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 Thinking, along 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[s] 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.
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.