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Teaching Geographic Information Systems in a Problem-Based Learning Environment

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How, where and why GIS is taught has been debated heavily in the geography literature. This article is a contribution to that debate, because it offers a new perspective from which to teach GIS: problem-based learning. In a problem-based learning classroom, theoretical foundations and the real world of problems are understood as constitutive of one another, rather than theory being prioritised over the real world of experience. In this paper, the author describes an introductory-level GIS class in which GIS was taught with a problem-based learning pedagogy. The problem around which the class focused was a proposal to add a new school district in the San Antonio, Texas metropolitan region. This article describes the class, including the nature of the problem and the way GIS skills were sequentially taught and integrated into the analysis of that problem.

Keywords: GIS; Problem-based learning; urban fragmentation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Trinity University, Urban Studies Department, San Antonio, USA

Publication date: 2005-11-01

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