Using Spatial-Temporal Primitives to Improve Geographic Skills for Preservice Teachers

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  • This article was downloaded by: [Stony Brook University]On: 24 October 2014, At: 14:45Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

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    Using Spatial-Temporal Primitives to ImproveGeographic Skills for Preservice TeachersMartin M. KaufmanPublished online: 16 Aug 2007.

    To cite this article: Martin M. Kaufman (2004) Using Spatial-Temporal Primitives to Improve Geographic Skills for PreserviceTeachers, Journal of Geography, 103:4, 171-181, DOI: 10.1080/00221340408978595

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  • Using Spatial-Temporal Primitives to Improve Geographic Skills for Preservice Teachers

    Martin M. Kaufman

    ABSTRACT An exercise to help improve the geo- graphic skills of preservice teachers was developed and tested during a six year period on over 500 students. The exercise required these students to map two arrangements of roads and facilities within a small neighborhood. A set of spatial-temporal primitives (place, size, shape, distance, direction, connectivity, containment, pattern, duration, sequence, and frequency) was defined from the observable and measurable spatial-tem- poral properties between simple physical objects, and used as an analytical frame- work during the design, description, revision, and critique of the arrange- ments. Results indicate improved student comprehension of geographic scale and an ability to use elemental spatial and temporal properties to analyze practi- cal problems. Additional capabilities of the spatial-temporal primitives are also demonstrated, including their ability to describe the relationships made on sets and their capability to construct more complex geographical frameworks, such as site and situation. An update of the standards presented in Geography for Life is also recommended to include temporal considerations in geographic theory and practice.

    Key Words: preservice teacher training, spa- tial-temporal primitives, spatial knowledge, geographic analysis

    Martin M . Kaufman is an associate profes- sor of Earth and Resource Science at the University of Michigan-Flint. His interests include water resources, spatial analysis, and geographic education.

    A critical problem affecting the teaching profession is the assignment of teachers to subjects outside of their major field. Geography instruction today in the public schools clearly demonstrates this issue as significant percentages of the teachers are "out of the field-meaning they did not have a major in geography or receive certification to teach geography. During the two periods from 1987-1988 and 1999-2000,83 and 79 percent, respectively of high school earth science teachers (including physical geography) were out of field. In the social sciences category-which encompasses world and regional geography courses-34 and 28 percent of high school teachers during these same two periods were out of field, with even higher amounts of elementary social science teachers being out of field during these periods (48 and 51 percent, respectively) (Seastrom et al. 2002).

    geography preservice education. In 1994, the Geography Education National Implementation Project (GENIP) made a set of recommendations for improving preservice geography education (Goodman 1994). A special issue of the Journal of Geography (September / October 1995), addressed the recommendations of GENIP, which included improving the communication between academic departments at colleges and universities, and providing more effective and meaningful faculty mentoring, course structure, and course content (Bednarz and Bednarz 1995).

    the characteristics of today's preservice teachers and high school geography achievement which creates additional concerns about geography preservice teacher training. Liu (2003) surveyed a random sample of 486 new (first- and second-year) teachers in California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Michigan to learn about the hiring practices and the professional culture of the schools where they work. The findings indicate that the new teachers in these four states are entering the profession by different routes and at different stages in their careers46 percent of new teachers in these states are entering teaching at mid-career, and the average age of these mid-career entrants is 38 years. The average age was 26 for the 54 percent of the new teachers in the four states surveyed who are entering teaching as their first career. With respect to high school geography achievement, a recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) study indicated there was no significant change in student geography achievement when the average scores between 1994 and 2001 were compared for twelfth-graders. On a 0-500 scale, the mean scores for this grade stayed at 285-r 57 percent (Weiss et al. (2002). Thus, preservice teachers are likely to have poorly developed geographic skills, and even those with better skills may be taking their first college geography course more than 10 years since their last exposure to geography in high school or middle school.

