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Advancing Geospatial Skills in Science and Social Science (AGSSS). Southwest Regional NSF GK-12 Conference Texas A&M University October 22, 2005. Faculty Sarah Bednarz, PI Robert Bednarz, Co-PI Tony Filippi, Co-PI Andrew Klein, Co-PI Fellows Graduate Gabriel Burns, M.S.
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Advancing Geospatial Skills in Science and Social Science(AGSSS) Southwest Regional NSF GK-12 Conference Texas A&M University October 22, 2005
Faculty Sarah Bednarz, PI Robert Bednarz, Co-PI Tony Filippi, Co-PI Andrew Klein, Co-PI Fellows Graduate Gabriel Burns, M.S. Joni Kincaid, M.S. Kevin Merritt, M.S. Michelle Simms, PhD. Undergraduate Russell Evans Amy Shaffer Laura Spanel-Weber Year 1: Educational Service Center VI College Station Middle School College Station High School Year 2: TBA Year 3: TBA AGSSS Team Texas A&M University Dept. of Geography Teacher Fellows
AGSSS Components Geospatially skilled Fellows, working with Teachers, develop Students’ spatial thinking & problem solving skills: • Mechanism: existing curricular initiatives, GIS, RS, and GPS • Assessed through teacher-research
What is Spatial Thinking? “the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to use concepts of space, tools of representation, and processes of reasoning to structure problems, find answers and express solutions to these problems” (Bednarz, 2005).
Concepts of space What is Spatial Thinking? Rules of the Game Playing Field and Team Uniform Tools of representation Planning a goal-scoring play Processes of reasoning
What is Spatial Thinking? It’s Problem Solving!
“Thinking spatially” is an ability that can, and should bedeveloped
Home Meet Fellows Early Lunch Library PEER Conference Go west 2 blocks, then turn right and drive 3 miles… Study Group Why is Spatial Thinking Skill Development Important? We “think spatially” everyday • Use mental maps • Giving directions • Packing a car trunk • Route planning Source: http://people.interaction-ivrea.it/l.thie/hitch/images/torinoPsychGeoMap_web.gif http://www.johnconn.net/home/images/website/091004-01-packed-car.jpg
Classic Example of Spatial Thinking Cholera Deaths 1854 London Source: http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/tufte_snow2.htm
Curriculum Materials EarthKAM Mission Geography Mapping Our World Community Atlas Google Earth
Teacher Research • Teacher as Researcher • Teachers learn how to evaluate themselves and their efforts to promote spatial thinking in the classroom • Summer workshops • Feedback • How well have the AGSSS curriculum enhancements been integrated? • How have students’ spatial thinking skills improved?
Teachers in Action Left: Sarah Bednarz trains teachers to conduct an ISS EarthKAM mission Right: Teachers utilize an atlas to find targets for the EarthKAM mission
Impact on Fellows “I am excited by spatial thinking and how it enhances the research process!” “I realized the importance of context when asking questions about the world.” “I am looking at the world in a different way now. I’m learning how to communicate this new view, too.” “I’m more cognizant of how much I think spatially everyday! I never realized just how important this skill really is.” “Through the fellowship seminars I realized I had a gap in my geographic knowledge.”
Think Spatially… Act Analytically! http://agsss.tamu.edu