International Geographical Union Commission on Geographical Education 2008-2012

'' urges European Commission for geographic media in schools

Download 0.54 Mb.
Size0.54 Mb.
1   2

11.2 '' urges European Commission for geographic media in schools.

Partners of, a collaboration among a wide range of organisations dealing with geoinformation in school education from across Europe, started lobbying to include geographic (geo-)media in European education through the Digital Agenda for Europe proposals (

Founded in 2009, currently has 76 partners in 22 countries, including schools, teacher education and training institutions as well as national Ministries of Education and European associations.
The project “Needs Analysis Report” confirmed that in European education, there has been little or no attention to using emerging geo-spatial technologies in European schools. There are some national and European pilot projects, but large-scale implementation is so far lacking. As a result lobbying led to meetings between representatives of the project and the office of European Commissioner Kroes in March 2012. Members of the project were invited to present a pilot project to the Commission for consideration. A follow up is planned.
Organisations can join the digital-earth project see
Follow on Twitter @digitaleartheu
Or via LinkedIn and Facebook.
Karl Donert

President EUROGEO

11.3 Geography education developments in the U.S.A.: The Road Map for Education in the Geographical Sciences Project 
The Road Map Project (for geographical education) leadership team sought public input during April, 2012, to the drafts of three vitally important Reports being prepared for the Road Map for Improving Geographic Education Project.
The Road Map Project Leadership Team are: Michael Solem, Joe Stoltman and Sarah Bednarz.
The purpose of the Road Map Project is to chart a course for geographic education in the next decade in the United States.  The National Geographic Society and the three major professional geography organizations in the U.S. have received a grant from the National Science Foundation to create a “Road Map” for the future of geographic education.  This historic collaboration between National Geographic, the Association of American Geographers, the National Council for Geographic Education, and the American Geographical Society is creating recommendations to guide national efforts to improve geographic education over the next decade.
The work of the Road Map for Education in the Geographical Sciences Project is being undertaken in three committees, each looking at key areas for improving geographic education.  The foci of the three committees are:

(1) professional development and instructional materials;

(2) education research.

(3) assessment;

Each of these committees is producing a Report assessing the current state of geographic education in their area and making recommendations to educators, policy makers, and funders for actions they can take to improve geographic education across the social studies and sciences. 


Drafts of these reports were available from March 26th to April 20th for public review and feedback. The Road Map Project website is at  Please feel free to contact the Road Map Project Director, Virginia Pitts, at

It is anticipated that the final Reports will be published at or after the end of May 2012. The revised versions of the geographic Standards will also be published in the not-too-distant future. Do check the website.
Sarah Bednarz

Professor of Geography,

Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs,

College of Geosciences,

Texas A&M University,

College Station,

Texas 77843-3148.

11.4 New AAG Book and Website for Improving Career Preparation
Whether you are just beginning as a major, taking classes toward a GIS certificate, working on an advanced degree, or considering a career change at a different point in your life, geography can lead to exceptional career opportunities. Practicing Geography: Careers for Enhancing Society and the Environment is a comprehensive new resource from the AAG and Pearson, designed to prepare geographers for careers in business, government, and non-profit organizations.
Developed by the AAG’s EDGE project with support from the National Science Foundation, the book examines workforce needs, expectations, and core competencies in professional geography, with many chapters offering expert advice and insightful analyses on topics such as networking, managing work-life relationships, and professional ethics. Dozens of professional geographers are profiled in the book to illustrate the exciting range of career opportunities in geography today and the ways geographic expertise and technologies are being applied to enhance communities, business practices, and the work of nonprofits and government agencies. See the Recent Publications list in section 11 for more details.
The AAG’s Jobs and Careers website ( has recently been updated with new resources for career information and planning. The website provides additional profiles of professional geographers interviewed for Practicing Geography along with a broad toolkit of data, tip sheets, and other resources useful for the job search and exploring career opportunities.
Practicing Geography is available through Pearson in paperback and e-book formats, and can be ordered online at For additional information about the book and the AAG’s EDGE project, visit

12. Recent Publications
Do you have or know of a new book on geographical education, environmental education or social studies education? If you do, please let the editor of our journal, IRGEE, know. She can arrange for a review and this will help to make colleagues around the world aware of the book.
Dr Gillian Kidman, reviews editor for IRGEE, requests authors of new publications to send a copy to her for review. Any publication, in any language, can be sent to her at:

Dr Gillian Kidman,

Reviews Editor, IRGEE,

MSTE, Faculty of Education,

Kelvin Grove Campus,

Queensland University of Technology,

Kelvin Grove,


QLD 4059


12.1 New and recent English language book publications

Beattie, G. (2010) Why Aren’t We Saving the Planet? A Psychologist’s Perspective. London: Routledge.

