Pre-Workshop Information

The workshop overview information is here

In preparation for the workshop we ask that you do two things:

1) To help us tailor the workshop please fill out this Pre-workshop survey

2) To facilitate a rich discussion, we suggest reading these three papers and consider the points below:

These papers are also available on the participant workspace page after 7/15/16. You will need to log-in to see them.

1) For an overview on the importance of spatial thinking skills in STEM disciplines, please read

Uttal, D. H., Miller, D. I., & Newcombe, N. S. (2013). Exploring and enhancing spatial thinking: Links to achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22,367-373.

2) For an example of how cognitive scientists can learn about spatial thinking from the geosciences, please read:

Jee, B. D., Gentner, D., Forbus, K., Sageman, B., & Uttal, D. H. (2009). Drawing on experience: Use of sketching to evaluate knowledge of spatial scientific concepts. In N. A. Taatgen & H. van Rijn (Eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 2499-2504). Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

3) For an example of how cognitive science research is applied in the classroom by STEM educators, please read:

Rau, M. A. (2015). Enhancing undergraduate chemistry learning by helping students make connections among multiple graphical representations. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 16, 654-669.

Points to consider:

1) Are there specific spatial thinking skills in the geosciences that cognitive science has not yet addressed?

2) If training spatial thinking skills results in improvement on near and far-transfer measures, are there certain spatial thinking skills, which if trained using well-designed materials, would benefit students across multiple branches of the discipline?

3) What spatial cognition principles can be applied to teaching geoscience skills and concepts?

4) What are the priorities within Geosciences for understanding the role of spatial thinking?