Geography in American education has benefited from over thirty years of reform efforts, from The Guidelines for Geographic Education (Five Themes) and Geography for Life: National Geography Standards to a state-based network of Geographic Alliances and an Advanced Placement Human Geography course. This foundation of prior work provides an excellent infrastructure for developing innovative solutions to the many challenges the nation’s schools presently face in providing K-12 geography instruction: a pronounced shortage of teachers with geography backgrounds, poor public perceptions of geography, uneven access to geographic technologies and quality educational materials, and limited support from the federal government and private sector stakeholders.

Inspired by recent work on GeoCapabilities, Powerful Geography emphasizes the role of teachers as curriculum leaders who help young people develop greater potential to lead a life informed by geography’s powerful knowledge.

Click the links below to learn more about the goals of this broad-based project and how to get involved.


Through extensive research in every state, Powerful Geography will identify the geography that teachers need to understand and teach effectively.

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All students deserve a geography education that enables them to pursue their personal ambitions and participate in debates about critical issues affecting society and the environment.

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Powerful Geography will promote among the public and key stakeholders a greater appreciation of geography education by illustrating the many ways geography develops human capability and prepares the future workforce.

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2018 Conference

Join us in San José, Costa Rica, November 1-4, 2018 for a conference about Powerful Geography.

Conferencia 2018

Únase a nosotros en San José, Costa Rica, del 1 al 4 de noviembre de 2018 para una conferencia El Poder de la Geografía.