The European Dimension in Swiss Geography Education
Volume 2 (2000), Number 2, Pages 3-24
A critically important issue in the Swiss society and politics is Switzerland’s relationship to a dynamic and unifying Europe. However, this study finds that Swiss upper secondary students in the German-speaking part of the country do not feel much attached to Europe as a geographical and political entity. Europe is not subject matter in formal upper secondary geography education and is absent from the geography curricula and geography textbooks for this level. This paper concludes that Swiss students’ attachment to Europe can be enhanced by shifting to motivating subject content and direct communication and cooperation with people in Europe.
Key Words: geography education, European awareness, spatial cognition, upper secondary schools, Switzerland.
The Role of Geographic Education in Shaping the Muslim Image of the World
Mohammed Babiker Ibrahim and Thomas F. Saarinen
Volume 2 (2000), Number 2, Pages 25-52
The role of geographic education in shaping the Muslim map image of the world is examined in this paper. University students from four Arab Muslim countries, Morocco, Sudan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia were asked to sketch a map of the world on a blank sheet of paper as part of a worldwide study of sketch map images of the world. The strong focus of the Muslim students on the Islamic nations of Asia and Africa, and their more limited of other world areas, contrasted sharply with the more Eurocentric image of the total world sample. An initial disadvantage faced by the Arab students was the rarity of map use in their societies. Other aspects of their geographic education which affect the quality of their sketch maps of the world are pointed out and suggestions for improvement are offered to the Arabs and the rest of the world.
Key Words: sketch maps, world, Muslim, geographic education, Arab, mental maps.
Development and Evaluation of an International Cooperative Educational Project: A Website Course on Spatial Transformation in Post-apartheid South Africa
Volume 2 (2000), Number 2, Pages 53-66
The website www.kuleuven.ac.be/south_africa is the result of an international collaboration between the geography and Political Science departments of the Catholic University of Leuven (K.U.Leuven) in Belgium, the University of Orange Free State, and the University of Stellenbasch in South Africa. This educational project focuses on five topics reflecting intense and even problematic developments in South Africa. All five topics allow students to examine issues of spatial perspective, planning, and management. This educational project is designed for students in all locales, and is not limited to those in South Africa or Belgium. Moreover, it also provides useful information for professional geographers. The international team, worked together on each component: designing the structure, choosing educational objectives, writing the theoretical framework, selecting the case studies, and reviewing accuracy and clarity. Beyond the universities directly involved, the international education community was asked to participate in the evaluation of this educational tool. The way in which an evaluation system was put in place is exceptional and will be highlighted in this paper.
Key Words: website, international collaboration, international evaluation, South Africa, Belgium.
GIS and the Acquisition of Spatial Information: Differences among Adults and Young Adolescents
Rick L. Bunch
Volume 2 (2000), Number 2, Pages 67-97
This research investigates how humans integrate map information in a Geographic Information System (GIS). The research focus is concerned with the differences among adults and young adolescents for tasks that involve the integration of spatial information across space, hierarchies, and geographic scales. These issues were investigated using a computerized cognitive experiment designed to simulate the GIS environment. The analyses indicated that the type of spatial integrations task and subject age significantly affected the outcome. The results suggest that the type of task and the ability of the users should be an important consideration in GIS design and teaching strategies.
Key Words: Geographic Information Systems, spatial cognition, geographic education.
Gerber, Rod and Chuan, Goh Kim (eds.). 2000. Fieldwork in Geography: Reflections, Perspectives and Actions. Dordrecht: Kluwer Acdemic Publishers, The GeoJournal Library, Volume 54. ISBN 0-7923-6329-9. Prince: US $120.00
Sharma, M.B. and Elbow, G.S. 2000. Using Internet Primary Sources to Teach Critical Thinking Skills in Geography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-3133-0899-3. Prince: US $44.95