Why we need to improve geographic literacy

…from the Kansas City Star

“Year after year surveys reveal that only 37 percent of young Americans know where Iraq is and a large minority cannot locate the Pacific Ocean on a map.

“Like clockwork, commentators then write how horrible it is that America is so geographically illiterate. While it is true that geographic ignorance is a big problem, these commentators do geography no favors.

“Geography has long been thought of as merely the memorization of places. This is how it is taught by many schools.

“The notion that geography is just a memory game and not a science led some of the nation’s finest educational institutions including Harvard University to stop teaching geography in the 1940s and 1950s. Geography has been in exile ever since.”