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Teaching And Learning Social Science Inquiry And Spatial Reasoning With GIS

CAREER: Teaching and Learning Social Science Inquiry and Spatial Reasoning with GIS

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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide opportunities for teachers and students to conduct scientific inquiry with large amounts of data, including geographically referenced observational research in fields spanning the natural and social sciences. The complexity of these investigations can provide opportunities for deep learning in critical areas of science and mathematics identified in national and state standards. However, these inquiry projects can also confuse students and overwhelm teachers.

Prior formative design research with data-visualization inquiry environments suggests that students’ manipulation and annotation of the intermediate artifacts of inquiry can promote student reflection on domain concepts, data interpretations, and inquiry processes, as well as provide opportunities for teachers to assess, engage, and further these understandings.

This project is a three-year study that systematically investigates the claim that GIS inquiry projects that have iterative designs will increase student reflection on data artifacts, domain concepts, and inquiry processes, and help students relate data to the world around them.

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