well as investigator curiosity if geography is to promote widespread geographic competency and associated human well-being.

Geographic Competency Among Primary and Secondary School Students

Nothing is more vital to strengthening the foundations of geography than the improvement of geography education in primary and secondary schools. It has become increasingly apparent in recent years that geography education at these levels is usually woefully inadequate, where it exists at all. An effective response will require that substantially more geographic information and reasoning be taught in and out of the classroom (Geography Education Standards Project, 1994). School-based activities, trips, and clubs can encourage greater knowledge. Outside school, news media, broadcast and print entertainment, self-instruction courses, and computer software can serve the same end. The development of an advanced placement college-entry course and examination in geography could also increase the quantity and level of demand for high school geography education. The greatest challenge is the human dimension: training teachers, many of whom have had no coursework in geography. An additional challenge is incorporating the best geographic knowledge in readily available, understandable educational materials, especially where recent developments are concerned—for instance, on global change issues, most of which have become prominent since the late 1980s.

In devising ways of infusing geography into the curriculum of the nation's schools, it is important to consider ways to reach as broad a spectrum of students as possible. The National Geography Bee draws 6 million participants. The state winners are mostly white males from suburban and rural areas, which indicates the need to make the study of geography more exciting and interesting to females and minority students. The National Science Foundation's support of elementary hands-on science programs may change these patterns, and university-sponsored GIS institutes for aspiring young geographers, both males and females, may help broaden the appeal of geography. Indeed, a minority recruitment initiative launched by the Association of American Geographers in the early 1990s has been highly successful. With support from the U.S. Department of Education, undergraduate minority students participated in summer geography institutes and visited graduate geography programs. More than 50 percent of these students went on to pursue degrees in geography. It is essential to build on these efforts if geography is to break out of a pattern that has led to a substantial underrepresentation of women and minorities in the discipline (Shrestha and Davis, 1989; Lee, 1990; Janelle, 1992).

The rapidly expanding demand for geography instruction in the nation's schools has significant and far-reaching implications for the discipline. Academic geographers will be expected to provide in-service training for current teachers

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