Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
"Berlin Bureau Chief Michael Slackman looks into the obsession with currywurst, a popular street dish that combines sausage, ketchup and curry powder, and brings different Berliners together."
This short video has been added to the the interactive map, Place-Based Geography Videos. This depiction of street foods in German cities is a rich, tangible example to show cultural patterns and processes. Currywurst is a unifying force across socioeconomic classes in Germany, but it is also a product of globalization and cultural interactions across regions. Culture is not static and this New York Times video can be used to teach the various concepts of culture; per the updated APHG outline, the initial concepts of culture are:
Question to Ponder: How are these 5 major elements of culture seen in this video?
"A great Florida teacher produced this video. Visit his course website for additional incredible resources."
This just one of my favorite "start of the year" videos. I've compiled them here so they can be used to at the beginning of the school year to show the importance of geography, spatial thinking and geo-literacy. They show why taking geography courses is so important, useful and interesting. Do you know of a great video that I should put on the list? Send me a tweet.
"Why are all the gas stations, cafes and restaurants in one crowded spot? As two competitive cousins vie for ice-cream-selling domination on one small beach, discover how game theory and the Nash Equilibrium inform these retail hotspots."
Once again the AP Human Geography reading was a success. I still firmly believe that this group pf 500+ teachers and professors have GOT to be the most extraordinary and interesting people than any...
"About the history of the creation of Africa borders and debates about African borders."
Disregard the rough English grammar; this is a nice article to show some of the historical, ethnic, linguistic and political complexities behind African borders. This would be a great supplemental article to help AP Human Geography students to prepare for Question 2 of the 2014 AP Human Geography Exam that focused on superimposed boundaries within an African context.
Last night I had the pleasure of attending a tremendously entertaining and incredibly informative professional development evening at the APHG reading (that isn’t an easy combination to pull of either, and he did marvelously). Dr. James Johnson is a trained geographer teaching in the School of Business at the University of North Carolina. His talk, entitled “Disruptive Demographics: Implications for Global Competitiveness” (PDF file available here-- video of an earlier version is here) follows in a tradition of superb presentation at the reading; in 2012, Roger Downs gave a great professional development presentation on geographic expertise.
This week I am in Cincinnati, OH, scoring the AP Human Geography exams. Here you can find the digital newsletters that are intended for the AP readers to know about the upcoming events. I will post future newsletters here as well.
I also am teaching in Elmhurst College’s Graduate Certificate Program in Human Geography for AP. They have recently announced some changes that will make it much more accessible and applicable for teachers. They have added a Master’s Program in Applied Geospatial Sciences with Concentration in Human Geography as well as a non-credit (read, cheaper) option for the courses in the program as well. Look into it!
"Population statistics are like crystal balls -- when examined closely, they can help predict a country's future (and give important clues about the past). Kim Preshoff explains how using a visual tool called a population pyramid helps policymakers and social scientists make sense of the statistics, using three different countries' pyramids as examples."
This is an incredibly powerful and remarkably well-done TED-ED lesson on the importance and value of population pyramids. This lesson goes nicely with this article fro the World Bank entitled "The End of the Population Pyramid" which highlights the demographic changes that will be reshaping global demographics in the next 50-100 years.
In 2011, one of the AP Human Geography Free Response Questions focused on identifying if the rank-size rule applied the urban hierarchy of a country (Mexico), or if a primate city dominated the network of metropolitan regions. To prepare people to understand the rubric, I put together this presentation, based primarily on my time researching in Mexico City (download the PPT file to access my notes for each slide). The problems with primate cities are hardly unique to Mexico City; this additional BBC article bemoans Britain’s lack of a true second city, arguing that London’s shadow looms too large for sustained national development outside of the primate city.
"McDowell County, situated in the coalfields of West Virginia, has experienced a great boom-and-bust since 1950. But despite the economic decline and population loss, many still call it home and feel a great sense of purpose among the mountains. Residents speak about their connection to this place and the meaning of 'home.' Hear more stories at hollowdocumentary.com "
This video perfectly exemplifies some key geographic ideas; sense of place, regional economic decline, migration and resource extraction. This video would be great to shows students and then get them to analyze the geographic context that creates a place like McDowell County, West Virginia. This will be a great addition to my Place-Based Geography Videos StoryMap.
|Suggested by Allison Anthony|
A Human Geography Resource; Especially for Teachers
The Human Imprint is home to everything Human Geography related for the student, educator, and the every day Joe/Jane. This site includes geographic related stories, lesson plans, and other links that bring us closer to understanding the “why of where.”
Have you already seen this resource produced by a Chicago AP Human Geography teacher? If not, there's no time like the present!