    These issues raise a valid concern as to whether the required geography courses adequately teach the basic spatial and temporal properties preservice teachers need to begin to think geographically and communicate these skills to their students. At a more fundamental level, an update to the

    To remedy this problem, much focus has been placed on improving

    Since the GENIP report, research has provided additional insight into

    Journal of Geography 103: 171-181 02004 National Council for Geographic Education

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  • 1 72 Martin M . Kaufman

    money, for example, there are rich places and poor places, rich people and poor people. Property, marriage, religion, and other institutions are social realities without corporeal existence but with spatial and temporal properties-they also exist in time and space.

    reality requires time, temporal considerations must be included for a truly scientific geography. This notion has already been recognized by geographers who have used a unified spatial-temporal perspective to analyze physical and social phenomena. One example of this is the recent research illustrating the ability and need to link spatial and temporal considerations within geographic databases (Egenhofer and Golledge 1998; Duckham et al. 2003).

    With respect to the pedagogy of spatial-temporal concepts, a more fundamental synthesis is also required. For example, Geography Standard 3 in Geographyfor Life emphasizes the description and analysis of pattern as a means to understand the spatial organization of people, places and environments on earth's surface. This approach may obscure the full understanding of the spatial processes at work because patterns typically represent a synthesis of several spatial properties. Evaluating a pattern in terms of its constituent spatial properties (i.e., size, shape, place, and distance) opens up new avenues of inquiry and improves critical thinking. For instance, in physical geography the combination of stream size and place yields different drainage patterns. Yet these properties are immaterial to the stream order concept which evolved from the consideration of size and position (place) of stream channels within watersheds (Horton 1945; Strahler 1957).

    Since any spatial variation of physical or social

    eighteen standards presented in Geography for Life: National Standards for Geography 1994 is proposed to capture the present scope of geographic theory and practice.

    spatial theory presented in Geography for Life: by deriving a working set of spatial-temporal primitives (place, size, shape, distance, direction, connectivity, containment, pattern, duration, sequence, and frequency) which are defined as the observable and measurable spatial- temporal properties between simple physical objects. These spatial-temporal primitives are then used as an analytical framework in an exercise which has students design, revise, and critique two arrangements of roads and facilities within a small neighborhood drawn to scale. Discussion of the results considers the additional capabilities of these spatial-temporal primitives, including their ability to describe the relationships made on sets and their role in the construction of more complex geographical frameworks, such as site and situation.

    This paper presents an augmentation to the

    DEFINING GEOGRAPHY, AND PREPARING TEACHERS TO TEACH GEOGRAPHY SCIENTIFICALLY

    becomes problematic. As noted by Fernald (2002), it is not what is studied, but "how the data are studied that defines the discipline". To support this, the author cites the National Academy of Sciences publication The Science of Geography (NAS 1965), which states geography's organizing concept is "spatial distributions and space relations". Is this definition-which is embodied in the eighteen standards within Geography for Life-suitable for today's geography-and as a guide for teacher preparation? The answer is no, because the temporal considerations presented in Standards #17 and #18 in Geography for Life are not emphasized enough throughout all the Standards, and spatial-temporal concepts are presented at too high of a level without tracing their origins from more fundamental components.

    The need to include temporal considerations in the basic definition and application of geography arises from the basic law of matter. This basic law states that all matter has mass and takes up space, and consists of atoms and molecules, which may combine to form objects of different shapes and sizes. Within individual atoms there is constant motion, so all matter is in constant motion, becoming visible when objects move. If matter is in constant motion and takes up space, then it follows that the space between matter must be constantly changing. These changes occur over a period of time-so all physical matter exists in time.

