Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Area of Focus

Social Sciences

Abstract

The National Geographic Society actively promotes the idea that geographic education must become better established in public school curricula in the United States. To address this issue, the National Geographic Society continuously works on developing new and innovative ways to enhance geography education. Most recently, they established the State Giant Traveling Maps program to promote an interactive, hands-and-feet-on geographical learning experience for third and fourth graders in the United States. The National Geographic Society hopes that the State Giant Traveling Maps program will increase students’ map skills, inspire students to learn more about geography, and encourage teachers to focus more on geographic education. In Montana, the State Giant Traveling Map program was launched on January 1, 2017; therefore, the effectiveness of this new resource is not yet fully understood.

In order to fully assess the pertinence of the State Giant Traveling Maps to geography education, this project will address the following research question: How does the State Giant Traveling Map of Montana affect students’ attitude, self-efficacy, and map skills? The National Geographic Society anticipates that the State Giant Traveling Maps will inform and inspire young students to study geography and will also increase geographic education nationwide. This project aims to confirm their hypothesis by tracking the changes in attitude, self-efficacy, and map skills that occur after students interact with the State Giant Traveling Map of Montana. Additionally, this project aims to evaluate teacher perceptions on the benefits and associated challenges of implementing this new resource. If this project supports the hypothesis of the National Geographic Society, more teachers may be willing to shift their curriculum to focus more on geography and geographic illiteracy rates in the United States will begin to decrease.

To answer the research question, both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods will be used. Students will complete a quantitative assessment and their teachers will complete a qualitative survey. The student assessment was created by taking questions directly from the National Association for Educational Progress (NAEP) Geography Exam for Grade 4. Students that participate in this research will complete the assessment before and after completing lessons using the giant map. Student assessments will be graded out of seven points, and their responses will be compared to the national averages published by NAEP. This will reveal if students perform better when actively participating in geography lessons versus the more traditional, passive style of teaching. The teacher survey will help determine if this resource can be easily implemented into public school curriculum. Data collection for this project will begin during spring of 2017 and analysis will be completed during summer 2017.

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Apr 27th, 10:20 AM Apr 27th, 10:35 AM

Evaluating How Kinesthetic Learning Affects Skills and Attitudes of Fourth Grade Students in Montana Using the National Geographic State Giant Traveling Map of Montana

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

The National Geographic Society actively promotes the idea that geographic education must become better established in public school curricula in the United States. To address this issue, the National Geographic Society continuously works on developing new and innovative ways to enhance geography education. Most recently, they established the State Giant Traveling Maps program to promote an interactive, hands-and-feet-on geographical learning experience for third and fourth graders in the United States. The National Geographic Society hopes that the State Giant Traveling Maps program will increase students’ map skills, inspire students to learn more about geography, and encourage teachers to focus more on geographic education. In Montana, the State Giant Traveling Map program was launched on January 1, 2017; therefore, the effectiveness of this new resource is not yet fully understood.

In order to fully assess the pertinence of the State Giant Traveling Maps to geography education, this project will address the following research question: How does the State Giant Traveling Map of Montana affect students’ attitude, self-efficacy, and map skills? The National Geographic Society anticipates that the State Giant Traveling Maps will inform and inspire young students to study geography and will also increase geographic education nationwide. This project aims to confirm their hypothesis by tracking the changes in attitude, self-efficacy, and map skills that occur after students interact with the State Giant Traveling Map of Montana. Additionally, this project aims to evaluate teacher perceptions on the benefits and associated challenges of implementing this new resource. If this project supports the hypothesis of the National Geographic Society, more teachers may be willing to shift their curriculum to focus more on geography and geographic illiteracy rates in the United States will begin to decrease.

To answer the research question, both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods will be used. Students will complete a quantitative assessment and their teachers will complete a qualitative survey. The student assessment was created by taking questions directly from the National Association for Educational Progress (NAEP) Geography Exam for Grade 4. Students that participate in this research will complete the assessment before and after completing lessons using the giant map. Student assessments will be graded out of seven points, and their responses will be compared to the national averages published by NAEP. This will reveal if students perform better when actively participating in geography lessons versus the more traditional, passive style of teaching. The teacher survey will help determine if this resource can be easily implemented into public school curriculum. Data collection for this project will begin during spring of 2017 and analysis will be completed during summer 2017.