Paper No. 89-9
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM
SPATIAL THINKING IN GEOSCIENCE: LESSONS FROM AN INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION BETWEEN COGNITIVE SCIENTISTS AND GEOSCIENTISTS
Over the past eight years, the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC) has supported a collaborative research program that has brought together geoscientists and cognitive scientists to characterize the nature of spatial thinking in geoscience and to use this research to transform educational and training practices. As a result of this collaboration, we have learned about mental processes that were previously unknown to cognitive scientists and have characterized spatial thinking and the development of spatial expertise in the geosciences. In this talk I will present two lines of research that have come out of this collaboration. The first illustrates how collaborating with geoscientists has uncovered aspects of visual processes that has been previously unrecognized by the cognitive science community and the second illustrates how collaborating with cognitive scientists has lead to learning principles which can be used to improve understanding of geoscience diagrams. The goal of my talk is to highlight the value of interdisciplinary collaboration and show how both the fields of cognitive science and geoscience have mutually benefited.