    Besides physical reality, there is also social reality in which entities or facts only exist in human society and do not have a corporeal body. These entities or facts only exist if people agree they exist. Money is a prime example. Instances of money are just pieces of paper or electronic signals unless people agree that they are a means of exchange. Yet money is power, and there is a geography of

    Without a clear definition of geography, teaching

    DEFINING THE SPATIAL-TEMPORAL PRIMITIVES Nystuen (1963) used an isotropic plain to develop

    a list of fundamental geographic properties consisting of direction, distance, connection, and boundaries-a "basis for the spatial point of view". The isotropic plane represented "elementary, abstract, geographical space that has no difference from place to place or in one direction to another". The designation as "fundamental" meant that each element was necessary and independent; all other concepts were compounds of this basic set. Papageorgiou (1969) expanded this initial list to include point and time for the analysis of multi-dimensional spatial systems, but omitted boundaries. Both investigators suggested their lists were not exhaustive, and, at the time, were primarily concerned with establishing fundamental spatial properties as a basis for geographic science.

    applications, a broader set of spatial-temporal primitives are proposed here. These spatial-temporal primitives are applicable within finite geographic space (the geosphere- consisting of the earth mass and its surrounding atmosphere), and this implementation does not require these primitives to be fundamental, as conceived by the earlier investigators. Like them, however, there is no claim

    For preservice teacher education and practical

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  • Using Spatial-temporal Primitives to Improve Geographic Skills for Preservice Teachers 173

    made that the list is exhaustive. Instead, the primary objectives are to identify spatial-temporal properties that are observable and measurable, and thus capable of being used as a framework for analysis for helping prospective teachers improve their geographic skills.

    coordinate system provides a means to derive empirically the observable and measurable spatial-temporal primitives (Fig. 1). In (a) where one box is shown, the

    A scaled and oriented map with an established

    readily observable spatial properties are size and shape. The box exists at some absolute place or position within the latitude and longitude coordinates shown, and at a place relative to other objects or areas. In addition, the box also exhibits containment within a larger space such as a room.

    within measurable geographic space, additional spatial relationships can be observed. In (b), size, shape, place,

    When two or more objects are considered

    a) Single box place Lat: 42.0109934 + Long: 86.0333343

    containment within a room

    size El shape b) Several boxes (their properties of place, size, shape, and containment remain)

    distance

    vity

    c) Several boxes exhibiting a pattern

    Lat: 42.0109933 Long: 86.0333344 I t

    1 12 inches

    Figure 1. Observable and measurable spatial primitives

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  • 1 74 Martin M . Kaufman

    temporal primitives (place, size, shape, distance, direction, connectivity, containment, pattern, duration, sequence, and frequency) is then used to describe the spatial-temporal relationships between the facilities. The students next step is to complete a written summary of the practical implications observed from their first arrangement. To conclude the exercise, the students construct a second arrangement attempting to address some the shortcomings observed in their first arrangement.

    This sequence of tasks is designed to help improve geographic skills by providing a context in which students can use a set of spatial-temporal concepts as a framework for critiquing their own thinking about objects, events, and processes that had resulted in their first map. For example, the desirability of having the school located near an emergency facility focuses student attention on the spatial-temporal primitives of place, connectivity, distance, and duration (response time to an emergency). Proper mapping technique is also incorporated into the exercise through the requirement of drawing the arrangements to scale and including a legend, title, and orientation.

    The objects manipulated are shown below: four lines represented roads; three squares represented a school, a fire station, and a hospital.

    and containment continue to exist for each box, but the addition of more boxes makes the spatial properties of direction and distance readily observable. At the location where one box touches another the property of connectivity is exhibited. As shown in (c), arrangements of boxes might also create observable patterns. Patterns ordered or sequenced by size can create a hierarchy, or, if the objects exist within certain distances, different clusters and densities may arise. Although pattern is an example of a composite construct4ependent in various degrees on place, size, and distanceit is included as a primitive within this framework because it is observable and measurable, and forms the basis for other observable spatial properties.

    If we were to move any of the boxes shown in Figure 1, the action could be characterized temporally by how long it took us to move a box (the duration), and the specific time a box was moved (sequence). The boxes could also be moved at regular intervals. Over long durations of time this pattern could be characterized as a frequency, as with other periodic events and processes, such as Halleys comet. It follows that duration, sequence, and frequency are the observable and measurable primitives of time.

