About Jennifer Sengupta

Jennifer Sengupta manages social media and promotion for the Education department at National Geographic. She is also the editor of the National Geographic Education blog and a contributing writer. When she's not blogging, Jennifer spends of most her time hiking, reading and spending time with her family.

#GeoEdChat 6: How can we convince policy makers that geography education is important? A think piece by National Geographic Education

More than a decade ago, the US government prioritized nine academic subjects—including geography—in the landmark No Child Left Behind legislation. However, of those nine subjects, geography is the only one that has never received any dedicated federal funding.

As we become a more global society, the lack of language skills and civic and global awareness among American students increasingly jeopardizes their ability to interact with local and global peers, and to participate meaningfully in business, diplomatic, and military situations.

In order to promote global competitiveness, diplomatic leadership, and to fill and retain the tens of thousands of highly skilled jobs in the geospatial industry, students must be exposed to early and ongoing geography education.

But there is a disconnect between what is desperately needed and what lawmakers consider important. While geography is required as a stand-alone subject in most European countries, it appears sporadically—if at all—in the curriculum of American schools.

So how do we convince policy makers that geography education is essential to our global future?

Here are some of the things we’d love to discuss in our #GeoEdChat this week:

  • What is the state of geography education where you live? Is it a priority? Is it inadequate?
  • Have you had any success lobbying for increased funding or programs for geography education?
  • How do you think we can make policy makers see the importance of this discipline?

Please join us on March 13th and share your experiences, ideas, and thoughts on how we can make an impact in the fight for geography education.