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National Geography Standards & Skills

From Geography for Life, Second Edition

Photo: Satellite close up of Earth

Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

"The goal of teaching geography is to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to 'do' geography. Reaching this goal requires that students learn how to use geographic thinking and information to make well‐reasoned decisions and to solve personal and community problems. Many valuable applications of K-12 geography education lie beyond the classroom walls. Geographic education enables students to use geographic perspectives, knowledge, and skills to engage in ethical action with regard to self, other people, other species, and Earth’s diverse cultures and natural environments. Geography connects students to world events, problems, and decisions throughout their lives." 
Geography For Life: National Geography Standards, Second Edition 

In this collection, National Geographic Education has excerpted the standards, skills, and perspectives from Geography For Life: National Geography Standards, Second Edition. Visit the NCGE store to order a print copy of the book.

Geographic Perspectives

Looking at the World in Multiple Ways

A geographic perspective provides a frame of reference for asking and answering questions, identifying and solving problems, and evaluating the consequences of alternative actions.

National Geography Standards

Knowing About the World: Geographic Content Knowledge

The goal of the standards is to enable students to become geographically informed through knowledge and mastery of factual knowledge, mental maps and tools, and ways of thinking.

Geographic Skills

Asking and Answering Questions About the World

Geographic skills provide the necessary tools and techniques for us to think geographically. They are central to geography's distinctive approach to understanding Earth's physical and human patterns and processes.

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Learn about geo-literacy, and how you can participate in National Geographic’s geo-literacy efforts.

Network of Alliances for Geographic Education

Geography Education Alliances connect K-12 teachers with university faculty, offering professional development opportunities and promoting improvements in geographic education at state and local levels.

C3 Framework

The geography component in The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards was designed using the Geography for Life standards. Click here to read about and download the C3 Framework.

Road Map Project

Learn more about a project that brings together experts in geography, education, and research to chart a course for the large-scale improvement of K-12 geography education in the U.S.

Speak Up For Geography

Make your voice heard by supporting the Teaching Geography is Fundamental (TGIF) Act.