Meeting the Challenge of Systemic Change in Geography Education: Lucy Sprague Mitchell’s Young Geographers

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The history of K–12 geography education has been characterized by recurrent high hopes and dashed expectations. There have, however, been moments when the trajectory of geography education might have changed to offer students the opportunity to develop a thorough working knowledge of geography. Lucy Sprague Mitchell’s geography program developed in the 1920s and 1930s was brilliant in its conception and execution but it did not lead to large-scale systemic change. Analyzing the origins, development, and outcome of her program suggests the conditions that facilitate and inhibit systemic change, and therefore perhaps we can learn to capitalize on comparable moments in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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