Promoting Spatial Thinking in Natural Resource Management through Community Mapping

The program teaches spatial thinking to empower young people with improved conceptual and geographic ICT (geo-ICT) technical skills, mapping concepts, and technologies.
2013Rwanda

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Student supportRochester Institute of Technology (RIT)University of RwandaCambridge Education [Fund Manager]Skills for WorkUpper secondary

Location Data

Huye and Gisagara Districts

 

This program was piloted with support from the Innovation for Education Fund, a partnership between the Governments of Rwanda and the UK, managed by Cambridge Education

 

This project teaches spatial thinking as a means to to empower young people with improved conceptual and geographic ICT (geo-ICT) technical skills. Teachers are trained in spatial thinking, geo-ICT, and mapping concepts.  Students learn geo-ICTs such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to map the local environment surrounding their schools. Spatial thinking curriculum created as part of the program includes reflection on environmental issues relevant to the geographical area of the schools. The project was implemented in upper secondary classrooms in two schools in Huye and Gisagara Districts.

The project was managed by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), a US University, in collaboration with the Centre for Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (CGIS) at the University of Rwanda and the Rwanda Environmental Conservation Organization (RECOR). 

The acquisition of spatial thinking and geo-ICT skills links with Goal 3 of the ESSP, to strengthen the relevance of education and training to the labour market, and specifically focuses on the need for transferable skills, such as communications, ICT, and problem solving. As spatial thinking is a skill developed through life-long learning, the project is also very relevant to ESSP Goal 1 of promoting educational access at all levels. The project’s strong emphasis on teacher geo-ICT skill and curriculum training also make the project relevant to ESSP Goal 2 of improving education and training quality.

This was the first initiative in Rwanda to have a specific focus on the acquisition of spatial thinking skills combined with student learning about community environmental issues.Spatial thinking skills are under-represented in Rwandan upper secondary education. The project addresses this challenge by creating a science and technology curriculum for natural resource mapping experiences.

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