Buckingham, D. (2011) The Material Child: Growing up in consumer culture. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Gade, D. (2011) Curiosity, Inquiry and the Geographical Imagination. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Hensley, N. (2011) Curriculum Studies Gone Wild. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Ingold, T. (2011) Being Alive: Essays on movement, knowledge and description. London: Routledge.

Joyce, R. (2012) Outdoor Learning: Past and Present. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Khan, R. (2011) Critical Pedagogy, Ecoliteracy and Planetary Crisis, New York: Peter Lang Publishinng.

Kraftl, P., Horton, J & Tucker, F. (2012) Critical Geographies of childhood and youth. Bristol: The Policy Press.

McFarlane, C. (2010) Learning the City: Knowledge and translocal assemblage. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Milson, A., Demirci, A. & Kirski, J. (eds. (2012) International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning with GIS in Secondary Schools. New York: Springer, 2012.

Robertson, M (ed) (2012) Schooling for Sustainable Development: A focus on Australia, New Zealand and the Oceanic Region, New York: Springer.

Sarkar, S. (2012) Environmental Philosophy: From theory to practice. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Scruton, R. (2012) Green Philosophy: How to think seriously about the planet. London: Atlantic Books.

Milson, A., Demirci, A. & Kirski, J. (eds. (2012) International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning with GIS in Secondary Schools. New York: Springer, 2012.

This new publication brings together authors from 33 countries who profile the current status of GIS in secondary school teaching and learning in their country. Each chapter includes a summary of the country’s educational context, a case study illustrating how GIS is used in secondary schooling, and an assessment of the opportunities and challenges in teaching and learning with GIS now and in the future. The book demonstrates that although the pedagogical, curricular, and technological context of each country is important, it is not deterministic of the success of GIS in education.

Reinfried, S. & Hertig, P. (2011) Geographical Education: How human-environment-society processes work, in UNESCO-EOLSS Joint Committee (eds.) Geography, Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Oxford: Eolss Publishers, UK.

Developed under the Auspices of the UNESCO, this publication is now online at:

The EOLSS is an integrated compendium of twenty encyclopedias presenting a wide range of major core subjects. Subjects covered include: Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; Water Sciences and Engineering; Energy Sciences and Engineering; Environmental and Ecological Sciences and Engineering; Food and Agricultural Sciences; Human Resources Policy, Development, and Management; Regional Sustainable Development; Social Sciences and Humanities; etc..EOLSS-online is made available free of charge to universities in the UN list of least developed countries and disadvantaged individuals, including  minority colleges and universities worldwide. The EOLSS body of knowledge is made available in the form of e-books in pdf format.  The contribution to the EOLSS written by Sibylle. Reinfried & Philip. Hertig is chapter 6.6.46: Geographical Education.
Solem, M, Foote, K & Monk, J (2012) Practicing Geography: Careers for Enhancing Society and Environment, New York: Pearson.

Practicing Geography Table of Contents

Preface: A World of Opportunity: Discovering and Managing Careers in Geography, Michael Solem, Kenneth Foote, and Janice Monk

SECTION I: Preparing for a Career in Business, Government, and Nonprofit Organizations

Chapter 1: Part Strategy and Serendipity: A Candid Guide to Career Planning for Geographers, Alyson L. Greiner and Thomas A. Wikle

Chapter 2: Geography Education and Career Readiness, Joy K. Adams, Niem Tu Huynh, Joseph J. Kerski, and G. Brent Hall

Chapter 3: Switching Sectors: Transitioning into and among Business, Government, and Nonprofit Careers, Joy K. Adams

Chapter 4: The Value of An Internship Experience For Early Career Geographers, R. Denise Blanchard, Mark L. Carter, Robert B. Kent, Christopher A. Badurek

Chapter 5: Professional Networking, Tina Cary

SECTION II: Understanding Career Opportunities

Chapter 6: Geography Careers in State and Local Government, William M. Bass and Richard D. Quodomine

