Teaching Spatial Thinking and Geospatial Technologies Through Citizen Mapping and Problem-Based Inquiry in Grades 7-12
Our project introduced students in grades 7 through 12 to spatial thinking and geospatial technologies in the context of challenges in their community. We used a mix of levels of inquiry to advance learning from teacher- to student-guided through a citizen mapping group activity. Student-suggested problem-based topics included parks and community gardens, crime, housing, and youth employment opportunities. Qualitative methods were used to evaluate students’ knowledge of spatial thinking and geospatial technologies, including map interpretation, a case study, daily exit slips, and interviews. Overall, the students’ awareness of their community, spatial thinking, and geospatial technologies increased as a result of participation.