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Language, Culture, and Army Culture: Failing Transformation | Small Wars Journal

Language, Culture, and Army Culture: Failing Transformation | Small Wars Journal | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it

Editor's Note: COL Outzen puts forth a compelling plea for the Army to pay more attention to promoting language proficiency. The other services are similarly lacking in these fields. Although individual program managers are creating some bright spots, the truth is that poor personnel management and the burden of one-size-fits-all training preclude many servicemembers from attaining true professionalism in their fields.

Introduction

A decade of Counterinsurgency (COIN) and Counter-Terrorism (CT) operations have highlighted our military’s shortcomings in employing and understanding foreign languages, the people who speak them, and various types of knowledge derived from language communities. The Department of Defense had identified this critical capability gap by 2004, and by 2005 had directed the Services to treat language capabilities as a core warfighting skill akin to marksmanship[1]. This implied significant organizational and cultural change within the Army and sister Services, which have traditionally viewed foreign language skill as a niche meriting limited and episodic attention. Six years have elapsed, though, and the Services have failed to produce doctrine, organizations, or practices that can be considered transformative. Instead, they have applied band-aid approaches by contracting out language and related capabilities, while not reforming the way the fielded forces train for or employ language and related skills in any significant way[2]. Given emphatic calls from senior leaders such as the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Chief of Staff of the Army, it is hard to understand why the Army has made such little progress[3].

That we have not successfully transformed is beyond dispute among those paying attention since the Defense Language Transformation Roadmap was published[4]. With massive cuts to the DoD budget looming, though, simply recognizing failure is insufficient; the Army and DoD must develop coherent and effective responses sooner rather than later[5]. The response must both be effective and survive budget austerity, which rules out much of the Army’s current approach[6]. This essay offers a series of observations about why and how we have failed to transform language and related capabilities, and presents several recommendations for successfully moving ahead. The observations focus on the U.S. Army’s efforts, since the Army has the preponderance of resources and responsibilities for DoD language and culture operations, but are broadly applicable for the other Services as well.


Via Charles Tiayon
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Why Geography Education Matters

Why Geography Education Matters | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it

"This blog-a-thon submission comes from Joseph Kerski of the National Council of Geographic Education (2011 President). Joseph writes about why geography education matters and how it applies to each one of us."

 

 

This was one great orange! Thank you GS!

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austin tydings's comment, August 27, 2013 2:41 PM
Geography, is a subject where it takes all the skills from science, math, English, and social studies, and combines it into a in depth thinking class. It makes you find the problem, fix it and tell how and why you fixed it . For example, a crop is not growing in a dry area, then you try it in a wet area and it grows, now you have to find out why it grows in a wet area and not a dry area and explain why. It is good to start out early learning about the basics in the core classes then later in the more advance classes, to understand how to fix a problem.
Annenkov's curator insight, September 13, 2013 2:09 AM

"Geography education applies to each one of us" - not only for children, but for adults in everyday life. Who is interested in developing a personal geoculture?  

Peter Phillips's curator insight, October 5, 2013 7:37 PM

Using an orange to learn the continents of the Earth :) great idea. 

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How Do Sunni and Shia Islam Differ?

How Do Sunni and Shia Islam Differ? | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
With Saudi Arabia’s execution of a Shiite cleric inflaming tensions in the Middle East, here is a primer on the differences between the two branches of Islam.

Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 4, 12:39 PM

Knowing the geography of the Sunni-Shiite division is incredibly important for a good understanding of world regional geography as well as modern geopolitics (see a detailed map of the spatial distribution here). This 5 minute video (as well as this NPR podcast) examine the historical and religious aspects of this split to then analyze the political and cultural implications in the Middle East today.  Additionally this Pew Research article highlights the 5 countries where the the majority of Muslims are Shiite, with some good demographic data to add to the analysis.  Take this quiz to test your knowledge on the differences between the two major branches of Islam.   

 

TagsMiddleEastIslamreligionhistorical, culture.

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Why Shanghai's first American Chinese restaurant is taking off

Why Shanghai's first American Chinese restaurant is taking off | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
The BBC's Celia Hatton finds out why one restaurant in Shanghai is serving up American-style Chinese food

Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 24, 2015 2:40 PM

This article covers the same topic as this NPR podcast, the success of an American-style Chinese restaurant in China.  Some joked that it was akin to selling snow to Eskimos, but there is a local appetite among the youth that want to experiment with the 'foreign,' but also with American ex-pats that crave a taste of home. This is just one more delicious example of how globalization impacts cultural products and how globalization flows in many unexpected directions.  For more, see this TED talk on the search for the origins of General Tso's chicken, and this podcast of the historical geographies of the fortune cookie.    

 

Tags: foodglobalization, culture, China, East Asia, podcast.

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How to say Merry Christmas in different European Languages

How to say Merry Christmas in different European Languages | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
This map by Jakub Marian shows you how to say Merry Christmas in European languages.

Via Seth Dixon
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Jean-Simon Venne's curator insight, December 19, 2015 12:45 PM

Working on the pronunciation....

