Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century is a geography
course consisting of twenty-six video programs. It is the
result of collaboration by educational broadcasters and geographers
from the United States, Australia, France, Japan, the Netherlands,
In a world that is increasingly defined as a "global
village" by politicians, academicians, and businesspersons,
the need to understand our physical and human environments
is becoming vastly more important. The vision, as well as
the goal of this course, is to provide participants the opportunity
to think both independently and critically about the world
around them. The study and tools of geography provide just
is integrated with the National Geography Standards found
in the Geography Education Standards Project's publication,
Geography for Life: National Geography Standards 1994.
The National Geography Standards can be found here.
The series coordinated text is Contemporary World Regional
Geography by Michael Bradshaw, George White, and Joseph
Dymond, published by McGraw-Hill.
Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century may be
used by teachers of geography and environmental science at
all levels for professional development in gaining familiarity
with geographical issues and concepts. Teachers may also use
the series as part of, and in developing, lesson plans for
use in their classrooms.
Organization and Objectives
Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century is divided
into ten units, one introductory unit, and nine units focusing
on the following geographic regions: Europe, Russia and Neighboring
Countries, East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Pacific, South
Asia, Northern Africa and Southwestern Asia, Africa South
of the Sahara, Latin America, and North America. Within each
unit are the video programs that form the heart of this course.
A listing of program titles and descriptions can be found
the twenty-six programs features two, approximately 12-minute
case studies that tell compelling stories about geographic
issues, giving participants a feel for a place, an environment,
and its people. The case studies are designed as counterpoints
to each other; viewed together they allow exploration of regional
and conceptual issues through geographic analysis.
has two main objectives. First, it introduces the field of
geography, a discipline that links human societies to their
natural environments. Second, the course investigates the
great geographic regions of the modern world and examines
their human and physical characteristics, assets and liabilities,
connections and barriers, and potential and prospects for
is designed to provide insight into how the world's major
regions are knit together into a spatial framework. It introduces
perspectives from physical, political, historical, economic,
and cultural geography. The following are just a few of the
questions that are raised when considering these different
are the physical and human patterns that can be found?
and why are myriad phenomena -- people, vegetation, climates,
mountains, cities -- arranged in particular ways on the
factors are involved in creating or changing particular
regions, places, environments, or landscapes?