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Education - Social Studies Resources (Elementary)

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Geographical thinking

Possessing geographic thinking skills provides students with the tools to address social studies issues from a geographic perspective. Geographic thinking skills involve the exploration of spatial orders, patterns and associations. They enable students to investigate environmental and societal issues using a range of geographic information. Developing these spatial skills helps students understand the relationships among people, events and the context of their physical environment, which will assist them to make choices and act wisely when confronted with questions affecting the land and water resources. -- from Program of Studies, 2005.

Portals to Geographic Thinking (from Bahbahani & Huynh, Teaching about Geographical Thinking)
  • Geographic importance: Which geographic phenomena and locates are worthy of attention?
  • Evidence and interpretation: What's the correlation between geographic evidence and its interpretation?
  • Patterns and trends: Looking at patterns in geographic phenomena over time and space
  • Interactions and associations: How human and environmental factors and events influence each other
  • Sense of place: The mix of physical and human features that characterize, and give meaning to a place
  • Geographical value judgments: How desirable are the practices/outcomes associated with particular geographic actions/eve
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