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Star Forts, the Premier Defense System of the Late 1500s

Star Forts, the Premier Defense System of the Late 1500s | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Fort Bourtange remains perfectly preserved, with historic structures strewn across the 11-acre pentagon.

 

Star forts, five-sided forts designed to give guards a panoramic view of any potential attackers, originated in Italy in the 15th century. Providing the optimal structure for protection from threats, star forts were used in Italian warfare for years and eventually diffused to the Groningen region of the Netherlands, where the Bourtange star fort was constructed in 1593.

 

Tagsmilitaryhistorical, landscape.

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Military Mobilizations: Ukraine and Russia

Military Mobilizations: Ukraine and Russia | Geography Education | Scoop.it
An important look at the military reality of the crisis.
Seth Dixon's insight:

We have known that pro-Russian forces have taken control of government buildings in part of Ukraine, and that forces on both sides have been mobilizing along the border.  It is hard to make sense of all the news reports but this map helps to bring the reality on the ground into sharp focus.  

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Gorete Queiroga de Figueiredo's curator insight, May 4, 2014 7:30 PM

Infográfico para entender a crise ukraniana

Jim Doyle's curator insight, May 9, 2014 10:56 PM

They have to work something out

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How Far Is It To The 'Boondocks'? Try The Philippines

How Far Is It To The 'Boondocks'? Try The Philippines | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Few know "boondocks" is a relic of U.S. military occupation in the Philippines.


Seth Dixon's insight:

I imaged that the term 'the boondocks' was of Asian origin, but I was surprised to learn how this U.S. military lingo was able to become a mainstream term.  The Tagalog word bundok means mountain and given the guerrilla warfare tactics, U.S. soldiers thought of their enemies as hiding 'in the boondocks.' This term spread throughout the military to mean an isolated region, but today the term has morphed from its military-based meaning of mountainous jungles to one that can also describe a sparsely populated rural America.  This is a fascinating article from NPR's Code Switch team that focuses on issues of culture, identity and race. 


Tags: language, toponyms, historical, conflict, culturediffusion.

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Tony Aguilar's curator insight, October 13, 2013 3:06 AM

We have all heard the phrase living in the "Boonies" The boondocks was a word that was taken from a philipino word called Bundok, that meant the guerilla warfare they were experiencing from phillipino insurgents during the Spanish American War with the America. In this war which Teddy Roosevelt helped lead we gained US Puerto Rico and Guam as new Territories from the Treaty of Paris. The war was fought against Emilio Aguinaldo who was a master at guerilla tactics against American soldiers. This was a desperate war involving coloniazation or exerting our power as a country against other countries that ammassed a huge death toll. Now that we know the word boondok, is not an all American word that was popularized in the 1950's but it was actually taken from the Phillipino language during a time of fighting in the Jungle or the Sticks. But boondocks also refers to a people living around mouintainous regions. Just some food for thought.

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NCSS: War and Terrorism

NCSS: War and Terrorism | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The resources tab of the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) webpage is a treasure trove of lesson plan materials for teachers. This particular link focuses on War and Terrorism, and provides resources to help teachers to educate their classes about the emerging geopolitical landscape. This is a set of over 30 lesson plans, articles, maps and resources that focus on the U.S. war in Iraq, terrorism, and other military incursions in the Middle East. Collectively they give geographic perspective on current events so students can understand more about the places in the world that they hear about in the news.

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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 4:24 PM

This must be a great teaching plan so students can be thought about what is going on in the world. It also shows them what is going on in Iraq and in the Middle East and it could probably trigger one of them to fight back and change the Middle East from all the discrimination towards women and probably destroy all these bad groups that just have a motive to destroy and kill.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 29, 2014 10:34 AM

Before 9/11 a lot of Americans didnt know much about the war on terrorism, It wasnt till after the attacks when they were directly affected did they bother to learn more about it to know why it happened and if something like it would happen again. 

Max Minard's curator insight, May 26, 2015 8:32 PM

This article brings up the topic of educating students on the major topics of current political affairs and serious terrorist incursions in the Middle East and other parts of the world. As it says, it contains 30 lesson plans that all focus on providing resources and factual information on current events that involve US war in Iraq and terrorism. I personally think that this course will successfully provide students with a better knowledge on what's actually happening around them. This can further lead them to knowing how to handle these situations in the future, where they must lead the United States. It will better prepare them for future roles in government.  

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Military Shift For Japan?