    AN EXERCISE TO IMPROVE GEOGRAPHIC SKILLS Spatial-temporal primitives are prominent in

    the pioneering research into the development of spatial reasoning skills in children (Piaget and Inhelder 1956; Bruner 1966). These scholars found that the ability to physically manipulate objects in space contributes to the development of spatial reasoning skills, including mapping ability. Of the seven Piagetian exercises, three consist of activities prerequisite to the computation of distance, and one (the diagrammatic layouts task) requires the map skill of recognizing distance between multiple locations (places).

    inexperienced with spatial-temporal reasoning, can improve their geographic skills through prescribed actions guided by theory. To achieve this objective, a neighborhood planning exercise was developed that combined the manipulation of objects forming a geometric hierarchy (points, lines, and areas) with a spatial-temporal framework for guiding and assessing the different outcomes.

    Preservice teachers, or anyone else relatively

    EXERCISE: NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING The objective of this exercise is to improve

    the geographic skills of preservice teachers. This is accomplished through the use of the spatial-temporal primitives as an analytical framework during the design, description, revision, and critique of two mapped arrangements of roads and facilities within a small neighborhood. For their first task, students are instructed to develop an arrangement which maximizes the accessibility to facilities by minimizing the travel distance between them. The complete set of spatial-

    The objects: 4 lines 3 squares

    school

    El El firestation

    Maps were drawn using graph paper at the scale of 5 inches to one mile. Students were instructed to use a graphical scale as shown below, since it has the advantage of being usable with a ruler for measuring distances. Graphical scales have another important feature. If one enlarges or reduces a map during copying, a graphical scale changes proportionately with the map image; a verbal scale does not.

    Graphical Scale

    I Miles I 0 1

    The other guidelines for constructing the arrangement were:

    residential neighborhoods occupy the other available space on the map, with the neighborhood size fixed at 1 square mile

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  • Using Spatial-temporal Primitives to Improve Geographic Skills for Preservice Teachers 175

    road length can vary, but any given road cannot exceed 5 inches in length (1 mile)

    facility size is not critical; they just need to fit within the city blocks created by the road pattern

    roads are 4-lane arterials with stoplights at each intersection, and carry traffic in both directions

    CONSOLIDATION

    since the answers are not definitive, partly due to the geographic scale of the study area. While a close placement of the facilities might convey the idea of security for the school children, the actual extent of the area indicates any location for the school would not place it too far from emergency services. Furthermore, there might be the benefit of reduced noise if the school were placed farther away from the hospital and fire station.

    Most students unfamiliar with spatial-temporal reasoning find this exercise worthwhile, as it provides both a theoretical and practical basis for understanding objects, events, and processes within their spatial- temporal contexts. This activity also helps prepare students for subsequent exercises, which include the use of nearest neighbor analysis, and the characterization of

    This exercise lends itself to class discussion

    the spatial-temporal properties of environmental hazards (adopted from Burton et al. 1978).

    temporal primitives with geographic understanding and analysis. Mapping is a relationship between two defined sets containing objects, events, or processes (symbolic and physical) involving the organization and transfer of information from one geographic scale to another. Sets are well-defined collections of objects, events, or processes. Well-defined means unambiguous, so a full listing of the members of a set satisfies this criterion.

    There are relations which can be defined on sets of objects, events, and processes existing in space and time (Gatrelll983). Any of the relations defined on a set will create a space which is mappable. The resulting space and time relationships can be described and analyzed by the spatial-temporal primitives. In Figure 2, note how the two relations defined on the set of balls are described by the spatial-temporal primitives. Using the spatial- temporal primitives to analyze these new spaces lays the foundation for developing more advanced geographic analysis skills, including the process of moving from the observation of form to inferences about the process(es) that may have created the form. For instance, if we were on a beach and saw the form of balls depicted in Figure Zb, the connectivity of the beach balls with the tennis balls might indicate they were stuck together by wet beach sand.

