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Educational ideas in geography education in Sweden during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: the relationship between maps and texts
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3942-0427
2015 (English)In: International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, ISSN 1038-2046, E-ISSN 1747-7611, Vol. 24, no 3, 258-272 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Descriptions of the geography education of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Sweden are typically offered to contrast with current ideas in geography education, and the content of geography textbooks is the focus of this comparison. The role of maps and visual pedagogy are ignored, and the educational ideas developed from regional geography are only regarded as old-fashioned encyclopaedia-like descriptions to be removed as the academic field of geography changed direction in the twentieth century. The objective of this paper is to describe the educational ideas of geography education during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Sweden, focusing on the relationship between maps and textbooks. The sources are texts from 1726 to 1969 that were written to instruct geography teachers. These texts demonstrate that educational ideas emphasised context and understanding in geography education, critiqued rote learning, and opposed the focus on texts over maps. The old discussion about avoiding encyclopaedia-like descriptions of regions in geography textbooks has continued to the present day Sweden, but is now described as a dichotomy between regional geography versus thematic or systematic studies in geography.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 24, no 3, 258-272 p.
Keyword [en]
education history, geography education, maps, Sweden, textbook studies
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Geography with Emphasis on Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119039DOI: 10.1080/10382046.2015.1034460OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-119039DiVA: diva2:843082
Available from: 2015-07-25 Created: 2015-07-25 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Education through Maps: The Challenges of Knowing and Understanding the World
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Education through Maps: The Challenges of Knowing and Understanding the World
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall purpose of this thesis is to study, in relation to geography education and with a historical perspective, the challenges of knowing and understanding the world. The cases are all from Sweden. In the first paper, educational ideas in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are studied, and the results indicate that some of the previously criticised educational ideas that were perceived as resulting from the ideas of nineteenth century regional geography in fact can be observed in earlier centuries and were criticised during the nineteenth century. In the second paper, school children’s ability to locate geographical names on outline maps is compared with children’s ability to complete the same task 45 years earlier. A total of 1,124 students were included in the latter study, and the results were compared with those from a study of 1,200 students from the same town conducted in 1968. The results raise questions regarding the picture of the continuous decline in children’s school results and show, for example, that children today are better at locating continents on a world map. The final paper identifies a new aspect of map reading difficulties. These difficulties in map reading are increasingly important in our global society, i.e., how the edges of the world map cohere. The paper shows that many map readers, children and adults, respond according to the idea of linear peripheral continuity, which indicates that the proposed continuation is along the straight line that continues tangentially to the original route when it crosses the edge. In general, this understanding leads to incorrect interpretations of the continuation of world maps.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, 2015. 46 p.
Series
Meddelanden från Kulturgeografiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, ISSN 0585-3508 ; 149
Keyword
cartography, geography education, map projections, maps, place location knowledge, world maps, Sweden, kartografi, geografiundervisning, kartor, kartprojektioner, namngeografi, världskartor, Sverige
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Geography with Emphasis on Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119809 (URN)978-91-7649-215-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-10-23, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Accepted.

Available from: 2015-10-01 Created: 2015-08-25 Last updated: 2015-09-29Bibliographically approved

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