Chapter 7: Emerging and Expanding Career Opportunities in the Federal Government, Allison M. Williams, Molly E. Brown, Erin Moriarty, and John A. Wertman

Chapter 8: Geography Careers in Large Businesses and Corporations, Amy J. Blatt and Michael F. Ziolkowski

Chapter 9: Geography and the Nonprofit Sector, Lia D. Shimada and Jeremy Tasch

Chapter 10: Starting a Small Geography Business, Kelsey Brain

Chapter 11: Going Global: Practicing Geography Internationally, Carrie Mitchell and Mélanie Robertson

Chapter 12: Teaching Geography Inside and Outside the Classroom, Susan M. Heffron

Chapter 13: Geography Careers in Consulting, Susanne C. Moser and Angela J. Donelson

SECTION III: Achieving Career Satisfaction Now and Into the Future

Chapter 14: “Work” and “Life”: Crossing Boundaries of Time, Space, and Place, Janice Monk

Chapter 15: Practical Ethics for Professional Geographers, Francis Harvey

Chapter 16: Creating the Life You Want: Lifelong Professional Development for Geographers, Pauline E. Kneale and Larch Maxey

12.2 Non-English language Book publications
None received.
12.3 Recent articles

Rempfler, A. & R. Uphues (2012): System Competence in Geography Education. Development of competence models, diagnosing pupils' achievement. - In: European Journal of Geography 3/1, 6-22. See:


12.4 Forthcoming publications
Tribal GIS: Supporting Native American Decision Making

A new book from Esri Press entitled Tribal GIS: Supporting Native American Decision Making, will be published in June 2012. In it, tribal leaders tell their stories about implementing and using GIS to address their unique challenges as sovereign Nations. The book covers applications in natural resources and the environment, transportation, cultural and historical preservation, economic development, health, public safety, agriculture, and perhaps most interesting to the GIS education community, two chapters on K-12 and higher education. Showing how tribal governments responsible for the stewardship of their land and resources and the health and well-being of their People use enterprise GIS to make decisions, Tribal GIS supports tribes new to GIS and those with GIS experience. It also will be useful for the general GIS community, showing the many scales and disciplines in which GIS can be applied.

The education chapters include stories such as students at the Alamo Navajo School collecting water well location and water quality information for the tribal government, students at Santa Fe Indian School measuring soil erosion and analyzing land use, students at Haskell Indian Nations University researching the geology of Antarctica and developing an accessibility map for their own campus, and much more.  Space does not permit me to say too much here, but the stories speak for themselves. Share the stories with your students. How have the spatial perspective and GIS made a positive difference and aided with decision making? How might you be able to use these stories to generate ideas for your own GIS-based projects?
For more information:


Joseph J. Kerski, Ph.D.| Education Manager

Esri | 1 International Court | Broomfield CO  80021-3200 | USA

Resources for primary teachers

Geography Plus: Primary Teachers' Toolkit, Series Editors: Paula Owens and Paula Richardson Bowden, D. & Copekand, P. (2012) Green Futures: Investigating why rainforests matter, Geographical Association
North, W. & Hamblen, A. (2012) Australia Here We Come! Exploring a distant place, Geographical Association

Parsons, S. & Foley, M. (2012) Food for Thought: Investigating where our food comes from, Geographical Association

Richardson, P. & Richardson, T. (2012) Living in the Freezer: Investigating polar environments, Geographical Association
Seal, N. & Ambrose, L. (2012) Beside the Sea, Geographical Association

Witt, S. & Morley, E. (2012), Neighbourhood Watch!: Investigating the world on our doorstep, Geographical Association

Report on the 2008 - 2012 Commission on Geographical Education

Prepared for the Meeting of the IGU Executive Committee

31 January, 2012

This report has been prepared using the template provided by Mike Meadows, the Secretary General and Treasurer of the IGU Executive Committee.

1. Membership of the 2008 – 2012 Commission
1 (a) Composition of the 2008 - 2012 Commission Steering Committee
Lex Chalmers, New Zealand. (Chair) Geography, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3249. Tel: +64 7 838 4436.
Simon Catling, UK. (Secretary) School of Education, Oxford Brookes University, Harcourt Hill, Oxford OX2 9AT. Tel: +1865 488499.
Michael Solem, USA. (Treasurer) Association of American Geographers, 1710 Sixteenth Street NW

Washington, DC 20009-3198. Tel: 202-234-1450, ext. 143.