Military Shift For Japan? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Citing threats from China and North Korea, a government-appointed panel is urging Japan to reinterpret its pacifist constitution to allow the use of military force to defend other countries."

Seth Dixon's insight:

As a part of end of World War II, Japan accepted an article in their constitution that severely limited their militaristic capabilities.  Many in Japan feel that their economic and political influence in East Asia has been hampered by Article 9 of the constitution and want their economic strength to be matched with some military muscle. China has been flexing their muscles in the South and East China Seas, and Japan is becoming more militaristic and willing to exert more power in East Asia. 


Tags: political, military, Japan, East Asia.

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Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:37 AM

Even though it has been 70 years since Japan was waging war across the world, it still should be a little concerning to anyone who has studied and understands how World War II played out and its' ramifications.  Japan is, essentially, making a move to slowly move away from their war-inducing military restrictions.  While, I don't think anyone should "dictate" what Japan does, I think this needs to play out transparently and collectively for the world to see. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 25, 2015 6:12 AM

This move by the Japanese government was inevitable and nessacary. Japans neighbors are becoming more hostile by the day. China and North Korea are both stepping up their military might. Both nations are clear threats to the peace and security of Japan. The natural response, would be to counter the growing militarism of China and North Korea by building up your own arm forces to serve as deterrent. The old article pacifying Japan  no longer makes sense in our current world environment.  Japan is now one of the United States strongest allies. Allowing Japan to raise an army, would take pressure off are already overextended military.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 12:01 PM

Since the end of the Second World War, Japan has remained out of external military engagements, the result of a clause in its constitution drafted to prevent a reoccurrence of the Japanese aggression that sparked the war in the Pacific. However, with both China and North Korea displaying some concerning foreign policy, with China in particular flexing its muscles in the South Pacific, Japan has taken measures to expand its military capacity. There has been open debate in Japan over whether or not to expand its military power, with public opinion being relatively split; in the US, there has been widespread approval for the decision, in the hopes that Japan, long since a regional power, will take more responsibility for both its own defense and the defense of its neighbors. With the expansion of China's naval power recently- with the artificial islands appearing all over the Pacific, and them recently establishing their first naval base on the African continent- perhaps it is time for Japan, one of the US's staunchest allies, to step up to the plate and flex its own muscles. If this push is successful in giving the Japanese military more bite, it will be interesting to see China's response to the measure, and if its foreign policy will change accordingly.

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Military industrial complex: These 15 countries have the largest defense budgets

Military industrial complex: These 15 countries have the largest defense budgets | Geography Education | Scoop.it
World defense spending is expected to go up for the first time in five years, thanks to China and Russia.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The top 3 shouldn't come as any big surprises, but there might be a few farther on down the list though that might raise some eyebrows.  There are specific geopolitical, historic, economic and cultural rationales for each of these countries that explain why they are on this list, and discussing those reasons is a conversation would having. 

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 2014 1:32 PM

Russia is the third highest goverment military that spends around 143 million people lived in Russia in 2012 and they spent around $475 per person on it's military. Russia compared to China and the US is another story the US is number one in who spent the most on their military forces at $600.4 billion. As far as China is concerened it comes in at number two at spending around  $112.2 billion. These numbers make sense especially for the power house that China is and how their values of militarism affect their spending and their way of society/life.

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, March 7, 2015 10:00 PM

Wow looking at all these defense military budgets show why some economies are not producing well, but at the same time its astonishing how much money is spent protecting homelands. It will grow in the next 5 years, and hopefully i'll be around to see what has changed who has taken the top position because i feel as if their will be a shift in the tides.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 9, 2015 6:10 PM

Not surprised at many names on the list, but am surprised at The US figure, how much it costs per American, and at the gap between The US and China.  Its scary to see some of the names on the list though and wonder if they are using that money for defense, or an offensive attack.

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Afghan Troops Get a Lesson in American Cultural Ignorance

Afghan Troops Get a Lesson in American Cultural Ignorance | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Afghan troops are told that insulting behavior by Americans is an oversight, not a slight.


Cross-cultural interactions can be beautiful when immersed into a new cultural setting and the visitor learns to appreciate it.  Unfortunately, it can often lead to clumsy missteps that are born out of ignorance of a new guiding set of cultural norms.  Some missteps can lead to great laughter while others can be gravely insulting.  The United States military seeks to train U.S. soldiers about Afghan customs, but they are trying a new tactic as well to minimize these issues.  The U.S. military has prepared a cultural guide to teach the Afghan soldier that they work with about the curious customs that are part of social interaction in the United States but not considered offensive. 


