Faculty Publications

Geographic Education for Sustainability: Developing a Bi-national Geographical Thinking Curriculum

Document Type

Book Chapter


Curricular Material, Flood Risk, Geographic Space, Human Geography, Lesson Plan

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International Perspectives on Geographical Education

First Page


Last Page



This bi-national project develops geographical thinking by employing sustainability as a means of incorporating physical and human geography. Enlisting the support of Chilean and North American pre-service geography/social science teachers, we developed a series of standards-based lesson plans and associated curricular materials on the theme of sustainability that link the Coquimbo region of Chile with the state of Iowa in the United States. The chapter discusses the context of geographical thinking in both countries, as well as the history of geography education in the two nations, to include how teachers in both national educational systems can support geographical thinking. We emphasise the significance of sustainability in integrating the physical and human traditions in geography. The chapter highlights the value of geography education in creating civic responsibility, developing students’ cognitive skills in geographical thinking and directing those skills towards the systemic comprehension of our contemporary, interconnected world. We assert the key international importance of sustainability and the need to connect local issues, events, and problems with the larger global context and with similar occurrences across the globe.


Department of Geography

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version