Geography Educators Go Global
In July, a giant inflatable globe sat at center court in the Maguire Center. Upon closer inspection, one could see that something was inside the globe, moving and making muffled noises. After a few minutes, the globe unzipped and out came nearly two dozen men and women in socks.
The globe is known to educators as EarthView, and was designed by Bridgewater State University professor Vernon Domingo, Ph.D. Dr. Domingo brings EarthView to local schools and universities so students and their instructors can get a hands-on experience and see the world from the inside looking out. Dr. Domingo uses 100 large beads, each representing 1 percent of the planet, to demonstrate how much water covers Earth or how many people live in the United States compared to other countries.
Arlene Kowal '67 is the coordinator for the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance, a member of the New England Geography Educational Network (NEGEN). NEGEN advocates and supports shared expertise in content knowledge and organizational resources in order to achieve a broader regional impact in geography education. As a retired teacher, Arlene provides outreach and professional development opportunities for teachers and college professors.
This was the first Leadership Institute that NEGEN has organized. A second is already in the works, and will likely be focused on training future leaders in geography education. This summer's program included a visit by a liaison from the National Geographic Education Foundation, which partially funds the NEGEN.
"Geography is so much more than maps and mountains," Arlene explained. "It includes geo-literacy, and an understanding of how human, ecological, and geophysical systems work."