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The importance of spatial thinking for geoscience education; insights from the crossroads of geoscience and cognitive science

Lynn S. Liben and Sarah J. Titus
The importance of spatial thinking for geoscience education; insights from the crossroads of geoscience and cognitive science (in Earth and mind II; a synthesis of research on thinking and learning in the geosciences, Kim A. Kastens (editor) and Cathryn A. Manduca (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2012) 486: 51-70

Abstract

Many students enrolled in geoscience courses have poorly developed spatial skills that may impede their success in mastering geoscience methods and concepts. To illustrate the variety of spatial skills required in the geosciences, we analyze a hypothetical field day of a structural geologist from the perspective of spatial cognition. We discuss some of the cognitive processes required for selective geoscience tasks, including map reading, navigation, perception of orientation, measurement of strike and dip, and interpretation of spatial diagrams including cross sections and stereographic projections. We suggest teaching strategies for several spatially demanding geologic tasks. We also outline ideas for future interdisciplinary research that may contribute to the development and evaluation of curricula designed to improve students' mastery of geoscience and spatial thinking, and, simultaneously, contribute to the field of cognitive science.


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 486
Title: The importance of spatial thinking for geoscience education; insights from the crossroads of geoscience and cognitive science
Title: Earth and mind II; a synthesis of research on thinking and learning in the geosciences
Author(s): Liben, Lynn S.Titus, Sarah J.
Author(s): Kastens, Kim A.editor
Author(s): Manduca, Cathryn A.editor
Affiliation: Pennsylvania State University, Department of Psychology, University Park, PA, United States
Affiliation: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, United States
Pages: 51-70
Published: 2012
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 113
Accession Number: 2012-069397
Categories: Structural geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch map
N37°40'00" - N38°12'00", W111°01'60" - W110°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Carleton College, USA, United StatesCarleton College, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201236
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