The Urban Agenda model
allows for people to be themselves.
The study of geography has expanded to include the cultures of
various regions. The study of
geography also includes the differences between geographic areas. The Urban Agenda can help teachers
use student-selected issues to teach geography in a number of means. Almost any issue ranging from
diseases and AIDS to homelessness and gun control can be utilized to teach
the skill set of geography.
Some examples of
issues applied to the study of Geography:
homelessness is a concern in every community. However, homelessness in an
urban area is much different than that of a rural area and homelessness
in temperate climates versus harsh continental climates has its own
concerns. A unit on the
urban/rural split can be taught while students use the unit skills to
look at their issue. They can study homelessness in different areas and
address the different geographic characteristics as factors that may
impact the level of homelessness or the conditions by which people
become homeless. For
instance, California’s homeless population is some measure can be
understood in the context of the state’s climate. Similar criteria can
be evaluated for numerous other issues of general concern to
Moreover, there are many factors involved in a
person being homeless.
Natural disasters and other geographic phenomenon can cause
homelessness. Not only do
students gain insight into their geography class, but they also learn to
expand their definitions and categorizations.
issue of disease and AIDS can also be utilized in the geography
classroom. Disease is
primarily a geographic issue.
The SARS epidemic is just one example. From restrictions on travel to
quarantining, students can use skills learned in a geography classroom
to not only identify the importance of geography on their issue, but
also analyze the conditions and synthesize the solutions to geographic
diseases. AIDS can be a way
to transition a geography lesson to study Africa, a hot bed of AIDS. Or one might look at the
rural-urban dichotomy of the AIDS epidemic in American cities. Similarly, students could look
at insect-carried diseases like malaria and West Nile Virus and how
geography does or does not play a role in the impact such diseases and
their progression within a given
3. Gun control is a political issue often skewed
by geographic region. In
Highlands, the issue of
gun control is much different than it is to inner-city children in
Detroit who view guns as weapons and not as means of
hunting food. Thus,
students in the geography class can look at gun violence and ownership
through geographic means.