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NAEP Facts, v2 n2 Dec 1996

This document summarizes the results of a national survey that tested 4th, 8th, and 12th graders' ability to analyze geographic data in a variety of formats; explain complex geographic phenomena and processes; and show knowledge of relationships between human and geographic events. The survey tested three content dimensions: space and place, environment and society, spatial dynamics and connections, and three cognitive dimensions: knowing, understanding, and applying. Space and place include knowledge of particular places on earth, of spacial patterns on earth's surface, and of the physical and human processes that shape such patterns. Environment and society includes knowledge of human adaptation to and modification of the environment. Spatial Dynamics and Connections includes knowledge of the cultural, economic, and political regions of the world and the connections among them. Data for the students were tabulated against national averages. 90th percentile represented the top performance while 25 percent represented the bottom. Hence, 25th percentile eighth graders could understand a basic map coordinate system and identify major land masses such as South America. Eighth graders from the 90th percentile could use more sophisticated geographic tools, such as climographs, cross-sectional diagrams, and an isotherm map and understand the effects of elevation on climate and vegetation. Each section includes a specific example illustrating the knowledge content and application. Summary profile tables reveal generalized knowledge by age grade and performance percentile. (MJP)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Educational Assessment, Elementary Secondary Education, Formative Evaluation, Geographic Concepts, Geography, Geography Instruction, Grade 12, Grade 4, Grade 8, Knowledge Level, National Competency Tests, National Surveys, Social Studies, Student Evaluation

Autor: Vanneman, Alan


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