National Council for Geographic Education

Learn About NCGE

Keep reading below to learn about the National Council for Geographic Education

What is NCGE?

The National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) is a US non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the status and quality of geography teaching and learning. Founded in 1915 as the National Council of Geography Teachers, NCGE’s mission over the past century has remained focused on excellence in geography education, at all levels—-through formal and informal education, in primary education, secondary education, community college, and university settings.

What does NCGE do?

NCGE promotes and supports geography education, enhances the preparation of geography education with respect to knowledge of content, techniques, and learning processes, facilitates communication and professional development among teachers of geography, encourages and supports research on geography education, develops, publishes, and promotes the use of exemplary curricular resources and other learning materials, recognizes exceptional instructors of geography, and collaborates with other organizations that have similar goals.

Who runs NCGE?

NCGE is governed by an elected Board of Directors that includes committees on administration, curriculum and instruction, external relations, finance, publications & products, and research. In addition, task forces and working groups are set up by members to work on short term projects.

A professional staff, based in NCGE’s Washington DC headquarters runs the day to day operations of the council and serves under the leadership of the elected officers.

Who are NCGE's members?

The NCGE membership includes teachers, professors, students, managers, policymakers, administrators, and others who support geographic education. These members work in schools, community colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, local, state, tribal, national, and international government agencies, and in private industry.

How did NCGE begin?

The National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) was started by George J Miller (George J Miller did not have a middle name. The letter J is not an abbreviation and therefore is not punctuated), of the State Normal School in Mankato, Minnesota, to fill a gap in the field of geographic education. The idea gained support nationally and the first meeting of the organization was held on December 31, 1915.

Originally called the National Council for Geography Teachers (NCGT), the purpose was to "increase the effectiveness of geography teaching in America; (a) by promotion of national education movements; (b) by cooperating in the organization and development of state associations; and (c) in such other ways as the officers may from time to time determine.” While NCGE is no longer organized as it was originally, our basic purpose has not changed. In 1956, the NCGT changed their name to the National Council for Geographic Education to reflect the idea that not all education concerns occur in the classroom.

More information on the history of NCGE can be found at the official NCGE archives housed at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The NCGE publication: The National Council for Geographic Education: The First 75 Years and Beyond also provides a great history on our first 75 years. This book is no longer in print but it can be found on

Where is NCGE based?

The NCGE Headquarters is located in downtown Washington DC . We are located at 1101 14th Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington DC 20005