Robert N. Saveland Receives NCGE’s Highest Honor

Robert N. Saveland

Joseph Stoltman (left) and NCGE President Eric Fournier (right) with Robert Saveland after he received the 2012 George J Miller Award on October 6.

Dr. Robert N. Saveland was awarded the George J Miller Award at the 2012 National Conference on Geographic Education on October 6 in San Marcos, Texas. The George J Miller Award, the highest honor bestowed by the National Council for Geographic Education, is given for a distinguished record of service to geography education.

Dr. Saveland began his teaching career as a seventh- and tenth-grade geography teacher in the junior/senior high school in Kirkwood, Missouri, following World War II. Research on textbook design for his dissertation led him to the field of professional editing in the early 1950s. In 1968, he joined the University of Georgia as professor in the College of Education’s Department of Social Science Education.

Dr. Saveland served NCGE as a member of the Publications Policy Committee and as a regular participant in the annual conferences. His articles and book reviews have been published in the Journal of Geography and book chapters appeared in other NCGE publications. He is one of a select group of geographers who has been an NCGE member for more than 60 years.

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‘Geography Legislators of the Year’ Honored

Geography Legislators of the YearThe National Geographic Education Foundation has named its 2011 Geography Legislators of the Year, who have shown “commitment to making high-quality geography education available for all K-12 students, preparing young Americans for success,” according to the statement from National Geographic announcing the awards.

The honorees are, in the top row, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and, in the bottom row, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.). Each legislator received a framed photograph of his or her state or district made by a National Geographic photographer.

The National Geographic Education Foundation has been a driving force behind the effort to urge Congress to pass the Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act, which would provide funding for geographic education. The foundation has been honoring Geography Legislators of the Year since 2007.

Award-Winning Lesson Encourages Debate

Teresa Potter receives a plaque from President Joseph Kerski at the awards ceremony at NCGE’s National Conference in Portland, Ore.

The recipient of the 2011 NCGE/Herff Jones Nystrom Award uses classroom research and debate to teach about historic and contemporary issues.

Teresa Potter, who teaches grades three through six at Fisher Elementary School in Oklahoma City, was honored  for a her lesson entitled “Read, Write, Debate, Create!

The NCGE/Herff Jones Nystrom Award honors a K-12 teacher for an exemplary lesson plan.

Potter aims for the lesson to “engage students in exploring how everyday activities such as tourism can affect the environment in positive and negative ways.”

Potter’s lesson plan focuses on tourism in Africa, but she says it can be adapted to examine other issues. Her fifth graders debated the issue of American independence from Great Britain in the colonial era.

In addition to learning about the pros and cons of the issue they are researching, Potter’s students organize evidence and opinions to support their argument and counter opposing points of view during a debate.

Herff Jones Nystrom, which provides a $1,500 cash prize for the award winner, publishes maps, globes, atlases, and other materials.