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Volume 5

Challenging the Conventions of Interface Design for Education-Oriented Animated Maps
Laura R. Sidney and Robert M. Edsall
Volume 5 (2003), Pages 5-24

A study was performed to establish interface design guidelines for temporal animated maps. The study is focused on education-oriented maps, as might be found in courseware or lectureware. Measures of performance and preference measures for map comprehension were assessed for their dependence on the orientation and direction of motion of the temporal indicator on legends for animated maps. A secondary focus of this research is to determine if the reading directionality of an individual’s native language influences their cognition of time passing, and thus should inform design of legends that indicate time passing on animated maps. Results indicate that some measures of performance and preference were significantly different among legend styles, and that, in an educational setting, there is benefit to allowing users to customize interfaces to accommodate different learning styles.

Keywords: interface design, animated maps, educational psychology, human-computer interaction

The Neighborhood Atlas Project: An Example of Participatory Action Research in Geography Education
Pamela Wridt
Volume 5 (2003), Pages 25-47

In this paper I present a model for participatory action research (PAR) in geography education with middle school teachers and students to learn about children’s perspectives of their community, and thus their knowledge of local geography. This PAR model was developed in an extra-curricular geography program in a New York City public middle school. As co-investigators, 14 sixth-grade students (ages 10-11), a social studies teacher, and I created a neighborhood atlas that reflected young people’s experiences and concerns about growing up in an urban environment. The Neighborhood Atlas Project is an alternative approach to researching children’s lives and children’s geographic learning that can offer greater applicability to the geography classroom while at the same time advancing theory in the discipline.

Keywords: geographic learning, children, participatory action research, New York City

The Interaction of Biological and Environmental Effects on Spatial Abilities: A review
Robert Earl Lloyd
Volume 5 (2003), Pages 48-84

The purpose of this paper is to review cognitive science and neuroscience literature related to spatial abilities and individual differences, and to identify connections with geographic education. The hunter-gatherer theory offers an evolutionary explanation of sex differences based on natural and sexual selection. The right shift theory is a genetic theory that considers how brain lateralization for speech and spatial abilities are related. The bent twig theory explains how biology and the environment might interact to influence how individuals develop their spatial abilities. Conclusions argue that models of cognitive performance based on the interaction of biology and the environment are the most complete and promising.

Keywords: sex differences, spatial ability, learning theory, geographic education, neural efficiency


Stoltman, J. P., Lidstone, J. & DeCHano, L. M. (Eds.). 2004. International perspectives on natural disasters: Occurrence, mitigation, and consequences. Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBN 1-4020-2850-4. 478 pages plus CD-ROM, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

  • John Chi-kin Lee
  • Volume 5 (2003), Pages 85-86

Matthewsm J. A., and Herbert, D. T. (eds.). 2004. Unifying Geography: Common Heritages, Shared Future. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-30543-8.

  • Elizabeth J. Leppman
  • Volume 5 (2003), Pages 87-88