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He has our vote

What do geographers and politicians have in common? A lot, says Robert Twerdoclib, an Alberta teacher and town councillor and the winner of the Canadian Council for Geographic Education’s 2007 Geographic Literacy Award.

“A sense of place is so important,” says Twerdoclib. “As a councillor, you’re looking at human interactions and opportunities in the places that we live. It’s truly geography in action.”

For more than 20 years, “Mr. Geography,” as he’s affectionately called by his peers, has worked tirelessly to advance geographical studies in the Alberta curriculum, which does not offer a dedicated course in the subject.

Twerdoclib, who teaches grade-nine social studies in Spruce Grove, says his most rewarding experiences have come from his students.

“Sometimes we take trips to the Rocky Mountains, and for some of them, it’s their first visit,” he says. “They stand in awe of the things I’ve tried to describe in the classroom.”

— Geoff Dembicki

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Canadian Geographic magazine is an excellent resource for teachers and students. It provides posters in both official languages, such as the St. Lawrence Seaway map, as well as short geography related news items suitable for current events. In addition, the June issue each year is devoted to environmental issues such as wind energy.”

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