Fernando Alexandre, Portugal. Geography, Department of Social Sciences. S. João do Estoril High School & Education and Development Research Unit, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Lisbon

Rua Brito Camacho, 2769-501 Estoril. Tel: +351 214658440.

Yoshiyasu Ida, Japan. School Education, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8572. Tel: +81-29-853-6731.
Osvaldo Muniz, Chile. Geography, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666. Tel. 512-245-0375.

Sibylle Reinfried, Switzerland. University of Teacher Education Central Switzerland (PHZ) Department of Teaching and Learning, Museggstrasse 37 CH-6004 Lucerne. Tel: +41 (0)44 382 27 87.
Ivy Tan, Singapore. Studies in Education, Academic Group, National Institute of Education
Nanyang Technological University.1 Nanyang Walk 637616. Tel: (65) 6790 3415.
Sirpa Tani, Finland. Geography and Environmental Education, Department of Teacher Education, Applied Sciences of Education, P.O. Box 9, FI-00014 University of Helsinki. Tel. +358-9-19129572.

Joop van der Schee, Netherlands. Centre for Educational Training, Assessment and Research
Free University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105,1081 HV Amsterdam.
Wang Min, China. Beijing Normal University, No. 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing 100875.
Tel: 86 10 62206307.


Joop van der Schee, as Co-Chair of the Olympiad Task Force, functioned as a Commissioner, but with a designation similar to that used in the 2004-2008 Commission (Co-Chair, International Geography Olympiad Task Force).

1(b) Number of commission members
At the end of 2010 the Commission was mailing to 366 members, but we are currently engaged in a process of updating our mailing list to reflect interest in our activities in 2011 and 2012 (regional conferences in Chile and Europe). Email is the basis of our contact list; a number of colleagues use generic domains (google mail, hotmail etc.), and while we do not know the institutions or national affiliations of all members, we can report our 2010 corresponding membership by nationally where this is known (305 members summarised in the following table; countries with a single member are not reported). We expect the total number of corresponding members to be 400 by August, 2012.
























New Zealand












Czech Republic













South Africa






























United Kingdom





United States


2. Commission meetings have been scheduled in the following places since the Tunis IGU Congress in 2008
Tunis, Tunisia. August, 2008. Theme: Collaboratively Building our Territories. IGU Congress. Eight commission sessions, thirty-two papers presented. Attendance 65. No proceedings available.
Tsukuba, Japan. 6-8 August. 2009. Theme: Introducing Spatial Thinking to Geography Education. Simultaneous bi-lingual presentations. Seven commission sessions, 30 papers presented. Attendance 140. No proceedings available.
Hamilton, New Zealand. 19-20 January, 2010. Theme: Positioning Geography: Strategic Issues in Geographical Education. Seven sessions, 31 papers and four workshops presented. Attendance 80. Digital proceedings available, 100 pp.
Istanbul, Turkey. 8-10 July, 2010. Theme: Building Bridges between Cultures through Geographical Education. Twelve sessions, 30 papers and one workshop presented. Attendance 140. Digital proceedings available. 300pp.
Tel Aviv, Israel. July 12-16, 2010. IGU Regional Conference. Theme: Bridging Diversity in a Globalizing World. Six Commission sessions, 30 papers presented, plus two workshops. Attendance 52. No proceedings available.
London, United Kingdom. 18-20 April, 2011. Theme: Curriculum Making in Geography.

Seven sessions, 30 papers presented. Attendance 45. Proceedings text available in book form.

Santiago, Chile, 14-18 November, 2011. IGU Regional Conference. Theme: United and integrated with the World. Six themes of Commission presentations, simultaneous translation into/from Spanish available. 22 papers and one workshop were presented. Attendance 45. No proceedings available.
Freiburg, Germany, 22-25 August, 2012. Theme: Experience-based Geography Learning.
Cologne, Germany, 26-30 August, 2012. Theme: Down to Earth. Ten sessions, attendance 120, 40 papers to be presented.

