GI and Spatial Citizenship
The uses of GIS at secondary school level have been mainly thought of as a support tool to encourage spatial thinking. While this approach definitely has its benefits in arguing for a wider set of competences acquired by GI-based learning, it has frequently been linked to technical interests and instrumental knowledge as described by HABERMAS (1968). The use of Geoinformation does not appear to serve an emancipatory interest in learning. The concept of spatial citizenship tries to address these shortcomings. Conceptually, it originates from the individual and collective appropriation of social space and supports learners to acquire competences that will enable them to more actively participate in society. Spatial citizenship adds a spatial domain to citizenship education through a mixture of absolute, cognitive and relational concepts of space. In addition to the fields of competences mentioned in the National Research Council report (2006) on spatial thinking, spatial citizenship implies that further competences are required. These may be termed competences to a) deconstruct the spatial information available from various sources, b) further ones own visions of social space by c) being able to translate and communicate them with the help of GI. Recent technological developments actively promote these geo-communication skills, while also posing new questions pertaining to the interests involved in the production and dissemination of voluntary geographic information. This contribution explores the starting points for spatial citizenship education and discusses aims and fields of competences for active spatial citizenship.
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