and Map-skill Tests, Jongwon Lee p.92-95
  • A Discipline of Synthesis? Research into Geography’s Subject Matter Content and Disciplinary Identifies, David Rutherford p.96-101
  • Effects of the Opportunity to Study Geography, Elizabeth Smith p.102-106
  • The Influence of Sex, Spatial Activity, Geographic Setting and Geographic Landscape on Adolescent Spatial Abilities, Janet Smith p.107-112
  • Changing Communities, Changing Childhoods: Playing, Living and Leaning in New York City from the 1940s – 2000s, Pamela Wridt p.113-117


Gonzalez, Joseph and Thomas E Sherer, Jr. 2004. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Geography, 2nd edition. New York: Alpha Book. 422 pages. ISBN 1-59257-188-3 

Heatwole, Charles, A. 2002. Geography for Dunnies. New York: Hungry Minds. 360 Pages. ISBN 0-7645-1622-1 

  • Mark C. Jones
  • Volume 3 (2001), Number 1, Pages 118-122

Kitchin, Rob and Blades, Mark. 2002. The Cognition of Geographic Space.. London: I. B. Tauris and Company Ltd. Paperback: 241 pages, ISBN 1860647057 Hardcover: 272 pages, ISBN 1860647049

  • Scott Bell
  • Volume 3 (2001), Number 1, Pages 123-124