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Is Understanding Basic Geography a Thing of the Past?


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At Lake Mary High School, the only course offered that remotely ties into geography and maps would be AP Human Geography; over the summer, students must study countries on the continents all over the world and, within the first two weeks of school, take quizzes on what they have learned.  AP Human is the first time many high schoolers have been exposed to geography and where places are in the world; does this mean that geography classes are not fit for our modern society?

In today’s world of cell phones, computers, and technology, most people use their phones to find the directions to places they want to go.  It’s not uncommon to find Siri being used on a daily basis, or Google Maps assisting someone on a drive.  With these useful accommodations, some students argue that geography classes are unnecessary and, frankly, a waste of time.  However, sophomore Emily Patel stated that, “I took AP Human last year and it really helped me with maps and where to find certain countries.  This year I am in world history, and I can’t imagine how hard the class would be if I didn’t know where some countries were.  I think everybody has a basic understanding of the continents, but in order to really understand different countries and their relationships to other countries, I think it’s important people know geography.”

When you learn things in not only history but other classes as well, sometimes students have a hard time grasping the concept because it has such foreign vocabulary of states and cultures.  However, if you know that a certain continent has said country, and said country has these states and cultures, you can apply your background knowledge to answer the question.  Whether you enjoy the class or not, geography will help you both in and out of school; sophomore Isabela Schmitt said, “I think it’s not only important that you know where places are for school, but for life as well.  If you travel to say, Europe, and know your in France, what happens when you want to get to Germany and have no idea how close or far it is from France?  You can use your GPS or the Siri on your phone, but it would be much easier if you had an idea of your proximity to the neighboring country.”  When people learn geography, a little light bulb goes off in their heads because when you understand the subject, you can connect things you would’ve never connected before, whether in real life situations or in history class.

When our parents were in school, they had a geography course they were required to take in order to graduate.  In modern times, geography has been kicked to the curb and replaced by more modern sciences and other courses.  We all know that one kid who thinks Denver is a state, and I think Lake Mary should do us all a favor and make it required that someone knows geography before they can graduate.

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The Independent Student Voice of LMHS.
Is Understanding Basic Geography a Thing of the Past?