This study explores the effects of geographic information systems (GIS) curriculum on fifth-grade students' spatial ability and map-analysis skills. A total of 174 students from an urban public school district and their teachers participated in a quasi-experimental design study. Four teachers implemented a GIS curriculum in experimental classes over six weeks while three teachers continued with regular teaching in control classes. Both groups completed pre- and post-tests measuring spatial ability and map-analysis skills. Students in the GIS classes demonstrated more growth over time in spatial ability and map-analysis skills than did their peers in the control classes.
Jadallah, M., Hund, A. M., Thayn, J. B., Studebaker, J. G., Roman, Z. J., & Kirby, E. (2017). Integrating geospatial technologies in fifth grade curriculum: Impact on spatial ability and map-analysis skills. Journal of Geography, 116(4), 139-151.