Using Geography to Help Teach History: Dual-Encoding History Lesson Plans




Tabor, Lisa K.
Harrington, John A., Jr.

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The Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education


How can we teach more and better geography within the school system? Given the dominant role of history in the K-12 social studies curriculum, use of the psychological theory of dual-encoding to integrate geography and history lesson planning is one approach to bring more geography into the classroom. As part of the Kansas Geographic Alliance's programmatic activities, Kansas' geography and history standards were examined for development of dual-encoded educational units. Five units, each containing four lesson plans, were developed. Three workshops were delivered to share the newly developed materials. Attendees at the workshops provided assessment and feedback on the unit plans. Participant feedback indicates that dual-encoding is helpful, and, thus, the integration of history and geography using this method is likely to result in considerable progress for increased geography in students' education. Not only will the knowledge provided demonstrate the impact and significance of geography to history teachers and their students, but dual-encoded lessons might also advance teacher content and pedagogical knowledge. Most importantly, however, a dual-encoded approach to classroom teaching of geography and history will improve the learning of both subjects.



geography, history, education, dual-encoding, lesson planning, K-12 social studies curriculum


Tabor, L.K. & Harrington, J.A. (2011). Using geography to help teach history: Dual-encoding history lesson plans. Research in Geographic Education, 13(1), pp. 20-34.


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