Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Shin, Eui-kyung

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Literacy and Elementary Education


Geospatial data; Geographic information systems


Geospatial thinking is a subset of spatial thinking, which has been identified by the National Geography Standards as an essential skill for students to gain through geography instruction (Heffron & Downs, 2013). One tool which has been shown to help students develop their geospatial thinking skills is Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (Kim & Bednraz, 2013; Lee & Bednarz, 2009; Patterson, 2007). Much of the research conducted with GIS has been in the context of social studies classrooms. This study examined the use of GIS with seventh grade students in a science classroom. Results of this study indicate that students who use GIS as part of their science instruction are able to practice geospatial thinking skills. In addition, this study examined how GIS could be used to enhance the instruction of the science practices of investigation and evaluation. The Next Generation Science Standards identify certain science practices which students should experience as part of science instruction (NGSS Lead States, 2013). Among those practices are investigation and evaluation. Students in this study used GIS to investigate and evaluate scientific data. Both the teacher and the students were able to identify ways that GIS enhanced both the investigation and evaluation of data.


Advisors: Eui-kyung Shin.||Committee members: Mary Beth Henning; Tom Pingel.||Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


v, 135 pages




Northern Illinois University

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