(SMR 22) Empowering Maptivists: Using Maps & Data to Teach Social Justice Topics

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Welcome to Empowering Maptivists! In this course we will explore the unique power of maps to help us make sense of where we live and the larger world. Maps are instruments of power and can affect our understanding of issues and data depending on who is doing the telling. It is our job as map consumers and educators to think critically about what maps are showing us (and what they aren’t). We hope you will go through this course considering how you can foster map literacy in your classrooms and help students identify and explore issues using maps and mapping to make a case for advocacy and change.

We’ll start off our course exploring the many ways maps can tell stories and learn different inquiry approaches to help us gauge the trustworthiness of maps. Then, we’ll jump into some spatial explorations of social justice issues and lessons the Leventhal Map Center uses with high school students. You will also be trying your hand at searching for and mapping data sets in a GIS (geographic information system) and finally creating a case study for your own teaching that encompasses map and data resources.