John Peterson's comment, December 19, 2015 1:32 PM
I learned something new. Thanks.
Marianne Naughton's curator insight, December 24, 2015 8:54 AM

Merry Christmas To All !!!

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Thanksgiving Maps, Posters and Geospatial Data

Thanksgiving Maps, Posters and Geospatial Data | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it

"Thanksgiving resources for geography educators." http://wp.me/P2dv5Z-1lR


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Agriculture Linked to DNA Changes in Ancient Europe

Agriculture Linked to DNA Changes in Ancient Europe | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
Geneticists at Harvard have found that the rise of agriculture some 8,500 years ago led to widespread changes, affecting height and skin color.
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NYT VR: How to Experience a New Form of Storytelling From The Times

NYT VR: How to Experience a New Form of Storytelling From The Times | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
Today, The New York Times takes a step into virtual reality. Here’s what you need to know to use it.
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Daylight Saving Time Explained


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 1, 2015 7:00 PM

If you haven't discovered CGP Grey yet, his YouTube channel is a veritable fountain of geographic tidbits.  Day Light Savings (whether you agree with it or not) has to do with fundamental Earth-Sun relationships and have some corresponding spatial patterns of who does or does not follow it.  The tag below links to my archive of his many geographically related videos.   


Tags: CGP Grey.

Charli Wiggill's curator insight, November 2, 2015 6:45 AM

@Jackie Barnard - any use for your geographers?

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Are you ignorant about the world?

Are you ignorant about the world? | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
The world is spinning so fast that it can be hard to keep track of everything going on. And most of us aren't doing a good job of it, writes Hans Rosling.

Via Seth Dixon
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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 7, 2015 9:47 AM

perception of place units 1 &3

John Puchein's curator insight, November 9, 2015 8:42 AM

Hans Rosling is a very important influence on Geography. He created Gapminder and continuously makes great Ted Talks.

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, November 25, 2015 9:18 AM

I believe that there are many people in the U.S. who do not pay attention to the news. Some are too poor to own a phone or television to keep up with what is going on in the world (although they can read the news paper, but you get my point). Others are too rich to care. And some base there opinions off of other peoples views and don't have an opinion of their own. Am I ignorant about the world? No, because I like to know what's happening world wide, especially if there are issues going on that can affect the survival of the human race, survival of the environment, and survival of my country.

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How I Escaped From North Korea

"My legs touched the electric wire, badly burning my shins. The skin was peeling off."

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Family Care Foundation :: If the World Were a Village of 100 People

Family Care Foundation :: If the World Were a Village of 100 People | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
If we could reduce the world's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the demographics would look something like this

Via Allison Anthony
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World Religion Map

World Religion Map | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
The incredibly detailed map of the world's religions shows what the biggest religion is by census area in each country, along with its level of support.

Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 20, 2015 2:12 PM

Mapping religion can be incredibly problematic, but this map (hi-res here) uses the best data available for each country.  Examine some of the regional maps (Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania); what patterns are interesting/surprising to you? 

 

Tags: culturereligion.

Ignacio Garrido's curator insight, October 26, 2015 3:08 PM

Exercise :

 

a.What are the most important religions in the World?

b.Can you identify each territory and their main religion?

c.Write 10 lines about the relation between culture and religion in your society

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 12:53 AM

Religion is one of the toughest topics to map. It can be tough because some countries may have an official religion, but may have non-official religions within their country that some people do in fact believe in. It's also hard to map because there are subdivisions to many religions and those divisions could be big or small or non existent.

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A Walk Through Downtown Providence, 1908

A Walk Through Downtown Providence, 1908 | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it

"The black and white  pictures, below, are taken from 'Providence', published for the Shepard Company, Providence, R.I. 1908.  The color pictures are from my early postcard collection. The Old State House between Benefit and North Main Street looks much the same now as it did 100 years ago."


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Can You Guess Where You Are in 60 Seconds?

Can You Guess Where You Are in 60 Seconds? | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
Can you guess where we are taking you today? Here's a clue: This city's name translates to "where the river narrows."

Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 22, 2015 10:30 PM

There is a delightfully simple premise to National Geographic video's newest series: after seeing scenes from the cultural and physical landscapes of a place can you guess where in the world it is?  You can find more resources about this unnamed country (no cheating) here.   


Tags: images, placeculture, landscape, tourism

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Why Are There So Many Different Names for Germany?

"Germany, Deutschland, Allemagne, Tyskland, Vacija, Saksa, Niemcy..."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 1, 2015 1:14 PM

Not only are their so many names for Germany, they are also from very distinct linguistic and historic origins.  Being at the center of Europe has put Germans is connect with many ethnic groups, part of why there are so names for Germany. 

 

TagsGermanylanguage, toponyms, culturediffusion.

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Americans Try Norwegian Christmas Food

See staff at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo try traditional Norwegian Christmas dishes. Se ansatte på den amerikanske ambassaden i Oslo smake på norsk julemat.

 

Tags: Norway, food, culture, seasonal, perspective.


