Time and Practice: Learning to Become a Geographer

Roger M. Downs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A goal of geography education is fostering geographic literacy for all and building significant expertise for some. How much time and practice do students need to become literate or expert in geography? There is not an answer to this question. Using two concepts from cognitive psychology-the ideas of ten thousand hours and deliberate practice-this article generates Fermi-based estimates of time spent learning geography in K-12 and in higher education. By understanding the roles of time and deliberate practice, educators can make better use of the limited time available to meet the goals of geography education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geography
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Time and Practice: Learning to Become a Geographer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this