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Professional Development

Resources and Programs for K-12 Teaching and Learning

Supporting K-12 Education

National Geographic Education has been implementing teacher professional development programs for the past 25 years in support of our overarching mission to inspire people to care about the planet, and to prepare teachers to inspire their students. The long-term mission of National Geographic Education is to build a geo-literate society—a society prepared to make critical 21st century decisions about places near and far. To that end, our resources and programs for teachers and students are developed with the goal of leading to meaningful changes in understanding about wide-ranging topics in geography, social studies, and science and students' roles as citizens of the world. National Geographic Education’s commitment to teacher professional development supports educators by preparing them to teach effectively in STEM disciplines and about decision-making as part of preparing students to be geo-literate individuals. 

A Focus on the Future
National Geographic Education is growing our presence in online learning opportunities for educators, often used as a component of a program that includes face-to-face interactions as well. As we look ahead, we are conducting research and development on innovative strategies for influencing pre-service teacher education and for implementing professional development for teachers at a large scale. This multiplying effect is possible by establishing online collaborative, shared spaces for teachers to increase content knowledge and knowledge of instructional approaches, as well as interact with others and learn from a community.

Focus on Geo-Literacy and Geo-Education

Geo-Literacy

Geo-Literacy

The ability to use geographic understanding and geographic reasoning to make decisions is critical for our future. National Geographic is committed to advancing geo-literacy in the U.S. and around the world.

K-12 Geo-Education in the U.S.

K-12 Geo-Education in the U.S.

The NSF-funded Road Map Project brought together experts in geography, education, and research to chart a course for the large-scale improvement of K-12 geography education in the United States. Click here to read the reports.

National Geography Standards

National Geography Standards

Find the updated national geography standards. Originally published in 1994, the standards were revised in 2012 to address changes in what we expect students to know and be able to do, in the nature of geography, in approaches to K-12 education, and in technology.

Teaching Resources

Teaching Resources

Our goal is to develop learning experiences that build geo-literacy. National Geographic Education's teaching resources span geography, science, and social studies. The activities and lessons aim to build learners' understanding of interconnections among Earth’s systems at local to global scales, as well as relationships to humankind’s past, present, and future.

Featured Content

Learn how you can incorporate the critical skill of decision-making into your classroom practice.

Stakeholder Consequences Decision Making

Professional Development Resources

Environmental Literacy Teacher Guides

Environmental Literacy Teacher Guides

These teacher guides prepare upper elementary and middle school teachers to cover the critical environmental topics of ocean, climate, energy, and freshwater in their classrooms.

Media Literacy Videos: Film

Media Literacy Videos: Film

Film is often seen as a passive learning medium. The video gallery Experiencing Film: An Active Approach shows teachers using dynamic instructional strategies to engage their students in the classroom.

Pictures of Practice: Classroom Strategies

Pictures of Practice: Classroom Strategies

This collection of videos offers an in-depth look at effective classroom teaching strategies, focusing on media literacy and implementation, geographic concepts, and meaningful integration of technology.

NG Education School Collaborations

Find out how we collaborate with K-12 schools around the United States through a variety of online and face-to-face programs.

Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

National Geographic Education is a part of this multi-year professional development program for STEM teachers using mobile technology. Its goal is to increase student engagement, achievement, and interest in STEM subjects, while also increasing student and teacher proficiency with mobile devices for learning. National Geographic Education remotely provides participating schools with subject matter expertise and also provides some on-site program support. During 2013-2015, we are supporting 24 schools that span Grades 3-11, are geographically distributed across the United States, and include a mix of urban, suburban, and rural schools. Click here to find out more about the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program. Click here to learn more about National Geographic Education’s approach to STEM education.

Hands-On GIS Workshops

National Geographic conducts workshops on integrating GIS/digital mapping and data visualization into science and social studies classrooms. These hands-on workshops integrate standards-based learning into STEM and outdoor activities for middle and high school students. Visit our Chesapeake Bay FieldScope page to find more information about this program. If you are interested in a workshop, email us at info@fieldscope.org.

Opportunities

Find information about upcoming webinars, application dates for programs, and more!

Online Courses

Online Courses

National Geographic offers free online courses for educators. Our upcoming courses for fall 2014 are on outdoor and environmental education topics. FLOW Education: Facilitating Learning Through Outdoor Watershed Education runs September 17-October 29, 2014. Water: The Essential Resource runs October 15-December 17, 2014. Register today!


Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program

Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program

Learn more about this professional development experience of a lifetime.


Featured Content

One Ocean iBook

One Ocean iBook

Download a free iBook version of the One Ocean Teacher Guide from the iTunes Store. The iBook version includes the same great content plus additional interactive diagrams, embedded videos, and other engaging features.

 Introduction to GIS

Introduction to GIS

Use this activity in professional development learning environments when introducing educators to GIS.

Schoolyard BioBlitz

Schoolyard BioBlitz

Watch a video to learn how can you plan a schoolyard bioblitz for your school, class, or afterschool program. Hear from teachers, students, and volunteers on their experience of discovering biodiversity through a bioblitz organized in their suburban schoolyard.


2014 Conferences

You can find National Geographic Education at national and regional geography, science, social studies, and technology conferences throughout the year. We often have a booth and are leading one or more sessions. Please check back for the full list of 2014 conferences.


Archived Opportunities


Workshop Planning Materials

Marine Recreation Workshop Toolkit

Marine Recreation Workshop Toolkit

This toolkit aids educators and ocean organizations in planning and delivering their own workshop for the marine recreation community in order to raise public awareness about ocean conservation and inspire people to help protect the vital natural resources that the ocean provides.


Media Strategies

"More Than Pretty Pictures"

This presentation explores the value of using video in educational settings and focuses on specific strategies for using National Geographic media—before class, during instruction, and outside of the classroom.


Tutorials

MapMaker Kits 101

MapMaker Kits 101

Work with key mapping concepts at a variety of scales.