Moving Out of Flatland: Toward Effective Practice in Geospatial Inquiry
While there are many success stories in the use of GIS in schools, hopes for widespread implementation greatly exceed current reality. The framework presented here argues that more than just greater availability of professional development is required. Rather, the key to successful implementation is a teacher able to undertake an intellectual endeavor of sufficient magnitude. More specifically, teachers’ ability to lead rich geospatial inquiry is predicated on several factors, including interest in (and knowledge of) the topics at hand, experience with deep inquiry, comfort with data-informed reasoning, and the ability to guide students in exploring new questions productively. In the absence of these factors, professional development efforts will meet with limited success. Thus, greater efforts need to be directed toward supporting growth in these underlying capacities and dispositions.
KeywordsImplementation Geospatial inquiry Interest Model-based reasoning
Graphics credit: Jennifer Krause, Missouri Botanical Garden. This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. 0639638 and 0833633.
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