    The concepts of mapping and sets link the spatial-

    Obiects within a well-defined set

    Set (B) = (2 tennis balls, 3 beach balls) 0 0 000 f (this is the full listing)

    Relations defined on Set (B):

    a) 0 0 0 0 0 Size and pattern (balls arranged by ascending size) Connectivity (balls are contiguous)

    Figure 2. Sets and spatial-temporal primitives

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  • 176 Martin M. Kaufman

    Residential areas r l facility - 3 roadanditsnumber A

    Map area is one square mile

    Figure 3. Building and road layout #1

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  • Using Spatial-temporal Primitives to Improve Geographic Skills for Preservice Teachers 177

    In this exercise the concepts of mapping and sets link the spatial-temporal primitives to practical considerations of accessibility and safety. The well defined group of facilities constitutes a set, and the relationships between these objects are described by the spatial- temporal primitives. The requirement of drawing to scale involves a mapping or transfer of information.

    RESULTS

    shown in Figure 3. This finding, and the others noted below are based on over 500 trials conducted by the author over a 6-year period to preservice elementary and secondary teachers at the University of Michigan-Flint. The majority of these students had concentrations in social studies. Note the traditional grid pattern of the roads (numbered 1-4) and the grouping of the buildings. The following descriptions were also typical of the spatial- temporal relationships observed between the facilities using the spatial-temporal primitives as a framework.

    A typical arrangement produced by students is

    Place:

    Size: Shape: Distance: Direction:

    Connectivity:

    Containment:

    Pattern: Duration:

    Frequency:

    Sequence:

    the facilities are centrally located on road #3 near the middle of the neighborhood each facility is the same size

    each facility is the same shape

    the facilities are of equal distance apart

    the facilities are positioned along a west/ east direction

    the hospital is adjacent to the school and fire station

    all facilities are within the designated neighborhood

    the facility layout forms a linear pattern

    travel time between each facility should be equivalent due to their equal spacing

    the frequency of fire alarms may disrupt the school and hospital

    the timing of fire alarms may disrupt the school and hospital

    The following summary represents a sampling from the student summaries concerning the practical implications of this initial arrangement: Clustering the facilities in a central location helps to improve their accessibility to the nearby neighborhoods. When the facilities are placed within one block, the proximity of the school to the fire station and the hospital helps to assure parents of their childrens safety. However, the school is close to an intersection, which might expose more children to heavier traffic. The hospital, located in the middle of the street away from an intersection might accommodate emergency vehicles better and experience less traffic noise. The grid pattern of roads might create longer travel times

    between the northwest and southeast neighborhoods. The shortcomings noted included concerns about

    the safety of the children when traveling to school, and during school. Hospitals prefer a buffer zone of low noise, and the fire station would prefer a location minimizing the response time to the emergencies occurring (e.g., fires, trauma).

    The most common revised arrangement to accommodate these concerns looked like Figure 4, with these changes noted: The school is located on a dead end street; eliminating an intersection and minimizing traffic. The hospital, school, and fire station are located within W mile of each other, maintaining the rapid response time from the fire station to the school and the hospital.

    A comparison of Figures 3 and 4 indicates improved student comprehension of geographic scale and an ability to use the spatial-temporal primitives to analyze practical problems. The first arrangement (Fig. 3) was constructed with the required objectives of maximizing the accessibility to facilities by minimizing the travel distance between them. These conditions placed certain constraints on the arrangement and induced students to cluster the facilities on one road and to place them in a central location. These concerns noted in the summaries over accessibility indicate an understanding of the concept of geographic scale, manifested by the desire to think small and keep facilities close. A better understanding of cartographic scale is not conclusive, since the size of the study neighborhood is only one square mile, so most arrangements in this scenario would derive little benefit from clustering the facilities.

    Safety concerns are related to the spatial-temporal primitives of duration, frequency, place, direction, distance, connectivity and sequence. The response time to an emergency is correlated with duration, and frequency is related to the perception of higher traffic volumes at intersections-specific places. A desire for less traffic partially explains the logic behind the placement of the school on a dead-end street. Direction is also a factor supporting the use of the dead-end street, since many students noted it would be beneficial to eliminate left turns by buses into the school. Minimizing distance helps to improve response time, which indicates the students are beginning to understand the interaction of multiple spatial-temporal primitives. The proximate arrangements of the facilities in Figure 4 and the students characterization of the shortcomings of the first arrangement indicate a consistent attempt to maximize the connectivity between the school, the hospital, and fire station. One explanation behind the attempt to maintain this connectivity lies in the desire for the fire department to be able to respond quickly to an emergency at the school, then reach the hospital as rapidly as possible. These events are seen as a sequence. Before the revision, the recognition of facility adjacency (connectivity) was present in the description of the spatial-temporal primitives, but sequence was only considered in terms

