The People's Guide to Spatial Thinking

01-23-2014 08:44 PM
Esri Frequent Contributor
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One of our colleagues and leaders in spatial thinking in education, Dr. Diana Stuart Sinton, has written a book entitled The People's Guide to Spatial Thinkingalong with colleagues Sarah Bednarz, Phil Gersmehl, Robert Kolvoord, and David Uttal.  As the name implies, the book provides an accessible and readable way for students, educators, and even the general public to understand what spatial thinking is and why it matters.  It "help us think across the geographies of our life spaces, physical and social spaces, and intellectual space."  Dr. Sinton pulls selections from the NRC's Learning to Think Spatially report and ties them to everyday life.  In so doing, she also provides ways for us in the educational community to think about teaching these concepts and skills in a variety of courses.   Indeed, as she points out, spatial thinking is particularly essential within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as geography.

The People's Guide to Spatial Thinking.

Particularly because spatial thinking has no established "home" in the curriculum, I believe this book is an important contribution to help educators and everyone realize how and why these concepts are critically important to 21st Century education and society.  I also believe that tools such as geotechnologies that are now easily available to teach spatial thinking skills and concepts merit serious consideration in the curriculum at many different levels and in many different disciplines.  I highly encourage you to order the book from the National Council for Geographic Education, read it, and comment on this blog post in terms of your reactions to it.
About the Author
I believe that spatial thinking can transform education and society through the application of Geographic Information Systems for instruction, research, administration, and policy. I hold 3 degrees in Geography, have served at NOAA, the US Census Bureau, and USGS as a cartographer and geographer, and teach a variety of F2F (Face to Face) (including T3G) and online courses. I have authored a variety of books and textbooks about the environment, STEM, GIS, and education. These include "Interpreting Our World", "Essentials of the Environment", "Tribal GIS", "The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data", "International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning with GIS In Secondary Education", "Spatial Mathematics" and others. I write for 2 blogs, 2 monthly podcasts, and a variety of journals, and have created over 5,000 videos on the Our Earth YouTube channel. Yet, as time passes, the more I realize my own limitations and that this is a lifelong learning endeavor and thus I actively seek mentors and collaborators.