Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The United States has a greater need for geographic literacy than any other country, and yet its people -- young and old -- lack this fundamental area of knowledge to an alarming degree.
As my colleague Harm de Blij has said, geographic ignorance is a national-security problem, with U.S. citizens all-too willing to commit lives and treasure to conflicts in places they do not understand. As many are discovering in 2008, geographic ignorance is also a serious economic handicap. Prices change rapidly on commodities from near and far, and many people have little idea what those connections are or what factors might influence the price of things they use every day.
People who set education policy have been slow to recognize the importance of geographic education, after decades of experimentation with the amorphous catch-all of "social studies" all but eliminated it from the curriculum. This is where MyWonderfulWorld.org comes in! Sponsored by National Geographic, MyWonderfulWorld is a multi-pronged approach to promoting geographic education at all levels.
Please have a look, sign up for updates, and help us build momentum for geographic education. Nothing less than the future of our nation -- and the world -- is at stake!