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The Role of Gender and Academic Major on Spatial Habits of Mind (SHOM) in GIS Learning

  • Journal of the Korean Cartographic Association
  • Abbr : JKCA
  • 2013, 13(1), pp.73-86
  • Publisher : The Korean Cartographic Association
  • Research Area : Social Science > Geography > Geography in general > Cartography

Minsung Kim 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study investigated whether and how gender and academic major affected students’ self-assessment of spatial habits of mind in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) learning. Research has noted the potential of GIS as an educational tool to develop students’ spatial thinking, but little discussion has occurred as to the relationship between GIS learning and spatial habits of mind. Extending prior research in which positive effects of GIS learning on spatial habits of mind were reported, this study examined the role of gender and academic major in the development of spatial habits of mind in a GIS course. There are two main findings. First, GIS students did not show gender differences. However, both males and females improved in their self-assessment of spatial habits of mind from pre-test to post-test. When considering participants’ improvement by sub-dimension, variations appeared. Second, the effects of academic major appear to be more powerful than those of gender. No gender difference in the GIS group probably occurred because the female students in the GIS course (mostly geography or geography-related majors) were not representative of the larger population. This argument is plausible because gender differences were found for the two control groups in which students with various majors were included.

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