Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Impacts of a teacher geospatial technologies professional development project on student spatial literacy skills and interests in science and technology in grade 5–12 classrooms across Montana
by Crews, Jeffrey Willard, Ed.D., University of Montana, 2008, 281; 3307333
Abstract (Summary)

This study utilized participants in a teacher geospatial technologies professional development project. Data was collected on the impact this professional development model, and the corresponding classroom implementation of the curriculum, had on student spatial literacy skills and students' interest in science and technology. Twenty teachers from across Montana with demonstrated competency in the use of geospatial technologies were selected for participation in this project. These twenty teachers were broken into two cohorts, cohort one served as the experimental group and cohort two served as the control group. Students within these classrooms ranging in grades 5–12, took two assessments, a spatial literacy skills assessment (grades 9–12) and a science and technology interest survey (grades 5–12).

Statistical comparisons of the spatial literacy skills assessment made between pretest and posttest experimental group scores showed no significant change between scores from pretest to posttest. Post-hoc analysis of the spatial literacy data differentiated by teacher, gender, grade, level of proficiency, and teacher specific variables did reveal some interesting findings. Scores for teacher specific groupings showed a positive change between testing intervals. Positive changes also occurred for certain groups differentiated by gender, grade level, proficiency level, quantity of implementation, and teacher competency.

Frequency distributions results from the science and technology interest survey did not show an important difference between the testing intervals, nor was there an important difference between the experimental group and the control group.

Comparative analyses of two teachers varying in quantity of implementation (high and low) produced an increase in student spatial literacy scores for the high quantity implementation group and a decrease for the low quantity group. Student interest scores for the high quantity implementation group decreased while the interest scores for the low quantity group either remained the same or increased.

Changes between the two groups indicate a gain in spatial literacy skills for the high quantity group likely due to the greater amount of exposure and a decrease in interests in science and technology, possibly attributed to a point-of-saturation for students, resulting from to-much-all-at-once implementation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Blank, Lisa M.
Commitee: Atkins, Trent L., Cobbs, Georgia, Kerski, Joseph J., Stolle, Darrell W.
School: University of Montana
Department: Curriculum & Instruction
School Location: United States -- Montana
Source: DAI-A 69/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Teacher education, Educational technology, Science education
Keywords: GIS, GPS, Geospatial, Geospatial technologies, Montana, Professional development, Science, Spatial literacy, Teacher training, Technology
Publication Number: 3307333
ISBN: 9780549560272
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