3. Networking
3 (a) Collaboration with other IGU Commissions and Task Forces
Our closest affiliation has been with the International Geography Olympiad. A number of Steering Committee members have active roles in national iGEO and Asia-Pacific GEO organisations, and we plan to continue this association in 2012 – 2016.
Through Margaret Robertson and colleagues at the University of Waikato, we have a watching brief on the IGU initiative to have the United Nations General Assembly declare 2014 the UN International Year of Global Understanding (UN IYGU). The Commission was represented at the initial IGU briefing by Benno Werlen (Germany) at Santiago, Chile.
3 (b) Collaboration with other international, intergovernmental, and inter- and multi-disciplinary groups from 2008 through 2012
The Commission’s Newsletter reports our association with a large number of professional, research and policy agencies with interests in geographical education. The Commission acknowledges the outstanding work of Simon Catling in operating an effective information clearing house for these agencies through the Newsletter.
Notable connections are those with the International Network for Teaching and Learning and teaching Geography in Higher Education , the AAG Centre for Global Geography Education and the ESRI GIS Education Community.
The Commission is a named sponsor of a prize in the Asahikawa Children’s Environmental Map Award .

4. Publications

4 (a) Newsletters, journals, and books published in 2008 to 2012
The Commission sponsors International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education (IRGEE). The journal is edited by John Lidstone (Queensland University of Technology) and Joe Stoltman (Western Michigan University) and published by Taylor and Francis. The ISSN of IRGEE is 1038-2046. IRGEE is published four times a year, with the purpose of

  • promoting an expanded international interest in research in geographical and environmental education;

  • providing a forum for the critique of research studies and the discussion of relevant research issues in geographical and environmental education;

  • encouraging the international dissemination of research in geographical and environmental education; and

  • demonstrating the relevance of research studies to good professional practice in geographical and environmental education.

The Newsletters published by the Commission since 2001 are e-mailed to corresponding members of the Commission. The most recent Newsletter was 29 pages and more than 12,000 words. Normally the Secretary of the Commission, Simon Catling, prepares three editions a year, in April, August and September. The Newsletter is at the core of the Commission’s activities, and Simon’s work is much appreciated.

Conference proceedings are published where local organisers are able to provide the necessary resources. Two sets of proceedings were published digitally, and one appeared as a conference book during the 2008-2012 period. In addition, the best conference papers are promoted for consideration as journal articles, particularly for IRGEE.
Commission web publications. The Commission on Geographical Education has issued a charter and made two formal declarations (the second endorsed by the IGU in the Plenary Session of the Tunis Congress). All three documents are available on the Commission’s website. The International Charter on Geographical Education (1992) and International Declaration on Geographical Education for Cultural Diversity (2002) are important statements about our discipline developed through long periods of consensus building and international discussion. They appear on this website in their entirety. The Lucerne Declaration on Geography Education for Sustainable Development was developed in 2007 as a response to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, and presented to the IGU by Sibylle Reinfried.
Other publications are promoted on the Commission’s website, although this process is not systematic or widely used.
4 (b) Insights or conclusions from the period’s publications
Digital publication is central to the Commission’s practice. Some free articles are available from the IRGEE website (, but distribution through digital library packages is the key to increasing the profile and impact of some of the Commission’s research and ideas central to geographical education. IRGEE published 27 papers in 360 plus pages in 2011; John Lidstone and Joe Stoltman have been vital to the life of the journal, and the Commission is extremely grateful to them.
The significant number of meetings organised in Europe, Asia, Oceania and Latin America by the Commission between the 2008 and 2012 Congresses (8) has given young scholars the opportunity of presenting papers in Geographical Education. Members of the Steering Group have all accepted responsibilities in these meetings, often chairing Local Organising Committees (LoCs). Many conference papers become journal articles, but publishing developmental conference proceedings remains an important option for the Commission, and one that we should continue to support from our modest financial resources. In the era of digital publication-to-meet-demand, the 2012 - 2016 Commission may consider allowing a publisher to make available digital proceedings of Commission conferences for a fee, with a royalty payable to the Commission. For digital libraries, this may be preferable to a free download from the Commission’s website.
4 (c) The URL of the Commission’s web site
The site is at Sarah Bednarz developed the first independent Commission website, and in the 2008 – 2012 period Joop van der Schee has accepted the responsibility for maintaining a high quality site. Henk Trimp serves as webmaster.

