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Current Knowledge in Spatial Thinking in Geography - Essay Example

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In the last decade, spatial thinking has received enormous attention among scholars in geography as well as in other disciplines. The aim of the following essay is to summarize the major advancements in the development of spatial theory and thinking…
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Current Knowledge in Spatial Thinking in Geography
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Download file to see previous pages Going by Eliot’s depiction, it is worthwhile to note that intellectual knowledge extrapolates far much beyond observational information or simple sensory. In the field of geography, this extension is well displayed partly in the various forms of representation. Such models become critical in summarizing, analyzing and interpretation to unpack spatial existence and relational traits (Bednarz & Lee, 2011). Towards the late 20th century, there has been a significant deviation in the nature of geographic knowledge. In its history as a discipline, geographic knowledge has been declarative, thus focusing on collection and representation of the physical and human occurrences based on existence. During this period, there has been a change from the inventory dominated practice. The new dispensation sought the creation of knowledge through the emphasis on cognitive demands. Such demands sought to address the questions as to why and how in addition to what and where tags that initially interrogated. Consequently, the accumulation of geographic knowledge has changed to item transformation, feature and distribution matching in real-time as well as item manipulation. Such a shift has enabled the solution of tasks such as understanding spatial co-linearity either in negative or positive orientations. Moreover, the logical, inductive and deductive inference has allowed for the recognition of geographic associations. This new way of reasoning and thinking, in turn, called for the development of new data, new representation methods, new modes of spatial analysis and interpretation. More importantly, the new thinking and reasoning required that geographers must consider multiple disciplines. Traditionally, the discipline of geography has provided numerous general education courses. Physical geography introduces students to systems of the earth including anthropogenic and physical factors that shape the earth. On the other hand, human geography provides an insight into the patterns of human activities in a range of scales. However, few of such general education aspects emphasize quantitative solving of problems and technology. Therefore, it is critical for geographers to inculcate aspects of spatial literacy and thinking in institutions of learning (Bednarz & Lee, 2011). According to Goodchild (2007), spatial literacy is the ability to capture and communicate knowledge in the form of a graphical representation and understanding, recognizing and interpreting patterns. With this regard, he points out that geography is not merely a list of places in the world. The value of geography can only be achieved by organizing and discovering information. Additionally, its worth as a discipline can be realized by comprehending such basic information as scale and spatial resolution. As pointed out in National Research Council (NRC) report, Learning to Think Spatially, it is paramount to fully equip next generation of students with spatial literacy so as to work and live in the 21st century. Ultimately, spatial thinking is an integral part of the success of the students. Living beings and their immediate surroundings are situated in space. Human-environment interactions must be comprehended in terms of locations, shapes, directions, distances, and patterns (NRC, 2006).  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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