Target: US Department of Education
Goal: To integrate geography into required coursework for students attending public high schools.
Geography education is fundamental to a student’s understanding of world events, environmental welfare, and empathy for other human beings around the globe. In America, however, geography is continually being cut from educational programs to make way for more test-relevant coursework. Students’ knowledge of geography has declined throughout the last decade, especially in public high schools. This fails students because it does not teach them to think globally, meaning that their understanding of politics, economics, and human rights are all slanted towards what is best for them with no understanding of repercussions for the rest of the world.
As we enter this century, we will undoubtedly see a need for geographically-minded individuals who understand the consequences of environmental degradation. We plow through resources and introduce new toxic elements to the environment daily, and the consequence of this pollution does not just affect us as the polluter. Political implications of these decisions are difficult to understand if we do not have a firm grasp on the layout of the land, both politically and physically.
Understanding contemporary world events and global environmental concerns are vital to our well-being as members of the international community. As the world becomes more global, we must not continue our history of geographical ignorance. Sign this petition and require that the Department of Education mandate geography education in public high schools.
To the Department of Education,
A student’s understanding of geography is vital to his understanding of how the countries of the world interact. Geography teaches us empathy for the planet and the animals on it, and serves as a bridge between the sciences and humanities. By not including geography education in public high school curriculum, we are denying our children knowledge of the world and are only allowing them to have an isolated understanding of history, economics, and development.
Now more than ever, children need to be aware of the entire earth and the relationship between human beings and the environment we live in. Understanding the interplay between our actions and the health of the earth will allow for a more sustainable and peaceful future, which begins with the knowledge of where we are and what we are surrounded by. Mandate that geography be required coursework for students attending public high schools.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: SWHB via Flickr