Masters Thesis

An Examination of the Representation of Geography Literacy Within the California History-social Science Common Core State Standards and Its Implications for Global Citizenship

The challenge of coordinating geography classes in a K-12 setting is that the constituent elements are split artificially between two separate courses—physical science and social science—which are never taught in conjunction. Unfortunately, the regulations of the California Common Core State Standards make finding a complete geography course in K-12 education complicated because geography is interrelated with many subjects and thus can easily find itself divided between a number of superficially similar topics. in this study, I will attempt to pinpoint geography’s ideal position in K-12 curriculum, determine where the standards are being taught, and if the standards are being met. Though current mandated national standards are nonexistent, and the California Common Core State Standards call only for geography to be taught to a level of “college and career readiness,” I argue that college and career readiness are substandard expectations. We need our students to be educated to a level of global citizenship where they can comfortably match the levels set by other leading nations. Herein, I will define global citizenship, lay out standards of geography education which will prepare students to achieve this mindset, and provide a template for the future of education wherein the current gaps could best be closed in the California K-12 curriculum. in conclusion, I suggest a call to action for research if we are indeed preparing American youth to become global citizens.

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