published Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

TN plan to move geography into history classes causes divide

A state plan to move geography lessons into history classes to create more time for teaching the language skills measured by standardized tests has some teachers worried that students will lose out.

Geography educators think combining the two subjects will cheat Tennessee students of information that’s increasingly important — a grasp of the geotechnical systems that create intelligence maps for the military, keep FedEx packages moving and create the mapping systems used in smartphones and cars. They fear students won’t be college- or career-ready without that information.

State officials, however, say intertwining the two subjects will give every student a deeper understanding of both topics and students will no longer be forced to choose between history and geography classes in high school.

A letter-writing campaign by some educators last month caused the state to rethink at least one proposed change to its geography curriculum, which would have had students studying geography in fifth grade — an age that educators say is too young.

Read more at The Tennessean.

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