SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — We are getting a better idea of what the South Dakota Department of Education’s latest proposed social studies standards could mean for students. The revised standards include more geography, specifically in high school.
The changes come after hundreds of people, including educators, parents, and state employees, shared their opinions at public meetings and online. Many educators have been critical of the proposal because they feel they were excluded from the process. The latest version of the plan includes some new standards for geography. A world geography section has been added for 9th through 12th graders. When Kurt Drube testified before the board in Aberdeen, he told them geography should not be based solely on location.
“Find something on a map, identify the 50 states in the United States, identify the 50 capitals, be able to identify the countries of Europe or South America or whatever, but it was all primarily location. I told them geography was more than that,” Drube.
This retired geography teacher spent 30 years in the Aberdeen School system. His passion and depth of knowledge are evident when he says geography is broken down into five themes: location, place, interaction, movement, and region.
“Geography includes you know the movement of people, people moving from one place to another, why are they moving why is Sioux Falls growing and the rest of the state not, that’s geography,” said Drube.
He hasn’t had a chance to look over the plan in detail but says he’s happy more geography is added. Drube knows the standards are a work in progress, and hopes the section on geography makes it into the final plan. The third of the four public hearings is scheduled for February 10th in Rapid City where the department of education will outline the changes.