National Geographic Education
National Geographic - Education

Program

The Road Map Project

A Road Map for Large-Scale Improvement of K-12 Geography Education

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Photograph by Bruce Dale

The Project

The Road Map Project brought together experts in geography, education, and research from across the U.S. to create a set of landmark reports focusing on key issues for educational improvement: instructional materials for students, education of teachers, assessment, research, and public attitudes. These road map reports will chart a course for the large-scale improvement of K-12 geography education in the U.S.

Funded by a 2-year, $2.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, this project responds to the growing recognition among business leaders and policy makers that Americans lack the critical geographic understanding and reasoning skills that will be required for careers and civic life in the 21st century.

The Committee Reports

The partner organizations selected three blue-ribbon committees to create the Road Map reports that will guide K-12 educational reform in both physical and human geography. The committees solicited input from experts and the public, conduct systematic surveys of the relevant research literature, and synthesized the results into the final reports.

The Assessment Committee developed a framework for assessing progress toward geographic literacy from kindergarten through high school.

The Instructional Materials and Professional Development Committee makes recommendations about the design of instructional materials and the education of teachers.

The Geography Educational Research Committee developed an agenda for educational research that lays out questions about learning, teaching, and educational change that must be answered to maintain the effectiveness of geography education into the future.

As an integral part of this project, the American Geographical Society conducted a nationwide Geographic Knowledge and Values Survey. Geographers throughout the country solicited respondents to collect baseline data for measuring national progress in geographic literacy over the coming years.

Each report can be downloaded below.

Our Partners

For this project, the National Geographic Society has partnered with three societies that share National Geographic’s concerns with geographic education: the Association of American Geographers, the American Geographical Society, and the National Council for Geographic Education.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1049437. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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Getting the Word Out

  • Press Release

    The public release of the Road Map reports is being scheduled for spring 2013. At that time, we will be initiating a communications and dissemination initiative designed to get the word out about the reports and their recommendations. In the meantime, the press release announcing the grant award is available here for background information about the project.

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