Place-Based Education and Geographic Information Systems: Enhancing the Spatial Awareness of Middle School Students in Maine

Place-Based Education and Geographic Information Systems: Enhancing the Spatial Awareness of Middle School Students in Maine

DESCRIPTION

Spatial literacy is a new frontier in K-12 education. This article describes a place-based introductory GIS/GPS middle school curriculum unit in which students used measuring tools, GPS units, and My World GIS software to collect physical and spatial data of trees to create a schoolyard tree inventory. Maine students completed "memory maps" of their schoolyards as a pre/post exercise assessment. A statistically significant increase in students' spatial awareness was documented. A technology-based curriculum can significantly increase students' spatial awareness especially in a place and context relevant to each student.