Survey analysis: Facilitating teacher conceptualization of spatial thinking and geospatial technologies in career and technical education courses



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Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs offer courses that build career skills to ensure a qualified workforce. Integrating the use of geospatial technology tools such as GIS, GPS, and remote sensing promotes critical thinking and technical skills desired by industry. This study developed, pilot-tested, and submitted a survey to a sample of CTE teachers to identify the cognitive and behavioral constructs necessary to conceptualize spatial thinking and geospatial tool use in CTE courses. Data was collected about CTE teacher’s spatial ability, geospatial self-perception, geospatial tool teaching self-efficacy, general teaching self-efficacy, and spatial thinking characteristics. Additionally, the Geospatial Technology Integration Survey (GTIS), items within the survey, presented spatial thinking concepts using geospatial tool examples. The GTIS items were evaluated for correctness to produce a GTIS score. Five predictor variables were regressed to the GTIS score for teachers who had prior geospatial tool knowledge (n = 34) and those who did not (n = 97). The regression model for CTE teachers who had prior knowledge of geospatial tools had an adjusted R2 of .182, and was not statistically significant. The regression model for CTE teachers who had no prior knowledge of geospatial tools had an adjusted R2 of .216, and was statistically significant, (p < .05). The strongest predictor variables were spatial ability and general teaching self-efficacy. Additionally, teaching strategies that promote inquiry-based learning correlate to the change in pre-post GTIS scores (p < .05). CTE teachers were better able to conceptualize the use of geospatial tools after exposure to the GTIS.



Technical education, Career education, Curriculum planning, GeoSphere products, Critical thinking