Eye On Education: Geography Teacher Brings World To His Students

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV

NORTH ANDOVER (CBS) – In North Andover, a teacher has made geography the focus of one of the most fun nights of the school year.

North Andover middle school geography teacher Robert Poirier believes in bringing the world to his students

At Mr. Poirier’s sixth annual Family Geography night, kids and parents share projects that make geography interactive – more than just memorization.

“It is probably one of the best attended evenings here,” Poirier says. “It has exploded from a hundred the first year to the three to four hundred that we currently get – everybody’s walking around they’re all seeing the sights there are cultural dance troupes drumming groups and they’re really getting involved.”

From simple street maps, to a step inside the globe itself, a painted work of art – the creation of Bridgewater State professor Vernon Domingo of South Africa

Professor Domingo adds, “Students get excited there’s a natural curiosity and the globe brings that out.”

The goal is to create excitement about a subject so crucial to their future.

Paula Ebben asks Mr. Poirier, “When you’re working with the kids and you think about the kind of global economy they’re going to face, is that a big motivation for you?”

“It’s a big motivation,” says Poirier, “but it’s also very scary… getting them ready for spatial thinking and global thinking that’s what the goal is and if a night like this can spark that then we’re on the right track.”

Mr. Poirier and the professor are part of the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance, a group committed to increasing geography education in Massachusetts schools.

Right now, it ends in the seventh grade. A bill would have a commission look in to expanding geography all the way through high school as it is taught in many other countries.

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