Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Document Type

Chapter

Publication Date

2018

Abstract

The geosciences are characterized by their particular application of and reliance on temporal and spatial reasoning. Geoscientists must be able to apply their knowledge across a variety of scales. The ability to engage with this kind of task represents a great shift in thinking from where most students begin their studies, be that in K-12 or college. In order to understand how people's ability to spatial and temporal reasoning changes over time requires identification of what skills are essential, assessment of those skills, and then exploration of the impacts of different targeted interventions in geoscience contexts. While more is known about how people reason spatially as compared with temporally, there are still significant gaps in our understanding of spatial reasoning in the geosciences. There are opportunities to build on lessons learned from previous investigations of spatial thinking (e.g. the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center), including how a community can investigate a specific line of reasoning. There is also a need to build on established research from other domains, from anthropology to cognitive science to physics. In this chapter the authors identified and describe three grand challenges to better understand the need for and growth of spatial and temporal reasoning in geoscience education. These include identifying what reasonings or skills are essential to the geosciences (both broadly and within subdisciplines), and the intertwined challenge of how to assess those reasonings and use those results to improve on what students are learning from their geoscience experiences.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.25885/ger_framework/7

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