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  • 178 Martin M. Kaufman

    Figure 4 1 Revised Neighborhood Map 2

    r l facility - 3 road and its number

    Map area is one square mile

    Figure 4. Alternative building and road layout

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  • Using Spatial-temporal Primitives to Improve Geographic Skills for Preservice Teachers 179

    of it being a nuisance-the disruption of school and noise at the hospital. The revision thus represents a higher understanding of the use of the spatial-temporal primitives by the students, as they linked sequence with connectivity to address a practical problem.

    DISCUSSION Recent approaches to developing spatial skills

    have advocated mapping+specially choropleth mapping and sketch mapping (Gould 1996; Saarinen 1973; Metz 1990; Oldakowski 2001). The observable benefits include an increased focus on spatial organization and spatial distribution. Sketch mapping in particular offers the opportunity to improve the students understanding of what is where-or place (Boehm et al. 1987).

    focused on cognitive mapping. Cognitive maps represent a relationship between the mental representation contained in the map makers brain and the actual landscape (Downs 1981; Gale and Golledge 1982). Cromley and Cromley (1986) devised an exercise using cognitive mapping which compares a students view of the spatial arrangement of a familiar environment (the college campus) with the actual arrangement. This activity introduces students empirically to the basic spatial concepts of distance, access, and relative location.

    activities, but may yield better results if used after, or in conjunction with the spatial-temporal primitive framework. In their overview of spatial knowledge acquisition, Golledge and Stimson (1997, 155-167) note that theories of acquiring spatial knowledge originating in psychology may depend on the existence of certain spatial-temporal primitives. For example, Shemyakin (1962) proposed that the acquisition of spatial knowledge progresses from landmark recognition to path definition to understanding the general relational characteristics of areas, or survey knowledge. As knowledge accumulates and the interpoint information becomes more precise, there is an accompanying improvement with respect to fundamental spatial properties such as angularity, direction, proximity, and separateness. Siege1 and White (1975) proposed a similar hierarchy of spatial knowledge development, but emphasized the differences between the concepts as sets of landmarks and paths organized into clusters (patterns) based on metric relationships between clusters. This hierarchy develops into a coordinated frame

    Other attempts to improve spatial skills have

    The use of real and cognitive maps are essential

    Size of the place where the objects, events, processes

    observation measurement geographic scale

    occur

    Figure 5. Construction of the geographic scale framework

    of reference with metric properties being available within and across the clusters producing survey knowledge.

    ADDITIONAL CAPABILITIES OF THE SPATIAL-TEMPORAL PRIMITIVES

    As fundamental properties of space and time, the spatial-temporal primitives can be used to construct other geographic frameworks which are comprised of various combinations of these primitives. For example, size and place can also be used to build the geographic scale framework (Figure 5). Since all objects, events, and processes within the geosphere exist in space, they occur at various geographic scales. Geogruphic scale means extent, or an area of specific size. Different geographic scales may be defined through the observation and / or measurement of the size (place) where the objects, events, or processes occur. Geographers study the scales at which processes occur in order to gain an understanding into their underlying mechanisms. For instance, hurricanes develop over a large geographic scale, beginning as tropical depressions near the coast of equatorial Africa, then moving westward toward Central and North America. As the storm moves, it gains energy from the warm ocean through evaporation. The farther a hurricane moves over the warm open ocean, the more likely its intensity will increase. Many hurricanes swerve in a northern arc as they are deflected by other weather systems, such as the Bermuda low-pressure cell. The extent or geographic scale of each hurricanes path helps scientists evaluate the effects of the ocean evaporation and nearby pressure cells, so they can predict the storms strength and future course.

