Instructional Development Award Recipients
Several undergraduate instructors who attended the 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007 SPACE workshops were awarded funds to continue their efforts in integrating spatial analysis into their course curriculums. These pages showcase their achievements. See the full recipient list.
Leah Greden Mathews
Affiliation: Department of Economics, University of North Carolina, Asheville
Notable Achievements in Her Own Words
Attending the SPACE workshop in summer 2004 provided me with (1) tools that allowed me to more easily incorporate spatial perspectives in my classroom, (2) knowledge about how spatial perspectives are used in other social science classrooms (this provided inspiration for the use of ‘companion’ spatial resources for class readings), and (3) confidence that I could comfortably execute my ideas in the classroom despite having had very little exposure to spatial methods prior to the workshop.
Since attending the SPACE workshop in summer 2004, I have increasingly included spatial perspectives into my Land and Economics course. I started by building up the spatial elements of the course to include additional maps to demonstrate spatial phenomenon related to land ownership and land use planning (something that historically, I had relied on a textbook to provide). Over time, the course readings have been augmented with accompanying spatial resources (including data) for students to access in order to better understand the concepts and issues discussed in the reading.
In addition, in 2007 I modified the final course project such that it incorporates what might be considered a deep or thoroughly spatial perspective. Specifically, groups of students present their vision for a sustainable land use system in western North Carolina. This requires students to consider the spatial relationships between people, land resources, transportation and other infrastructure, markets, governments and other factors.
The course is a sophomore level, interdisciplinary course that attracts students from several majors including economics, environmental studies, management, history, and political science. As a result, the series of instructional development initiatives have greatly advanced the spatial perspectives of many students who would otherwise not have had exposure to them during their undergraduate education.