Teaching Geography: Workshop 7

Europe

Part 1: Berlin and Amsterdam
Part 2: Strasbourg and the European Union

Maps Key maps for the region covered by this workshop >
Interactives Interactive materials that take you further into this region and the issues under discussion >

Program Overview: Europe

The region of Europe, with its large urban population and many cultural mosaics united under the European Union, lends itself to an investigation of the geography of cities and supranationalism. This workshop examines the positive and negative aspects of both in a European context, asking "What makes a city successful?" and "Is supranationalism economically effective?" Explore these and other questions with geographers in the field and teachers in the classroom.


Part 1. Berlin and Amsterdam: City Rebirth and Growth

Director-Jean-Louis Cros
Producer-CNDP, France

This workshop examines urban locations in the geographic region of Europe. We begin with Berlin's new role as the capital of a reunified Germany and as a symbol of a more unified Europe. The growth and development occurring with former-East Berlin's integration points to city reorganization and economic expansion. Later, high school students in Denver compare their city's modern grid to Amsterdam's older European city rings. They demonstrate their understanding of city organization and function in a twofold assignment: creating brochures that highlight Amsterdam's positive aspects and writing letters to city planners regarding improvements that might be made.

Objectives

  • Identify how culture shapes a region's character.
  • Explain how geography can be used to understand the present and plan for the future.
  • Describe how inquiry learning can be used to promote student understanding of complex features of urban centers.

Part 2. Strasbourg and the European Union: Supranationalism in Europe and Beyond

Director-Colette Weibel
Producer-CNDP, France

Supranationalism, the willingness of several countries to give up some measure of sovereignty for the benefit of all, is a driving force in modern Europe. This program looks at supranationalism and at the city of Strasbourg as a locus of power in the European Union. Our case study looks at the geographic component in Strasbourg's being home to the Council of Europe, the European Union's European Parliament, and the seat of the European Court of Human Rights. Later, we see an AP human geography class debate the implications of supranationalism in Europe and North America.

Objectives

  • Analyze organizations that transcend national boundaries to determine their social, political, and economic impact.
  • Explain why places and regions are important to individual human identity and as symbols for unifying or fragmenting society.
  • Explain how an inquiry approach can promote the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for the AP curriculum.

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