5. Archival Contributions
The 2004 - 2008 Commission sent copies of most published material to the IGU archives at Villa Celimontana in Rome. We understood that storage space was limited, and the 2008 -2012 Commission has adopted the strategy of advising (through IGU or Commission web links) the publication of our work. If more storage space has become available, the 2012-2016 Commission should be informed. Given the note in section 4, however, digital lodging of documents seems more effective, and the IGU may benefit from some unified strategy in this area.

6. Commission on Geographical Education 2012-2016
6 (a) Continuation
As noted to the Executive of the IGU in Santiago, Chile, the 2008-2012 Commission has considered the value of its contribution, and has worked through the process of defining new goals and membership for a 2012-2016 Commission on Geographical Education. We invite the IGU Executive to recommend continuation to the 2012 General Assembly of the Congress.
6 (b) The mission of the 2012 - 2016 Commission on Geographical Education
The van der Schee/Lidstone proposal is included in full as 6 (d). It specifies the following goals as constituting the mission statement for the 2012-2016 Commission
a) the promotion of geography as an essential aspect of education at all levels in all countries,

b) an international program of educational research,

c) the exchange of information on geographical education and

d) the development and promotion of good practices in geography teaching, especially for those countries that need extra support, should be developed in 2012 for presentation to the IGU Executive in support of the renewal of the Commission.

Seven strategies for the achievement of this mission are documented in the proposal.
6 (c) The proposed membership of the 2012 - 2016 Commission.
Joop van der Schee, Netherlands. (Co-chair) Centre for Educational Training, Assessment and Research Free University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105,1081 HV Amsterdam.
John Lidstone, Australia. (Co-Chair) Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, Queensland 4059.
Claire Books, UK. (Secretary) Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL. Tel: +44 (0)20 7612 6000.
Michael Solem, USA. (Treasurer) Association of American Geographers, 1710 Sixteenth Street NW Washington, DC 20009-3198. Tel: 202-234-1450, ext. 143.
Fernando Alexandre, Portugal. Geography, Department of Social Sciences. S. João do Estoril High School & Education and Development Research Unit, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Lisbon Rua Brito Camacho, 2769-501 Estoril. Tel: +351 214658440
Ali Demirci, Turkey. Geography, Fatih University, Buyukcekmece, Istanbul 34500. Tel: +90 212 866 3408.
Eje Kim, South Korea. Gyeongin National University of Education. 439-440 San 6-8 Seoksu-Dong, Manan-Gu Anyang-si, Gyeonggi.
Osvaldo Muniz, Chile. Geography, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666. Tel. 512-245-0375.
Daniela Schmeinck, Germany. University of Education, Postfach 11 10 62 76060. Karlsruhe. Tel: +49 721 925-3.
Ivy Tan, Singapore. Studies Education Academic Group National Institute of Education
Nanyang Technological University.1 Nanyang Walk, Singapore 637616 Tel: (65) 6790 3415.
Sirpa Tani, Finland. Geography and Environmental Education, Department of Teacher Education, Applied Sciences of Education, P.O. Box 9, FI-00014 University of Helsinki. Tel. +358-9-19129572.

6 (d) Work plan envisaged for the new commission, including a description of the results to be achieved during the 2012-2016 period
Newsletter number 9 (December 2011) describes the process that lead to the November 2011 submission of the following proposal to the IGU Executive in Chile. The proposal has been endorsed by the 2008-2012 Steering Committee, and distributed to corresponding members.


Professor Mike Meadows, Secretary General and Treasurer,

International Geographical Union

(via Professor Simon Catling, Honorary Secretary, Commission on Geographical Education of the International Geographical Union)


Professor Joop van der Schee, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam and Professor John Lidstone, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane


Nomination as joint Chairs of the Commission for 2012 - 2016


July 2011

The May 2011 Newsletter of the Commission on Geographical Education carried a Call for nominations for a new International Geographical Union Commission on Geographical Education to take up responsibility from September 2012, including nominations for a Chair and for Steering Committee members.

In response to this call, we now seek the support of the current Steering Group and Honorary Members for this Expression of Interest in leading the Commission for the period 2012 – 2016. We further request that the current Steering Group and Honorary Members, through the Honorary Secretary and current Chair nominate us as Joint Chairs.
In requesting for this support, we ask that the current Steering Group and Honorary Members take into account our contributions to the Commission over many years.

