World Geography Mission Statement

After my first year teaching I found that I lacked a sense of cohesion that connected the first unit to the last unit. I am retired military (21+ years) and drawing on that background came to realize that I needed a mission statement with approaches and objectives in the hopes that this will strengthen my teaching for next year.

Mission Statement:
The mission of the high school world geography class is to impart to its students a natural understanding of one’s place in the world[1] which is essential to good citizenship[2]. By linking scientific factors alongside sociological, psychological and historical reasons[3], students will understand the complex and unpredictable world[4] in which they live and use that understanding to make independent, informed decisions[5].

Approach and Objectives:
My approach is based on supporting the school’s interests as articulated by the County School Board and the state Department of Education. These various entities share mutual interests in promoting student education. In support of these interests this class will adhere to certain curriculum standards. Additionally, these organizations seek to provide a safe, secure, structured, and disciplined environment where this unique population of students can receive an appropriate education.

As an education professional, it is my responsibility to support these standards. To this end, I believe these umbrella objectives will guide my efforts throughout the course of instruction:

  • Assess America’s role in the world
  • Evaluate how history and human geography affect each other
  • Evaluate how culture and human geography affect each other
  • Analyze globalization and its effect on America

Specifically, this class will offer a variety of strategies in support of these standards. To this end, it is my responsibility to provide students with the opportunity to explore and examine the United States government. I will offer students the opportunity to: read multiple accounts and perspectives, analyze primary sources (in the form of newspapers and news video clips), understand historical content, examine source information, and use evidence to support claims[6].

In order to fulfill the mission statement, and to achieve the goals and objectives, it is also necessary to ensure students are able to perform basic skills. These include, but are not limited to, the following: the ability to think critically and with a historically perspective; the ability to take notes properly, study material presented in class, research and interpret primary and secondary sources, and finally the ability to write and present an analysis and evaluation of those sources[7].

[1] Bennett, William J. Foreword to Becoming an Educated Person: Toward a Core Curriculum for College Students, by George C. Leef. (American Council of Trustees and Alumni, 2003) Web. 25 May 2011. <https://www.goacta.org/publications/downloads/BEPFinal.pdf&gt;.
[2] Stearns, Peter J, “Why Study History,” American Historical Association, 11 July 2008. http://www.historians.org/pubs/free/WhyStudyHistory.htm
[3] Carter, Francesca
[4] Cassidy, Tony.
[5] Goodstadt, Paul.
[6] National History Education Clearinghouse. Accessed May 27, 2011. http://teachinghistory.org/13.
[7] Godin, Seth. “What’s high school for?.” Accessed June 5, 2011. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/05/whats-high-school-for.html.

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