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News & Press: NSPS News & Views

STEM Geography Education Studied

Tuesday, March 10, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Burk Cornelius
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Job growth is strongest in a handful of advanced industries and professions, including architecture-engineering generally, that invest heavily in research and development (R&D) and science, technology, education, and math (STEM) workers, according to a Brookings Institution report. The study could be viewed with controversy in the surveying and mapping field. The U.S. Department of Education publishes the “Classification of Instructional Programs.” It includes “surveying engineering” in group 14/engineering, but classifies geography and cartography (including geographic information science and cartography) as a social science, in group 45. The former is considered a STEM discipline, while the latter is not. Meanwhile, NSPS has learned the committee report for the Senate Appropriation Committee’s FY14 Labor-HHS-Education funding bill, S.1284, which was part of the enacted “CROmnibus” bill, provides, “The Committee is concerned with deficiencies in geography education research and geography education at the elementary and secondary education levels. The Committee recognizes that a sound understanding of geography is critical to ensuring that the American workforce is qualified for jobs in geospatial technologies and other emerging industries. The Committee directs GAO to conduct a study on the status of geographic education and the ability of U.S. graduates to fill and retain skilled jobs, particularly in geospatial technologies. Additionally, recognizing fiscal constraints on States and LEAs (Local Education Authorities), the Committee further directs GAO to report on the challenges elementary and secondary schools face in providing geographic education with limited resources.”


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