Monday, September 24, 2012

EarthView for Life

Photo credit (both the State House photo and the photo of the photo):
Geographer Ashley Costa, BSU EarthView Wrangler
Geography for Life is published jointly by the leading geography organizations in North America, as a guide to those who teach this discipline at the intersection of global studies and STEM disciplines.

After years of anticipation, a new edition was released this month by the National Council for Geographic Education, the Association of American Geographers, and of course the National Geographic Society.

The cover features a photograph of the earth itself. The introductory chapter features a photograph of a remarkable model of the earth -- our department's very own EarthView portable classroom. It is a fitting opening for a book dedicated to geographic education, since nearly 40,000 students have been inside our department's inflatable globe since we acquired it in 2008.

Although EarthView is usually used in classrooms (see videos on our blog), we have also used it is part of our advocacy on behalf of geographic literacy and geography education in Massachusetts. In the NCGE/AAG/NGS publication, EarthView is shown in its highest-profile location in this effort: the Massachusetts State House.

Partly as a result of EarthView and the work of our department and its allies, the Legislature is currently contemplating a commission that would examine geography education in the Commonwealth.

Given the critical state of geographic illiteracy in Massachusetts and in the United States as a whole, the BSU Department of Geography is a leading advocate for geography education at the state and national level. Project EarthView will continue to play an important part, along with our undergraduate, graduate, and outreach programs..