Learning to form accurate mental models

Alexandra Davatzes, Kristin Gagnier, Ilyse RESNICK, Thomas F. Shipley

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/BulletinArticle

30 Downloads (Pure)


By the end of the decade, we are likely to see a severe shortage of geoscientists because 48% of the current workforce will be at or near retirement age, predicts a 2016 geosciences workforce report from the American Geosciences Institute [2016]. Addressing this shortage will require our best efforts to attract students to geosciences and to help them succeed and retain their interest once they enter the field. One barrier to initial student success in the geosciences (and in scientific fields in general) is weak spatial skills [Uttal and Cohen, 2012]. Spatial thinking skills help students and experts understand concepts in terms of the shapes, sizes, orientations, locations, directions, or trajectories of objects, processes, events, or phenomena. Spatial thinking is used to structure problems, find answers, and express these solutions to others. Therefore, providing training that supports spatial reasoning throughout students’ careers could encourage students to pursue geosciences as a career and increase the number of potential geoscientists.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Specialist publicationEos
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Learning to form accurate mental models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this