"For Regional Geography, I ask that all my students take an online quizzes before coming to class because it is very difficult to intelligently discuss European issues if you don’t know the countries of Europe, where they are and what other countries are on their borders. Quizzes and knowing places doesn’t define geography, but if geography were English literature, knowing about places could be described as the alphabet–before you write a sonnet or critique an essay, you better know your ABC’s and basic grammar. Given that, I like the Lizard Point Geography quizzes, Sheppard Software quizzes and those from Click that ‘Hood; they are simple, straightforward and comprehensive."
I found this image on social media from a great geography teacher (link to his site--looking for APHG group activities? Try this). This picture taken at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Memphis, TN shows an intrguing linguistic combination that I had never imagined before. This is referred to as cultural syncretism, where two or more cultures or cultural traits combine together to make something new. Globalization and migration are making more cultural combinations than we've ever seen before in this human mosaic we call home.
"If an urban population demands the freshest vegetables, they should be produced within a 24-hour field-to-table delivery zone. What, therefore, should be the highest and best use of agricultural land between Taiwan's two largest cities, Taipei and Kaoshiung, only 200 miles apart? The Lord of the Rings, a.k.a., Johan Heinrich Von Thünen, has the answer." 
This image and analysis comes from the blog "Geographically Yours" by Don Zeigler. He's a well-traveled cultural geographer and has been collecting great teaching images over his career and is now sharing them on this site. These pictures are great discussion starters and bell ringers to start the day.
The APHG course outline and description was changed over the summer and the 2014 test will reflect these changes. So what are the changes? I've created this slideshow to show what the changes are and add links to my site that might be thematically useful. The hyperlinks don't work in the first 4 slides so I duplicated the unit 1 slides at the end of the document (you can download this as a PDF file or the Powerpoint file as well).
With rapid urbanization under way, cities want to call their own shots. Increasingly, they can.
This article could just as easily been titled, "The rise of the modern city-state." Parag Khanna (known for his TED talk, Mapping the Future of Countries) argues in this article that governance is happening increasingly at the city scale. "In the face of rapid urbanization, every city, state or province wants to call its own shots. And they can, as nations depend on their largest cities more than the reverse."
Questions to Ponder: Is this devolution? How so? How does this make us rethink political power and 'the state?' How might this shift reshape the world? How might this concept relate to the term primate cities?
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
Think everyone should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps? Try this one on for size.
This video shows the place matters; a Washington D.C. educator shows how food deserts and other spatial problems of poverty impact his students on a daily basis. We usually look at life expectancy data at the national scale and that obscures some of the real issues of poverty in developed countries. Above is a map that shows the Gini index which measures the degree of economic inequality (the Gini coefficient was recently added to the APHG course content for the Industrialization and Economic Development unit). Here are some maps and data from the World Bank that utilizes the Gini Index as well as an interactive Gapminder graph.
Where in the United States is fracking unlocking natural gas from shale rock?
New to the APHG course content is term political ecology. Briefly, the Political Ecology Society defines it as the study of the political and economic principles controlling the relations of human beings to one another and to the environment. Anytime people are managing the environment in a way that is politically contentious (such as fracking in the USA), that topic can be analyzed using political ecology.
"This is a compilation of videos that can be used to at the beginning of the school year to show the importance of geography, spatial thinking and geo-literacy."
6 conference presentations on various economic and political geography topics given at NCGE 2013 as a part of the APHG strand.
The last two mornings in Denver, CO there was a series of presentations of economic and political geography given in front of a capacity crowd. 6 of the educators have agreed to share the slides of their presentations with the broader geography education community and you can access them all here. See also this livebinder with resources for teaching APHG to 9th graders (which can be adapted to older students as well). This was a fantastic professional development event and we are all thankful that they were willing to share these resources.
This is a five-course part-time program that can be completed in less than one year. Offered through the Elmhurst College Online Center, the program is fully online in eight-week sessions. This program correlates directly with the College Board AP® Human Geography."
NCGE has recently announced that they are willing to offer scholarships to reduce the cost of Elmhurst College's Graduate Certificate Program in Human Geography for AP. Each course is $1950 per class, and every NCGE member that is a current teacher can receive a scholarship of $600 (reducing the per course cost down to $1350 per class). Not currently a member of the NCGE? Join today.
The World Policy Analysis Center aims to improve the quantity and quality of comparative data available to policymakers, citizens, civil society, and researchers around the world on policies affecting human health, development, well-being, and equity.
Following seven years of data collection, the World Policy Analysis Center recently launched a series of over 100 easy-to-understand maps of current laws, policies, and constitutional rights in 193 countries. They are eager to share this information and the maps that we have created and believe it will help engage geography students. The maps address questions such as:
This data could provide exciting teaching tools to help students think about the implications of laws and policies around the world, particularly as they affect teenagers.
Essay #3 for the AP Human Geography 2013 exam focused on how railroads and highways impacted the size and form of U.S. cities. Andy Baker, one of the great readers on that question has put together an interactive map filled with tangible examples of how Indianapolis' land use history has been heavily influenced by the railroads and highways. This would be a great resource to prepare students to answer that FRQ.