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Development of cartographic literacy in ten-year-old pupils

Irena Hergan (2013) Development of cartographic literacy in ten-year-old pupils. PhD thesis.

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    The knowledge to use maps and different techniques and technologies for gathering, processing and presenting information about space is one of the fundamental educational objectives both in Slovenia and globally. In the theoretical part, we summarised from literature the key findings and examples of formal development of cartographic and spatial orientation skills in children to the sixth grade of primary school, as well as the selected new findings regarding way-finding and outdoor navigation, and examples of children’s mobile learning with the use of mobile navigation technology. In the empirical part, we determined the cartographic knowledge/skills in 122 ten-year-old pupils from six selected primary schools in Ljubljana and its surroundings, tested their spatial orientation skills and compared their effectiveness in the field use of a mobile navigation device and a paper map. The core of the research focused on the observation how the pupils as pedestrians found their way in a new environment with the aid of a mobile navigation device and how they perceived their surroundings. We used the structured direct observation of individual behaviour of pupils with participant observation in the field as well as the analysis of written and oral questionnaires. The comparison of successfulness with which the pupils walked their path with the aid of mobile navigation and a paper map shows that the use of a mobile navigator made them more independent and less prone to make mistakes. The majority of pupils were interested in working with mobile navigation and were able to use it successfully in the assignment of path-tracking to the destination already after a short (two-minute) demonstration. The pupils who successfully solve cartographic assignments in the classroom are not necessarily equally successful in using maps outdoors. In perceiving their surroundings, the pupils achieved better results using a paper map than using mobile navigation. Based on their recognition of visual motifs (photographs), the boys perceived the surroundings more effectively than the girls. Based on verbal communication, no differences between genders were observed. In the guidelines for the development of cartographic literacy in children we have highlighted the most important strengths and weaknesses of the use of mobile navigation and provided recommendations for teachers of cartographic contents for the first two educational periods of primary school. We have concluded that paper maps are still very useful and serve their purpose well in cartography instruction, but mobile navigation enable quality instruction as well. With regard to teaching objectives, it is necessary to assess what kind of support may better suit an individual purpose. It is reasonable to increase the share of outdoor education with cartographic and orientation assignments that are applicable in everyday life and reduce the share of pen-and-paper assignments in the classroom.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
    Keywords: children, primary school, cartographic literacy, orientation, outdoor education, mobile navigation, GPS, maps
    Number of Pages: 299
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Maja UmekMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=9918537)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 1980
    Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2014 12:25
    Last Modified: 06 Jan 2014 12:25
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/1980

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