American Geographical Society Geographic Knowledge and Values Survey Now Available (Road Map)

If you read the goals of the National Science Foundation funded roadmap for geography education project, you'd have found there were four parts. Three reports are currently available on the National Geographic road map website (APB coverage, Feb 2013). The final part, prepared by the American Geographical Society, is titled the Geographic Knowledge and Values Survey and is now available from AGS (pdf). It is dated March 5. The road map website described the effort this way:

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.

AGS developed an online survey that ran from Dec 2011 to March 2012. I recall seeing the link to the survey on Twitter during that time. I checked out the survey, but decided not to respond.

The summary of the 78 page report concludes that:

American predominantly:

  • Appreciate geography and its functions, whether they know it is geography or not.
  • Appreciate geography education.
  • Want more geography education for their children.
  • Wish they had received more geography education in their own schooling.
  • Expect geography to be taught at all educational levels from elementary school to elite
  • universities.
  • Expect geography instructors to have formal training in geography.
  • Recall and use lessons learned in their own geography courses.
  • Lack specific knowledge of geographic and cartographic methods and techniques.
  • Understand which physical and human topics may be of interest to geographers.
  • Believe geography and its skills are useful in many professions and government agencies.

I'm hopeful this report will join the other three at the National Geographic site. I'm not sure why it was released later than the others or why it's hosted by AGS. Of the four organizations that participated in the project (National Geographic, the Association of American Geographers [AAG], the American Geographical Society and the National Concil for Geographic Education [NCGE]) only NCGE provides a link to the reports on the National Geographic site. AGS provides a link only to its own report. So far as I can tell AAG has not noted the reports on its website or via its newsletters or social media.

The March 5 publication date of the AGS report might explain why National Geographic is waiting until the end of March to begin its commuincations efforts about the reports.

The public release of the Road Map reports is being scheduled for late March 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.

Published Friday, March 8th, 2013

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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