Geography as a Discipline
“Geography is the study of spatial aspects of human existence. . . . Geography has much more to do with asking questions and solving problems than it does with rote memorization of isolated facts.
[It] is an integrative discipline that brings together the physical and human dimensions of the world in the study of people, places, and environments. Its subject matter is the Earth’s surface and the processes that shape it, the relationships between people and environments, and the connections between people and places. “ (From Geography for Life, National Geography Standards, 1994. © National Geographic Research & Exploration, 1994, on behalf of the American Geographical Society, Association of American Geographers, National Council for Geographic Education, and the National Geographic Society.)
Virginia Studies is the first opportunity in the Commonwealth’s K-12 social studies curriculum that features more than elementary exposure to spatial geography and use of maps. The geographer’s vocabulary of location, region, landforms, and climate are necessary ingredients to do the work of analysis, interpretation, comparison, and showing relationships that appear often in the curriculum framework.
Each of the subpages (i.e. SOL, Lesson Plans, Maps, etc) in the directory under Virginia Studies to the right focus attention on lesson plans, teaching resources, map sources and proven teaching strategies.