    Site and situation is another useful framework that can be constructed by combining the spatial primitives of size, place, containment, and connectivity (Figure 6). The first box contains size and place, the two spatial primitives used for the construction of geographic scale. Site refers to a specific place-so its geographic scale must be defined-while situation refers to anything outside of the site that is physically, systematically, or contextually connected to the site. A boundary separates the site from its situation, so the features of the site are initially contained within the site. The condition initially contained is used to include events capable of spreading from a site to the surrounding areas, for example, a disease. The second box specifies the different forms of connectivity occurring between a site and its situation. A physical connection can be represented by a transportation linkage, such as a highway or air route, whereas a systematic connection might involve the influence of a nationwide tax cut on the amount of sales for home improvement items at a store in Cleveland, Ohio. Contextual connections include backdrops-things that provide additional spatial context for the site and its situation. For instance, the inclusion of national park locations on a national highway map provides context for the major cities by depicting their distance relationships to these features.

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  • 180 Martin M . Kaufman

    Size of the place where the objects, events, processes occur

    containment - connectivity

    Physical, systematic, or contextual connections occurring at places outside of the site

    -b Site and situation

    Figure 6. Construction of the site and situation framework

    Simplifying these frameworks into their basic components-the spatial-temporal primitives-can open up new avenues of inquiry. For example, the spatial primitives of containment and connectivity used to build the site and situation framework indicate there are multiple spatial arrangements possible between a site and its situation, including the containment of one country within another (for example, Lesotho and South Africa), or the need to consider the connectivity of the Canadian maritime provinces with the U.S. northeast that results in both regions being affected by acidic precipitation generated at distant power plant sites in the U.S. midwest.

    and their ability to construct basic geographic frameworks, the spatial-temporal primitives can be used simultaneously within these same frameworks to enhance their analytical power. For example, the spatial-temporal primitives can be used to identify factors within a site and situation analysis. A factor is anything that influences a specified outcome. The following example demonstrates how the spatial-temporal primitives used in conjunction with site and situation analysis provides an analytical framework with the ability to identify specific factors influencing spatial-temporal variation at given geographic scales.

    stadium. Before investing millions of dollars (or-more accurately-asking the public to foot the bill), it would be beneficial to know what factors contribute to a successful sports stadium. Spatial-temporal primitives may be used to help assess the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed sites and their situations. Site (size): Is there enough space for parking? Site (distance): Will parking be close to the entrance? Situation (containment): Does this region already have enough stadiums? Situation (frequency): Are people tired of being asked to support large-scale projects?

    CONCLUSION

    relationships, too often we skip to complex constructs like "pattern", "distribution", "visualization", or "process"

    In addition to their use with sets and mapping,

    Consider a city wishing to build a new sports

    When using concepts to define spatial-temporal

    without identifying the elemental properties needed to work with cartographic maps and conduct geographic inquiry. As Golledge (2002) notes: "But little attention has been focused on defining primitives, combining them to derive some complex spatial / geographic concepts, and exploring what "error" gratuitously accumulates as we build primitives and low order concepts into more highly ordered (complex) terms".

    The spatial-temporal primitives provide a framework for identifying, describing, and analyzing the basic relationships between objects, events, and processes. Since the relations defined on sets are mappable and create new spaces, the resulting relationships can be described by the spatial-temporal primitives. This provides a foundation for developing basic geographic analysis skills. Explicit use of these primitives should be used with maps before introducing complex concepts such as distributions and regions. Additional capabilities of the spatial-temporal primitives-specifically their ability to construct frameworks such as geographic scale and site and situation-can increase student understanding of basic spatial-temporal concepts and broaden their avenues of inquiry.

    temporal considerations of physical and social and physical reality. The use of a well defined set of spatial- temporal primitives can help provide a firmer theoretical foundation to the central theme of geography. It is now apparent we need to finish the work the theoretical geographers pioneered in the 1960s.

    The Geography for Life standards were published 10 years ago. We need to continue the discussion about updating these standards to reflect the current reality of geographic theory and practice. There is also a need to deepen the discussion of preservice teacher training, in light of their changing characteristics.

    A truly scientific geography must incorporate

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