Presenter Information

Michelle Mazares-Monga

Faculty Sponsor

Steven Silvern

Status

Undergraduate

Publication Date

5-4-2020

Department

Geography

Description

The National Assessment of Education Progress evaluated eighth grade students on their geographic literacy in 2014 and in 2018, and found a decrease in average scores. One reason is that Geography has historically not been taught as a separate subject in most K-12 public schools. Certain states are updating their frameworks to be more inclusive of a diverse array of subjects. In Massachusetts, Geography is addressed under the History and Social Science Frameworks. Unfortunately, the teaching of Geography is given short shrift under these frameworks. The overarching goal of this project is to assess the status of Geographical education in the Massachusetts K-12 system. This study examines the degree to which Geography is being taught in public school districts across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and offers an assessment of where and how it is being taught; exploring what training state geography educators receive, and what professional development is needed to help support their endeavors. Additionally, why has geographical education lagged in this “liberal” state? Why have efforts to expand geographical education not been successful to date? Therefore, this project studies efforts to expand the requirements for the teaching of Geography in the state’s social studies frameworks; identifying efforts by geographical education advocates (Massachusetts Geographical Alliance, National Geographic, AAG, and Mass. State University Geography Professors) to lobby state political representatives and state public education administrators to pass legislation expanding and mandating geographical education across the state. Finally, this research will determine if geographic literacy among Massachusetts K-12 public school students will significantly increase.

Presentation Type

Poster

COinS
 

The Future Of Geography In The Massachusetts Curriculum Framework

The National Assessment of Education Progress evaluated eighth grade students on their geographic literacy in 2014 and in 2018, and found a decrease in average scores. One reason is that Geography has historically not been taught as a separate subject in most K-12 public schools. Certain states are updating their frameworks to be more inclusive of a diverse array of subjects. In Massachusetts, Geography is addressed under the History and Social Science Frameworks. Unfortunately, the teaching of Geography is given short shrift under these frameworks. The overarching goal of this project is to assess the status of Geographical education in the Massachusetts K-12 system. This study examines the degree to which Geography is being taught in public school districts across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and offers an assessment of where and how it is being taught; exploring what training state geography educators receive, and what professional development is needed to help support their endeavors. Additionally, why has geographical education lagged in this “liberal” state? Why have efforts to expand geographical education not been successful to date? Therefore, this project studies efforts to expand the requirements for the teaching of Geography in the state’s social studies frameworks; identifying efforts by geographical education advocates (Massachusetts Geographical Alliance, National Geographic, AAG, and Mass. State University Geography Professors) to lobby state political representatives and state public education administrators to pass legislation expanding and mandating geographical education across the state. Finally, this research will determine if geographic literacy among Massachusetts K-12 public school students will significantly increase.