National Geography Standards

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A set of eighteen learning standards has been created by the National Council for Geographic Education for the science of geography which are called the National Geography Standards. These eighteen standards are separated into six essential elements:

Physical Systems

1. The physical actions that create the patterns of earth’s surface
2. The features and spatial distribution of ecosystems on earth’s surface

Places and Regions

3. The material and human attributes of places
4. That people form regions to decode earth’s complexity
5. How culture and experience influence people’s understanding of places and regions

The World in Spatial Terms

6. How to use maps and other geographic tools and techniques to obtain, process, and describe information from a spatial viewpoint
7. How to use mental maps to organize data about people, places, and environments in a spatial context
8. How to study the spatial arrangement of people, places, and environments on earth’s surface

Human Systems

9. The features, dispersion, and migration of human populations on earth’s surface
10. The features, dispersion, and intricacy of earth’s cultural mosaics
11. The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on earth’s surface
12. The processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement
13. How the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of earth’s surface

The Uses of Geography

14. How to apply geography to interpret the past
15. How to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future

Environment and Society

16. How human actions change the physical environment
17. How physical systems affect human systems
18. The changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources


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