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Geography in the Social Studies Curriculum (Upper-Elementary and Middle School Years)

This course presents upper-elementary and junior high school teachers with a framework for incorporating geographic knowledge and thinking into the social studies curriculum. The interrelationship of physical geography and human culture is stressed, with a major portion of the course devoted to the study of a particular civilization (e.g., the Incas) as a model. Other topics include map making and map reading, trips, developing students' research skills, games and simulations, earth science and earth history, and current events. Through the course, the cognitive and social development of the child, the philosophic principles of progressive education and their implications for social studies are studied through examination and discussion of our own work and through discussion of readings from Lucy Sprague Mitchell, Dorothy Cohen, Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, and others. Students develop a piece of social studies curriculum, grounded in geographic knowledge and relevant to their teaching, for presentation as a final project.