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NACIS 2016 Presentation
Joy Santee, McKendree University
This presentation reports how introduction of cartography in general education courses can help university students combat limits of subject-specific thinking and embrace complex interdisciplinary critical thought. In an age where students often resist complex thinking in favor of finding answers through a quick search on their phones, introducing them to maps and cartographic practices can prompt social awareness, problem-solving skills, and citizen-engagement. The presentation begins with a brief overview of how the presenter has introduced cartography in general education courses after developing materials during a National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar. It continues with vignettes of student engagement with maps and ends with a call for cartographers to make their work visible, particularly their decisions about design and content and the social and institutional contexts that impact map-making, so students can use cartography as a way to identify how they can contribute to making the world a better place.