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Los Angeles Churches Make Worship...Hip?

Los Angeles Churches Make Worship...Hip? | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
Joe Jonas, Viola Davis and Justin Bieber are among those attending services in Los Angeles that offer texted prayers, neon lights and other 2015 accouterments.
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A Few Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Thanksgiving

A Few Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Thanksgiving | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it

"President Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday during the Civil War, and the feast has since become an American tradition. Yet the story of the Wampanoag and the pilgrims who first broke bread is not commonly known." http://wp.me/P2dv5Z-1lR


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 22, 2015 9:41 PM

This is a good source of information that runs counter the mythologized Thanksgiving story that is seen by so many as central to our heritage and national narrative.  Personally, a nice slice of turkey with cranberry sauce is not ruined by knowing that there is more than one perspective to the story. 


Tags: Thanksgiving, food,perspective, historical.

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More Than Half of Entire Species of Saigas Gone in Mysterious Die-Off

More Than Half of Entire Species of Saigas Gone in Mysterious Die-Off | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
Scientists now estimate that at least 211,000 of the antelopes — more than half of the species — died in May and suspect that rough weather was a trigger.
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Liveable cities: who decides what that means and how we achieve it?

Liveable cities: who decides what that means and how we achieve it? | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
A liveable city has become the highest form of praise we can give to a city space. But we need to discuss what that means and who gets to participate in the process of governing and shaping a city.

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Russia and the Curse of Geography

Russia and the Curse of Geography | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
Want to understand why Putin does what he does? Look at a map.

 

As things stand, Putin, like Russian leaders before him, likely feels he has no choice but to at least try to control the flatlands to Russia’s west. So it is with landscapes around the world—their physical features imprison political leaders, constraining their choices and room for maneuver. These rules of geography are especially clear in Russia, where power is hard to defend, and where for centuries leaders have compensated by pushing outward.


Via Seth Dixon
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Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 1:13 PM

When land geography and political agendas clash. This article helps us understand the motives behind Putin's attempts to expand and claim land. Access to water ways and natural mountain buffers to war are natural important geographical resources behind political actions.

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, November 25, 2015 9:41 AM

The majority of politicians around the world, from what I've seen through debates and rallies are fabricated speeches by politicians for the outcome of gaining more votes. I personally don't trust any politician. When it comes to power, politicians will do what ever it takes to use their power and make it stronger. Of course each politician wants their community and their country to be successful and grand. In this post it looks like Putin wants to control lands in Russia's west because he see's potential and possibilities for his country.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 7:11 PM

This reminds me of the reason Russia fought Afganistan because it wanted to expand its borders especially if Russia could get control of the Wakhan corridor

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South Korea? Trump's 'Where Are You From' Moment : It's All Politics : NPR

South Korea? Trump's 'Where Are You From' Moment : It's All Politics : NPR | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it

Donald Trump interrupted an Asian-American student this week to ask if he was from South Korea. "I was born in Texas," he responded.


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Snow baby boom about to hit Hampton Roads | WAVY-TV

Snow baby boom about to hit Hampton Roads | WAVY-TV | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it

There's a bit of a baby boom happening in Hampton Roads right now. Local hospitals tell 10 On Your Side they are unusually busy this month.


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Watch Europe's Migrant Crisis Escalate in This Animated Map

Watch Europe's Migrant Crisis Escalate in This Animated Map | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
A new interactive data viz shows flows of refugees seeking asylum as whizzing dots.

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Most 8th Graders Are Not Proficient in Geography

Most 8th Graders Are Not Proficient in Geography | FCHS AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY | Scoop.it
About three-quarters of eighth grade students—the only grade for which trend data are available—were not “proficient” in geography in 2014, according to GAO's analysis of nationally representative data from the Department of Education (Education). Specifically, these students had not demonstrated solid competence in the subject, and the proficiency levels of eighth grade students have shown no improvement since 1994 (see figure). Geography is generally taught as part of social studies, but data show that more than half of eighth grade teachers reported spending a small portion (10 percent or less) of their social studies instruction time on geography. Further, according to a study by an academic organization, a majority of states do not require geography courses in middle school or high school.

Via Seth Dixon, Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks, Christopher L. Story
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 16, 2015 12:59 PM

A basic understanding of geography is a prerequisite for any informed citizen, and globalization means that is even more important than ever.  This report is not a 'pick-me-up' but a sobering reminder of the task that lays before us.  There has been some improvement, but so much more is needed.   


TagseducationK12geography education.

Vermont Social Studies's curator insight, October 19, 2015 9:07 AM

Geography is a critically important discipline, and combines science, technology, economics, cultural understanding, and current events. How much geography is taught in your K-12 curriculum?

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, November 9, 2015 3:44 PM

It is disappointing to hear that the average students understanding of Geography is declining, especially as interaction between nations becomes more and more common in a multitude of careers. Knowledge of something as simple and necessary as where in the world different countries are or if Africa is a country  or a continent is not only necessary for a fully rounded education, it is vital for anyone who wishes to be considered well versed in their knowledge of the world.