The Importance Of Geographic Literacy

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Geography, it's not just maps and knowing about landforms. Geography is about a who, what, where, why and how. It raises awareness of things around the world and provides information about understanding conflicts and solving them. (Murray, Dr. Matthew) Dr. Edelson points out that, "While the impacts of any particular far-reaching decision may be small, the cumulative impact of the decisions made by millions of people are enormous." ("What is Geo-literacy?" 2012) Geography is something all citizens should know about, everyone should be aware of what is happening around them. The main focus of teaching students how to be geoliterate is so they will know the consequences resulting from basic decisions. As the curriculum continues to change in schools throughout the nation, geography has become nonexistent within the classroom. Besides the basic geographical features, like landforms and oceans, most of this generation knows nothing about geography. Even sometimes these simple concepts are unreachable for students and many young adults making them geo-illiterate. Geographic Literacy, as described by Dr. Daniel C. Edelson, has three key concepts; understanding human and natural systems, geographic reasoning and systematic decision making. He describes a geo-literate student as not only one who understands geography, but one who understands that the Earth is interconnected and the decisions we make over our lifetime have long-lasting effects. They should also able to comprehend that the relationship between human systems and their interactions and the impact it puts on our environment. (2012) Another way to describe Geographic Literacy would mean to be "better equipped to better understand the complexity of the world, how our decisions affect others, and the interconnectedness of this rich, diverse, and not-so-large world." It means that one should know what the effects are of the decisions we make daily. (Baskerville, Brian) Regardless of if the decision is where to live or Herring 2 how to prepare for natural disasters, everyone makes decisions throughout their lifetime that requires geo-literacy. ("What is Geo-Literacy?") Whether these decisions are riding a bike or driving a car, using plastic bags versus
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