World Regional Geography

This document was last updated on 01 March 2002. (Ver. 1.3.1)

Geography - Becoming an Advocate

In Memoriam

Quote #1
The more I work in the social-studies field the more convinced I become that geography is the foundation of all.... When I begin work on a new area -- something I have been called upon to do rather frequently in my adult life -- I invariably start with the best geography I can find. This takes precedence over everything else, even history, because I need to ground myself in the fundamentals which have governed and in a sense limited human development.... If I were a young man with any talent for expressing myself, and if I wanted to make myself indispensable to society, I would devote eight or ten years to the real mastery of one of the earth's major regions. I would learn languages, the religions, the customs, the value systems, the history, the nationalisms, and above all the geography, and when that was completed I would be in a position to write about that region, and I would be invaluable to my nation, for I would be the bridge of understanding to the alien culture. We have seen how crucial such bridges can be."

Click here to find out whose quote this is.

Quote #2
As a young man, my fondest dream was to become a geographer. However, while working in the customs office I thought deeply about the matter and concluded that it was far too difficult a subject. With some reluctance, I then turned to physics as a substitute.

Click here to find out whose quote this is. Warning: this link to a .jpg graphic may or may not connect. If not, try again later. It's worth the wait to find out whose quote this is.

Quote #3
I knew that I would be going places and I just wanted to know where I was when I got there.

Click here to find out whose quote this is.

Quote #4
Before we present you the matters of fact, it is fit to offer to your view the stage whereon they were acted; for as Geography without History seemeth a carkasse without motion; so History without Geography, wandreth as a Vagrant without a certain habitation.'

Click here to find out whose quote this is.

Quote #5
We depend on a well-informed populace to maintain the democratic ideals which have made this country great. When 95 percent of some of our brightest college students cannot locate Vietnam on a world map, we must sound the alarm. When 63 percent of the Americans participating in a nationwide survey by CBS and the Washington Post cannot name the two nations involved in the SALT talks, we are failing to educate our citizens to compete in an increasingly interdependent world. In 1980, a Presidential commission found that companies in the United States fare poorly against foreign competitors, in part because Americans are ignorant of things beyond their borders.

Click here to find out whose quote this is.

Getting Parents and Families involved
Family Geography Challenge flyer

Massachusetts Geography Alliance or search among all Geography Teaching Alliances (NGS site).

Geography Homework Help Site for Kids

This document is provided by the Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Please feel welcome to distribute.


When you take your children for a walk, you can be teaching them geography. Help them learn right and left, and north, south, east, and west. Tell them to turn north at the next corner, left at the one after that. When you get home, have them draw a map of where you have walked indicating the houses of their friends, or show them on a road map where you live and where you went.

While the study of geography takes place mainly in the schools, the seeds of geographic thought can start at home at a very early age. To help parents in this process, Information Services in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement has published a new booklet, "HELPING YOUR CHILD LEARN GEOGRAPHY." Published in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey and with assistance from Hammond, Incorporated, this booklet, aimed at parents of children under 10 years of age, suggests everyday learning experiences to steer children's natural curiosity toward geographic questions and knowledge.

The study of geography--the science that describes the earth's surface--is more than knowing where things are located on a map. Geography also requires a knowledge of why things are located in particular places and how those places influence our lives. "HELPING YOUR CHILD LEARN GEOGRAPHY" describes the basic concepts of geography and suggests informal activities and games that will enhance children's geographic awareness.

The activities are organized around five specific themes geographers use to focus their thinking. Those themes are:
  • Where are things located?

    What makes a place special?

  • What are the relationships among people and places?

  • What are the patterns of movement of people, products, and information?

  • How can the earth be divided into regions for study?

    Some of the activities include showing your children the natural features of their neighborhood and how they have been changed, building a weather vane, watching for license plates from other states, and visiting ethnic stores to learn about people from other countries. The booklet also includes a glossary of geographic terms, a listing of where to get free or inexpensive materials and maps, an outline map of the United States, and a list of books for children--picture books, story books, and atlases--that will help them learn about the world.

    For a copy of "HELPING YOUR CHILD LEARN GEOGRAPHY," send your name, address, and 50 cents to:

    Consumer Information Center
    Pueblo, Colorado 81009

    Kit Salter and the NGS Teacher Consultants Kit Salter's O.S.A.E. Skills and Geographic Literacy

    What can you do with a Degree in Geography?

    Jobs for Geographers (courtesy UT Austin).

    Geography Awareness Week (from a Georgia perspective) and Geography Awareness Week 1999 Geography & Technology: Think the World of Your Community - November 14-20, 1999 (from ESRI perspective)

    Read about Gil Grosvenor's many contributions to geographic education.Go to GIS 1998 Summer Institute

    Back to Top

    Click here to return to Greg's Home Page.