Supporting Spatial Thinking

Monday 1:30pm-4:00pm Slawson: G175
Afternoon Mini Workshop

Convener

Carol Ormand, Carleton College
This session is for anyone who is interested in translating research on spatial thinking into practice. After a brief overview of key findings from research on spatial cognition, participants will have a chance to explore curricular materials that support the development of students' spatial thinking skills. These materials will include the Spatial Thinking Workbook and exercises developed by the GET Spatial Learning Network. We will also discuss the cognitive science principles underlying these curricular materials, so that participants will be well-positioned to develop new materials using the same strategies and tools.

Goals

By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Be familiar with the research base on spatial cognition, especially as it pertains to spatial thinking in the geosciences;
  • Know where to find cognitive research-based curricular materials to support the development of students' spatial thinking skills;
  • Be able to describe multiple strategies and tools for improving students' spatial thinking skills; and
  • Have a plan for incorporating existing curricular materials into their courses or for generating new curricular materials to support the development of students' spatial thinking skills.

Program

1:30 Welcome and introduction

1:40 What spatial thinking tasks are challenging for our students?

1:50 Overview of research on spatial thinking in the geosciences (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 7.5MB Jul16 18), with a focus on strategies and tools that we can use to develop students' spatial thinking skills

2:10 Preliminary exploration of curricular materials supporting the development of spatial thinking skills

2:45 Break

3:00 Discussion: What strategies for what challenges?

3:15 Work time: Participants develop their plans for incorporating existing curricular materials into their courses or begin drafting new curricular materials to support the development of students' spatial thinking skills

3:45 Wrap-up and workshop evaluation

4:00 Adjourn

Resources and references

Curricular materials

Spatial Thinking Tests/Instruments

Research and research summaries