We are in Oceanside for the week…well sort of. Some lovely friends gave us a timeshare and our patio sits right on the beach. It’s a beautiful, relaxing spot and I’m planning on spending the week working on some of my class preparation. I’m feeling equally excited and overwhelmed at the number of classes we are doing next year.
So, as I was preparing for classes and watching the Olympics I was struck by several countries names that I couldn’t quite place in my head and I wondered if the maps I had worked with the last time I taught World Geography were outdated. It’s a pretty good bet that they are. Living in the U.S. it’s easy to be lulled into thinking that the world, at least in terms of geographic lines, is static and unchanging, when in actuality, history moves on and borders of countries continues to shift or change entirely.
Sometimes we equate education with knowing a lot of facts. While there is obviously some truth to that and we do wish for our students to have a basic knowledge base, far more important is their ability to access the information they want when they need it. Research skills are not often taught as a class, but maybe they should be. With the internet research is so much easier, but even there students need to learn discernment. Not all sites are reliable.
So, while I go back to my map searches (by the way the CIA posts great up to the minute maps) I’m going to be thinking about how to incorporate some research into my classes.