In particular, Professor Van der Schee has served on the Commission, convened an international Symposium in the Netherlands (1996) and founded and guided the development of the International Geography Olympiad and continues to ensure its success. Professor Lidstone also served on the Commission as Secretary to previous Chairs Haubrich and Gerber, convened two international Symposia in Australia (1984 with Prof Gerber and 2006) and co-founded and continues to co-edit the highly respected international journal: International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education (published by Taylor and Francis). Both Van der Schee and Lidstone have the support of their respective institutions to enable them to undertaking the roles of Joint Chair of the Commission.

  1. Rationale for the proposal for Joint Chairs for a single term.

While acknowledging that the IGU suggests that a Commission should consist of a Chair, a Secretary and ten members and that the Chair will usually serve two terms of four years, we are aware of the feeling within the current Steering Group

a) that the Commission can improve the ways in which Chairs and office bearers are elected or appointed and

b) that in recent times, Chairs and other office bearers have taken up the mantle of office with little or no preparation and generally inadequate records of former modus operandi.

At the same time, it has become obvious that increasing workloads and other demands on academics in virtually all jurisdictions have imposed a considerable burden on individuals who have been faced with coming to terms with the cultural history of the Commission, preparing specific objectives and a programme of work for the new Commission and achieving appropriate outcomes within the lifespan of the commission.
Perhaps as a result, the Geographical Education community is now represented at the international level by a number of experienced academics who are approaching retirement and a number of earlier career academics who produce high quality work in their own countries but who often lack experience at operating in the international sphere.
To address these concerns, we propose that we act as Joint Chairs for a single term and during this time, that the Commission adopts a process of mentoring to permit the emerging generation of senior academics in geographical education to develop knowledge, skills and understanding of the international sphere. In this way, we hope to establish a process whereby future Chairs, Office bearers and Members of the Steering Group may be identified early and assisted to take on leadership positions in successive Commissions with effective and efficient transitions.

  1. Objectives of the New Commission

The current Commission still has twelve months of its term remaining and a final proposal for the objectives of the next Commission will be discussed by the current Chair and Steering Committee in Freiburg and Cologne in 2012. However, we propose that, in addition to the objective of establishing new approaches to the professional development of future leaders of the Commission, objectives related to

a) the promotion of geography as an essential aspect of education at all levels in all countries,

b) an international program of educational research,

c) the exchange of information on geographical education and

d) the development and promotion of good practices in geography teaching, especially for those countries that need extra support, should be developed in 2012 for presentation to the IGU Executive in support of the renewal of the Commission.

  1. Programme of Work for the new Commission

As noted in Newsletter #7, the current Steering Committee has considered some initiatives for future work of the Commission and makes the following suggestions:

a) Creating a ‘Geography Education Doctoral Collection’. This would involve collating from around the World the Authors, Titles and Abstracts of successful doctoral theses in geographical and environmental education, from all nations and in national languages, translated into English, such that an on-line list can be made available for postgraduate and other researchers, perhaps through the IGU CGE website.

b) The preparation of an edited ‘Book containing significant papers on geographical education’. This publication might contain up to ten original papers, with copyright agreement for re-publication, from the period of the history of geographical education (perhaps 100-150 years), each with an extended reflective commentary, jointly by one or more geography educators of standing. Criteria for selection will need to be identified, as would the panel of geography educators who would develop it, make the selection of papers, and commission the reflective essays. A publisher will need to be identified and approached.

c) Support for the drafting of an edited ‘Book on geography education practice and research’. One such book is that which has been proposed by Michael Solem and Simon Catling on “Rethinking Geography Education: International Perspectives on Scholarly Practices” for a series published by Springer, which is global in scope and which also considers approaches to research (and which might be adapted to be a possible successor to the book edited by Michael Williams on researching geographical and environmental education published by Cassell [now Continuum] in 1996).

d) The preparation of a ‘Review publication on geospatial practices and lessons learned’. This is a third monograph, which focuses particularly on what has been learnt from geospatial projects and research from the past decade or more of implementing GIS in schools and colleges.

e) The setting up of geographical education ‘Virtual geography communities of practice’. This proposal would encourage and enable geography educators in various parts of the World to engage and work together, communicating with each other and sharing materials such as curricula, individual lessons, learning objects and assessment items, virtually. It is a proposal which should also include the support and development of the work of the Commission Steering Committee members through regular virtual meetings.

f) Support and connection of early career researchers in geography education internationally. A further proposal associated with (a) above relates to a scholarly analysis of the implementation of the scholarly process itself in the context of international doctoral work in geographical education. Such a study would intend to enhance both quality and quantity of international research in geographical education.

g) Support the International Geography Olympiad as an important way to promote geography, to stimulate understanding between young people and to help to improve the quality of school geography worldwide.

