Developing Spatial Skills for Middle School Students Using a Modern Technology Navigational Instrument

By Ioannis L. Parkosidis and Constantine D. Skordoulis.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Many science education researchers understand natural sciences as practical work and investigate how to create innovative and attractive learning environments using modern technology scientific instruments. Within this context a field activity using modern navigational technology was designed and the development of spatial skills through a) acquiring knowledge of the operational principles of the Global Positioning System receiver and b) using a GPS receiver in actual environment was investigated. The development of spatial competence in children has been of much research interest for more than 50 years and the contribution of scientific navigational instruments to the teaching and learning of science has recently been proposed and has not adequately been investigated.
This study describes the theoretical framework that proposes the use of scientific instruments in science teaching. Moreover, it presents the basic principles of designing a field activity with the use of a GPS receiver, as well as the findings that resulted from its implementation in middle school Greek students

Keywords: Science Teaching, Scientific Instruments, GPS, Spatial Skills, Field Activity

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp.127-134. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.241MB).

Dr Ioannis L. Parkosidis

PhD Student, Faculty of Primary Education, Dept. of Physical Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Ioannis Parkosidis is a primary schoolteacher from 1997 and is currently working on his PhD thesis at the Faculty of Primary Education, University of Athens, within the framework of the European programme “Iraklitos”. The thesis deals with the contribution of Scientific Instruments of Navigation and Cartography in the cross-thematic teaching of the notion of space with the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). His basic studies are in education and his postgraduate diploma concerns the integration of ICT in Education. He is also a member of the research group “History, Philosophy and Communication in Natural Sciences” of the section of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environment, University of Athens. He has participated as a member in committees of the Greek Pedagogical Institute on the evaluation of educational programmes and materials. He has also taken part in numerous International Conferences and has contributed proposals that concern science education and ICT’s in education. While doing his postgraduate studies, he has designed and developed educational software.

Prof. Constantine D. Skordoulis

Professor in Physics and Epistemology of Natural Sciences, Athens Science and Education Laboratory (A.S.E.L.), Faculty of Primary Education, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Research interests include History of Science Teaching and Environmental Philosophy – Epistemology

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