, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 191-199

Geographic Information Systems: A Tool to Support Geography and Environmental Education?

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Geographic information systems (GIS) education is at a crossroads in the United States. Since its inception in the early 1990s, GIS has diffused slowly into select groups of K-12 classrooms through the efforts of geography and environmental educators. However, many of the assumptions underpinning the initial period of enthusiasm for the technology are now being questioned. This paper reviews issues identified as barriers to dissemination in order to help shape and inform the next phase of GIS implementation. First, the existing arguments for GIS in elementary and secondary education in the United States are reviewed and evaluated. Second, considerations related to developing an improved pedagogical foundation for GIS are explored. Finally, implications and suggestions for guidelines for the next decade of dissemination and implementation of GIS are discussed.

This revised version was published online in August 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.