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Visualizing Geographic Concepts: Visible Thinking Strategies and Geographic Threshold Concepts

Authors: Jamie Strickland*, University of North Carolina - Charlotte
Topics: Geography Education
Keywords: geographic education, visible thinking
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The discipline of geography has a long history of leveraging the power of visual communication tools and critical thinking in undergraduate education. These existing pedagogical tools and ways of thinking are well suited to combine with emerging ideas regarding the incorporation of threshold concepts, fundamental and powerful concepts and visible thinking strategies (Fouberg 2013; Nosich 2005; Ritchart, Church and Morrison 2011) into courses to encourage deeper and more engaged learning of geography content and practice. This paper outlines the integrated use of threshold concepts and visible thinking strategies in the teaching of undergraduate geography. Threshold concepts are central to the core of a discipline and are gateways to a transformative, more holistic interpretation of geographic problems. Visible thinking and note-taking strategies were introduced to students as a way to work through the "liminal spaces" of grappling with geographic threshold concepts. Evidence of concept development presented focuses on a junior-level course in the geographies of world food problems with a student population that have varying levels of prior geographic knowledge.

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