Tags: culture, war, unit 3 culture, conflict.

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Rich's comment, October 3, 2012 1:28 PM
We could have used an idea like this quite a long time ago. The cultural bridges have already been burnt to the ground.
Kendra King's curator insight, February 27, 2015 7:18 PM

I think the comparison to Vietnam at the start of the article shows just how little our culture learned last time. During the Kennedy administration, troops were given "guides" to inform them about the area as the article suggests. However, this "hearts and minds" strategy was a huge failure. So, what does the United States do? Send the army to a forghien country again  with "recommended readings" and superfine "video games." As a result, some are so offended they are killing American fighters. While I might think this a bit extreme, the US also came in the country in an welcomed manner to begin with. Furthermore, the west (overall) consistently looks down upon Middle East culture. Belittling a culture will eventually anger the people. It is common sense that is consistently overlooked. 

 

Something clearly needs to be done and while I think this strategy might not have immediate short term results, the military should continue on with the plan regardless. Currently, the tensions in the country are incredibly high. Clearly, what ever efforts the US put towards working with Afghanistan citizens came of as insincere. As such, people might just look at American's new attempt to work with them as a disingenuous effort. Furthermore, they might think calling it "ignorance," is just excusing Americans' actions. In the long term though, if done correctly, soldier's might actually learn to be more empathetic of the culture and more genuine so that the Afagni's might actually realize it all is just a "big misunderstanding" (there is a significant culture gap that will take time to learn) and not just laziness on the part of American's.    

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 7:30 AM

The mixing of two cultures can be both a blessing and a curse. The world is a better place when people of diverse cultures can have a mutual understanding of each other. However, in reality cultural roadblocks often disrupt progress. Often times the cultural misunderstandings are not that serious. However, in some cases those misunderstandings can lead to violence and death. NATO coalition troops have been killed by their Afghan counterparts over this issue of cultural misunderstanding. This current crises, has lead to a program that aims to teach the Afghans that the perceived slights are not done purposely. Hopefully this program will build better cultural understanding between the NATO allies and the Afghan army.

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The United States in Afghanistan

The Afghanistan War has become one of the longest in U.S. history. United States military forces entered Afghanistan in late 2001, a few months after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

 

Associated with this video clip is a set of seven lesson plans in a unit about the United States War in Afghanistan.  Find the lesson plans with supplemental materials (graphic organizers, maps, photos, etc.) for a unit on The Afghanistan War at the Choices Program webpage.

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Amanda Morgan's comment, October 18, 2014 3:39 PM
I find this video along with the lessons for the Unit on teaching the War in Afghanistan useful. By the time I become a teacher, we will be teaching 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan. The aftermath of bring home troops is what we are waiting to see as the video suggests, will it change our relationship with the region now that we have said enough is enough? I am eager to teach students about this because it is history in the making that is directly affecting their lives as Americans.
Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 11:22 AM

There's a reason that Afghanistan is called "the Graveyard of Empires". It's a centrally located country and one that has been the center of a lot of political and military turmoil over the course of its lengthy history. Great Britain, Russia, and the U.S. have all conducted campaigns of some sort within Afghanistan's borders and they have all been long, costly, and/or unsuccessful. Some of those campaigns were launched simply in the interest of empire building, others with the intention of providing assistance (or at least under that guise, anyway). Whatever the case may be, Afghanistan is a country constantly experiencing turmoil and strife as a result of other countries' interests and intentions. 

 

In many ways, Afghanistan has always served as a proxy in the same way that the Balkans, and later Vietnam and Korea, did for Russia in the beginning and middle of the 20th century. It has almost never been allowed to exist unhindered on its own and to work towards its own interests and issues. Instead, Afghanistan has served as a waypoint for larger, wealthier, and more powerful nations throughout history. Oftentimes, these countries are so far geographically removed from Afghanistan that it begs the question: why are these other countries getting involved? The simple answer is imperialism. Though it may not exist today in the same sense that it once did, the desire of nations to build empires and be a part of globalization is still a very real one, and one that affects smaller and poorer countries around the globe. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 6:43 AM

The United States continues to be bogged down in Afghanistan. Last week President Obama announced that we will be keeping troops in Afghanistan past 2016. This means that Obama will hand this war off to his successor in January 2017. That successor will become the third president to oversee this war effort. In recent years, this war has slowly dripped out of the headlines. In a twenty four hour news cycle, the war has become old news. However, we should not forget that American soldiers are still being placed in harms ways everyday in this nation.