Geografie 2013, 118, 59-76

Mental map of Czechia rendered by Czech elementary and secondary school students

Jan D. Bláha1,2, Tereza Pastuchová Nováková3

1Univerzita J. E. Purkyně v Ústí nad Labem, Přírodovědecká fakulta, katedra geografie, České mládeže 8, 400 96 Ústí nad Labem, Czechia
2Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Přírodovědecká fakulta, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2, Czechia
3Základní škola Úvaly, Náměstí Arnošta z Pardubic 8, 250 82 Úvaly, Czechia

Received April 2011
Accepted January 2013

This article presents a study which observes the notions of Czech elementary and secondary school students’ about the spatial layout and geography of Czechia. Findings of the study’s three basic phases are presented in the article: a contents analysis of the students’ individual mental maps; an analysis of the accuracy with which the students depicted Prague, the capital city, within these maps; and an analysis of the maps expressing where students would prefer to live. A special characteristic of this study is its focus on the cartographic representation of the results. The first phase of the study makes use of aggregated mental maps; the second uses GIS to measure aberrations in the locating of Prague on individual mental maps from Prague’s “correct” location; and the third again uses aggregated mental maps and employs a map key to represent student preferences for specific locations.


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