GeoCapabilities is an approach to geography education that emphasises the value and role of geography as a school subject. Geographical knowledge and understanding are essential components of education.
This forces the key question:
‘In what ways does geographical knowledge contribute to the educated person?’
The GeoCapabilities approach provides teachers of geography a framework for thinking about geography and education. It encourages thinking about the geography curriculum and its value in expanding young people’s capabilities.
When taught well, geography enables young people to think beyond themselves and their everyday encounters of people and places on the Earth. Geography helps young people to understand a highly interdependent and complex world in this day and age, now frequently described as the Anthropocene.
GeoCapabilities is an international project. The precise way in which geography is articulated as a school subject varies considerably across the world. Geography can be linked to science, social studies or humanities depending on national traditions and circumstances. The GeoCapabilities approach allows for this. No matter the particular traditions in any school system, the GeoCapabilities approach argues that thinking geographically contributes to young people’s capabilities in the Anthropocene.
In the short video here, David Lambert introduces the project:
Work on GeoCapabilities began in 2012. This work is summarised in the online journal RIGEO.
More published articles have been produced, including this AAAG 2015, setting out the principles underpinning GeoCapabilities.