Using Internet Primary Sources to Teach Critical Thinking Skills in Geography

Using Internet Primary Sources to Teach Critical Thinking Skills in Geography

Using Internet Primary Sources to Teach Critical Thinking Skills in Geography

Using Internet Primary Sources to Teach Critical Thinking Skills in Geography

Synopsis

Geography teachers and school library media specialists will find this resource indispensable for providing classroom lessons and activities in critical thinking for geography students in grades 7-12. It is filled with over 75 primary source Internet sites covering such topics as Places and Regions, Physical Systems, Human Systems, Environment and Society, and the Uses of Geography, and will be an invaluable tool in helping teachers and librarians meet the standards set forth in the 1994 publication Geography for Life: National Geography Standards.

Excerpt

Geography, as an area of study, is ideally suited to critical thinking. While often associated with memorization of isolated bits of information such as the names of capital cities, products of countries, or locations of ethnic groups, the real objective of geographical study is to be able to explain how places develop their special characteristics, why they are located where they are, and how they are related to each other. Taking a problem-centered approach helps students to learn better because they are able to generalize about where certain kinds of resources or activities may be located and they learn to associate certain patterns and processes. All of these activities require critical thinking skills.

In this book we provide ideas and resources that will help school librarians and teachers understand the discipline of geography and locate and use Internet sites that are especially useful in helping students develop critical thinking skills in the context of geography. However, it should be recognized from the outset that the same critical thinking skills are equally applicable to almost any other field of study. The element that sets each discipline apart is the kinds of questions it asks. Cultivating a geographic perspective involves being able to ask the proper kinds of questions and knowing where to obtain the information that is needed to be able to answer them.

The Internet or World Wide Web has emerged as a valuable new source from which to obtain the information needed to answer geographical questions. It is also sometimes possible to locate sites that provide specific kinds of exercises or modules to help students learn to apply critical thinking skills in geography, but such sites are much less com-

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