California, USA, 14 April 2006: A new report from the National Research Council (NRC) stresses the importance of spatial thinking in everyone’s life. “Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K–12 Curriculum” recommends embedding spatial thinking across the K–12 curriculum. According to the report, GIS technology can play a powerful role in promoting spatial thinking.
The study, supported by grants from the USGS, NASA, National Geographic Society Education Foundation, National Science Foundation, and ESRI, began in 2000 and brought together experts in geographic education and educational psychology. The panel heard from key organizations and individuals active in GIS education and outreach including instructors and curriculum developers who promote integrative and problem-based inquiry approaches to education. The NRC report had six formal recommendations.