The key purpose of GeoCapabilities is to create teacher education materials that develop teachers as curriculum leaders.

Download a two-page summary of GeoCapabilities – in the form of a press release: in English, in Finnish and in Greek.

A capabilities approach to education considers how the individual can lead a life that she or he has reason to value.

A GeoCapabilities approach argues that an individual will develop greater potential to do this if they acquire geographical knowledge, enabling them to think geographically.

Consequently, the project is very interested in the role of knowledge in teaching. The GeoCapabilities project is underpinned by the idea of ‘powerful disciplinary knowledge’ (PDK).

In the short video here, David Lambert introduces the project:

7871357-box-with-golden-lightbeams In 2015, David talks about the underpinning principles


GeoCapabilities began in 2012 with a pilot project led by the American Association of Geographers. This work is summarised here and in the online journal RIGEO.

Read about GeoCapabilties 1 (Solem, Lambert and Tani, 2013).
Read Solem, Lambert and Tani (2013).

In 2013, GeoCapabilities became an EU funded programme. It is a 3 year Comenius project (539079-LLP-1-2013-1-UK-COMENIUS-CMP).

GeoCapabilities is international in scope. It embraces in how geography is understood and expressed in national school standards. The capabilities approach helps geography educators everywhere to articulate the importance of children learning how to think geographically. This is part of what we call curriculum leadership.

“Teachers as curriculum leaders”

The GeoCapabilities Project Work Programme funded by the EU consists of the following:

  • Teacher questionnaires on the aims of geography teaching
  • Investigating existing models of teacher training in partner countries
  • Analysis of ‘cases’ of best practice in geography teacher education
  • Development of an online teacher training platform.

Several published articles have been produced setting out the principles underpinning GeoCapabilities, including this major article in AAAG.



Project Reports have been delivered and the funded project ended on 28 February 2017. However, partners and associate partners around the world will continue to develop the GeoCapabilities approach.