What is Spatial Literacy?

"Without explicit attention to [spatial literacy], we cannot meet our responsibility for equipping the next generation of students for life and work in the 21st century"
... Learning to Think Spatially, the National Research Council

U.S. Department of Labor identified geospatial technology as one of the fastest growing industries (https://www.doleta.gov/business/industries/).

Spatial literacy is the ability to use the properties of space to communicate, reason, and solve problems.

A spatially literate student can be characterized by:(Learning to Think Spatially)

  • having the habit of mind of thinking spatially—they know where, when, how, and why to think spatially;
  • practicing spatial thinking in an informed way—they have a broad and deep knowledge of spatial concepts and spatial representations, a command over spatial reasoning using a variety of spatial ways of thinking and acting, have well-developed spatial capabilities for using supporting tools and technologies; and
  • adopting a critical stance to spatial thinking—they can evaluate the quality of spatial data based on their source, likely accuracy, and reliability; they can use spatial data to construct, articulate, and defend a line of reasoning or point of view in solving problems and answering questions; and they can evaluate the validity of arguments based on spatial information.

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