Vol. 14 No. 3 (2023):
Review Article

Future paths for GIS in K-12 education: A review of possibilities and constraints

Niklas Humble
Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, University of Gävle, Sweden
Possibilities and constraints of GIS in K-12 education

Published 2023-08-16


  • Geographic Information Systems,
  • GIS,
  • K-12 Education,
  • Affordances,
  • Literature review

How to Cite

Humble, Niklas. 2023. “Future Paths for GIS in K-12 Education: A Review of Possibilities and Constraints”. European Journal of Geography 14 (3):79-88. https://doi.org/10.48088/ejg.n.hum.
Received 2023-05-11
Accepted 2023-08-15
Published 2023-08-16


Geographic information systems (GIS) have been highlighted as essential future knowledge and are increasingly integrated in people’s everyday lives through applications, tracking, and global positioning systems (GPS). Still, applications and re-search of GIS technology for teaching and learning in kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12) education are limited. Through a scoping review of contemporary literature, this study identifies and discuss possibilities and constraints for GIS in K-12 education. Data were collected and analyzed with directed content analysis, using affordances as a theoretical lens, to identify possibilities and constraints of GIS for K-12 education. The study highlight themes of possibilities and constraints for further investigation. The possibilities of GIS for K-12 education include accessibility, transdisciplinary, and beyond classroom; and the constraints include skills and attitude, higher education and support, and teachers’ knowledge. The theoretical contribution of the study is a conceptual model for how possibilities and constraints of GIS for K-12 education relates to reaching educational goals. Findings of the study have practical implications for teachers and other stakeholders on the use of GIS in K-12 classrooms. The study also provides several suggestions for future research on GIS in K-12 education.


  • Possibilities and constraints for GIS for K-12 education.
  • Practical implications for GIS in K-12 education.
  • Needs for future research in GIS for K-12 education.


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