  1. Proposed membership of the Steering Committee 2012 – 2016

Notwithstanding the call in Newsletter #7 (May 2011) that “those who might wish to be considered for membership of the Commission Steering Committee [should] make themselves known to the Honorary Secretary”, we make the following observations on the current membership and proposals for the membership of the future Steering Committee. A final decision on the composition of the future Steering Committee, in the light of events in the next twelve months and other nominees whose names are drawn to the attention of the Honorary Secretary, should be made in mid-2012.

The current Commission on Geographical Education of the International Geographical Union will conclude its work at the Congress of the IGU to be held in Cologne, Germany, in August 2012.

At that time, the current Chair, Lex Chalmers (New Zealand) will have completed two terms and will stand down, while the current Honorary Secretary, Simon Catling (UK) has announced his retirement. Sibylle Reinfried (Switzerland), Yoshiyasu Ida (Japan), Wang Min (PR China) and Joop van der Schee (Netherlands) will also have completed two terms as full members of the steering group and will therefore stand down from their current positions with the Commission.

Fernando Alexandre (Portugal), Oswaldo Muniz (Chile) Michael Solem (USA), Ivy Tan (Singapore), and Sirpa Tani (Finland) have served the Commission for the past four years and if willing, will be invited to continue for a further term.

We then propose that the following people who have shown considerable interest and initiative in the activities of the Commission be invited to join the Steering Group for the forthcoming Commission: Clare Brooks (UK), Ali Demirci (Turkey), Eje Kim (South Korea) and Daniela Schmeinck (Germany).

As Office bearers in the new Commission, in addition to ourselves, we further propose to maintain continuity with the current Steering Group by inviting Michael Solem to continue as Treasurer and Clare Brooks to act as Secretary. Although Clare Brooks is new to the Steering Group, we believe that her close working relationship with the current Secretary, Simon Catling, her experience as co-organiser of the 2011 London Symposium and the willingness of Sarah Bednarz to offer support and experience to the Secretary, would enable her to take over the role in September 2012 seamlessly.

The new Commission would therefore be:




Joint Chairs

Joop vd Schee

John Lidstone




Clare Brooks



Michael Solem


Full member

Fernando Alexandre


Full member

Ali Demirci


Full member

Eje Kim

S. Korea

Full member

Oswaldo Muniz


Full member

Daniela Schmeinck


Full member

Ivy Tan


Full member

Sirpa Tani


We also hope that Sarah Bednarz, Simon Catling, Hartwig Haubrich, Lex Chalmers, Yoshiyasu Ida, Wang Min, Sibylle Reinfried and Joseph Stoltman will agree to remain with the Commission as Advisers and Mentors both to the new Steering Group and to those emerging members of the commission who may be expected to adopt more formal roles in future Steering Groups. We believe that the model developed by Sarah Bednarz, Hartwig Haubrich and Joseph Stoltman in recent Commissions has proved very valuable and has great potential for further development in the future.

Finally, we believe that such a Commission, with its balance of gender, age, experience and geographical distribution will serve the International Geographical Education community well from 2012 – 2016.
Joop van der Schee John Lidstone
Joop van der Schee John Lidstone

6 (e). The importance of the anticipated results of the commission’s work.
The Commission of Geographical Education is arguably the oldest of the IGU’s commissions. The Commission has a sustained record of excellence in organisation and contributes effectively to research in theory and practice in the discipline. The proposal for continuance is based on this expertise, but recognises that new approaches are necessary, new scholarship is starting to emerge in different national communities, and technology is now a major part of teaching and learning. We advocate a co-chairing arrangement to handle the increasing workload, and believe the incoming Commission membership has the capacity to deliver the programmes proposed.

Lex Chalmers for the 2008-2012

Commission on Geographical Education

Download 0.54 Mb.

Share with your friends:
1   2

The database is protected by copyright © 2022
send message

    Main page