Scaling Giant State Maps: Learning at the Intersection of Mathematics and Geography




Theobald, Rebecca
Anthamatten, Peter
Bryant, Lara
Ferrucci, Beverly J.
Jennings, Steve
McAnneny, Cathleen

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The Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education


Transformative research in geography education requires approaching classrooms with innovative methods to invigorate lessons involving basic skills. Our pilot project has demonstrated how educators can employ a standardized pre- and post-assessment of student knowledge of spatial thinking, math skills, and geographic content in classrooms in different locations in the United States. While this research project assessed gains in student skills through exploration of giant maps, the project will require additional support to improve the rigor and validity of the study design. The trans formative potential of this project is evident in the capacity-building afforded by developing and testing research instruments and procedures capable of replication across other classrooms, schools, and districts. Support from the Research Coordination Network has enabled this group to undertake research activities that are potentially transformative. Otherwise, this group of geographers would have concentrated simply on sharing the map with teachers and schools, rather than investigating how students are learning by using the map.



geography, spatial thinking, kinesthetic learning, math, geography


Theobald, R., Anthamatten, P., Bryant, L., Ferrucci, B.J., Jennings, S., &McAnneny, C. (2017). Scaling giant state maps: Learning at the intersection of mathematics and geography. Research in Geographic Education, 19(2), pp. 11-35.


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