Spatial Images and Changes in their Graphic Representation in Primary and Lower Secondary School Students

Petr Šimáček, Klára Paloušková, Jan Hercik


Depiction of a geographical area through drawings is an individual ability,
significantly variable over time. The essential development of such ability can
primarily be observed during the period starting from what is termed younger
school age to the period of pubescence. This study presents the results of a research
focused on monitoring the development of the ability of students aged between
6 and 15 to reproduce their mental image of a well-known geographical area in
the form of a drawing (cognitive or mental map). The research was carried out
by the method of analyzing the drawings of comparative mental maps produced
by primary and lower secondary school students. The data obtained from the
research were then statistically evaluated on the basis of selected criteria in order
to find identical or different stereotypes in the drawings. Research results point to
the existence of significant differences in the ability to graphically illustrate a wellknown
geographical space, reflecting, in particular, the age (or degree of experience
gained) and, to a lesser extent, the gender. Such findings are important from the
pedagogical point of view, because the creation of graphic representation of a certain
area belongs to the basic geographical competencies of students.
Keywords: drawing; mental map; perception of space; primary and lower secondary
school; spatial concept development

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