Geografie 2017, 122, 382-407

Mental map as a tool and an object of research in geographical education

Kateřina Novotná1, Martin Hanus1, Jan Hátle2

1Charles University, Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Prague, Czechia
2Ministry of Education Youth and Sports, Prague, Czechia

Received January 2017
Accepted June 2017

Mental maps are an object of interest on the part of a number of academic disciplines, including geography education. The aim of this article is to discuss different concepts of mental maps in geography and pedagogical disciplines and to describe the possibilities of their use as an object and tool of geographical education. All of this is subsequently applied in a case study. From the methodological point of view, cartographic and statistical methods (aggregated mental map and geographical names frequency map) were used in order to assess the pupils’ knowledge (object) and to evaluate textbooks (tool). They enable a visual, spatial comparison of topographical terms pupils know and which appear in a textbook itself. As a result, we discuss how to use mental maps in geographical education theoretically and also practically. However, the conclusions of the case study have a limited validity (due to the limited sample), while they indicate important contexts for further development of the research.


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