To meet the 21 century challenge of advancing ‘green’ sustainable development, today’s middle and high school students --- tomorrow’s voters, community leaders, and entrepreneurs -- must be taught about the factors (processes and institutions) that shape communities’ physical, spatial and socio-economic characteristics. Secondary school social studies and science curriculum standards identify these topics in prescribed goals and objectives; however, they are not adequately delivered in the classroom. It appears that teachers lack the pedagogic tools and subject knowledge to effectively introduce “urban and regional development”, “sustainable development”, “green technology” and “environmental stewardship”,” into the classroom.
Spatial Studies aims to fill this gap. Spatial Studies has outlined an integrative, interdisciplinary curriculum focused on the physical, spatial, socio-economic, and environmental characteristics of the built environment and the path toward greener and sustainable communities The curriculum provides content material on the form, function, public policies and civic processes of government that create different types of urban forms and their relationship to the natural environment. By elevating and expanding the discourse on these issues and the emerging technology and policy prescriptions at the middle and high school levels, Spatial Studies aspires to captivate the imagination of young adults to envision and promote a “greener” future,
The curriculum strives to develop students’ analytic and communication skills empowering them to become creative problem solvers and civic-minded participants of society. The Spatial Studies Curriculum is conceived as three sequential modules that can stand alone, but are best implemented as a sequential cumulative series. Each module provides comprehensive subject matter preparation pedagogic tools, lesson plans, activities, and assessments) that will yields measurable educational outcomes. The materials link built environment” and sustainable practices to existing the social studies and science curriculum; particularly geography, civics, economics, earth science and environmental science courses already offered in middle and high school.