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Volume 4, Number 2

The Status of GIS Education in Departments of geography at 4-year Colleges and Universities in the United States
Halil Ibrahim Tas & G. Allen Finchum
Volume 4 (2002), Number 2, Pages 64-77

This paper provides a brief overview of past research on GIS education programs and how Departments of Geography and higher education institutions have developed such programs over the past two decades. The paper also presents information from a survey of departments offering GIS programs and courses taken in 2001 and 2002. These results provide a description of the types of institutions that provide GIS education programs as well as the general regional patterns of these programs. Other information provided from the survey includes enrollment and job placement patterns, and the impact of GIS programs on geography departments responding to the survey.

Key Words: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), GIS education, universities, geography departments.

Geography in the K-12 Curriculum in Colorado: Results of a Survey of Social Studies Coordinators, 2001-2002
Phil Klein & Joseph Kerski
Volume 4 (2002), Number 2, Pages 78-99

A survey of social studies coordinators in Colorado revealed that state-mandated model content standards have diffused into district curricula. Based on the sample, it is apparent that Colorado’s geography standards, patterned closely after the national standards, have been widely adopted across the state since 1995. However, the lack of mandated testing in social studies disciplines has resulted in uneven implementation of standards-based instruction and assessment in Colorado. Particularly in elementary schools, geography’s place in the curriculum is at some risk in Colorado, although prospects are brighter in middle and high schools.

Key Words: standards, assessment, curriculum, instructional materials, geography education.

Introductory Physical Geography’s Place in General Education Science and Scientific Literacy Lawrence McGlinn
Volume 4 (2002), Number 2, Pages 100-115

Introductory Physical geography is a unique course, a natural science course that is usually housed in geography departments which are dominated by social science offerings. More importantly, Introductory Physical geography fits the three fundamental goals of scientific literacy: 1) science should be for a broad population; 2) science should be cross-disciplinary; 3) science should be integrated with society. Introductory Physical Geography’s qualitative methodology, synthetic focus, and close ties to human geography make it an appropriate vehicle for scientific literacy, but it is still too often taught as a collection of loosely connected concepts. It must be taught with an emphasis on synthesis to be effective. Introductory Physical geography is a cornerstone of most Geography Departments, which means it is offered frequently with many seats available for registration. Nevertheless, its role is not clearly defined across all departments that offer it. For instance, most consider it a natural science, but some call it a social science. For some, it is a laboratory course, but not for others. Regardless of its differing meanings, Introductory Physical Geography is a strong entry in general education, and it should be advocated by geographers, not as a broad combination of concepts from climatology, geology, and biology, but as a unique, synthetic geography course.

Key Words: physical geography, general education, scientific literacy, science literacy.


Roberts, Margaret (2003). Learning through enquiry: Making sense of geography in the key stage 3 classroom. Sheffield, UK: Geographical Association. ISBN 1-84377-095-4. 212 pages

  • Scott Walker
  • Volume 4 (2002), Number 2, Pages 116-119