The Geography that Teachers Need

Through extensive research in every state, Powerful Geography will identify the geography that teachers need to understand and teach effectively. Each state has its own priorities for geography education expressed in curriculum standards, however most teachers find it difficult to implement those goals because of their inadequate knowledge of geography. Powerful Geography will use data from surveys and interviews with employers and geography graduates to improve teachers’ understanding of the characteristics of geographic knowledge that make it “powerful” (e.g., by enabling people to explain, analyze, and generalize). The resulting national dataset will be used to develop a new framework for teacher preparation that will be communicated to university geography departments, teacher education programs, and professional development providers. Through this systematic approach, teachers in every state will be better prepared to represent the powerful knowledge of geography so that it is understandable to their students.