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Spatial Thinking and Technologies in the Undergraduate Social Science Classroom

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Spatial thinking and analysis have greatly enhanced social science research throughout the past century, but explicit practice of spatial thinking in undergraduate social science courses is still quite rare. New computer technology to handle spatial information offers exciting opportunities that have been discussed at recent NSF-sponsored SPACE workshops on spatial thinking in undergraduate education. The authors discuss insights and strategies that emerged from these workshops in the context of the literature on spatial thinking in education and contemporary cognitive and learning theories. Practical suggestions regarding specific pedagogic approaches and assessment strategies that are proving successful in enhancing social science education are reviewed.

Keywords: Spatial thinking; archaeology; learning assessment; social science; undergraduate education

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University of California Santa Barbara, USA 2: California NanoSystems Institute, University of California Santa Barbara, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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