Education through maps is a new idea which brings out many new possibilities and opportunities. Most of the time, people think maps are only important for determining locations only but maps are crucial for many other aspects as well. Now even doctoral dissertation is done on this to reveal new ideas and exploring more possibilities. Recently a student of the Stockholm University of the social sciences, naming Pontus Hennerdal, presented his dissertation defense on the education through maps topic focusing the challenges related to the understanding as well as knowing the world.
The usual concept of maps are more related to geography but a very few attempts were taken to correlate it with the social sciences. And even if you google this term ‘education through maps’ you will find information relating to finding locations mostly. This thesis defense has led us to think about changing our patterns of thinking. The study is related to finding the ties of the geographical education from the historical perspective and identifying as well as overcoming the challenges of better understanding and knowing of the world.
Pontus Hennerdal took all the cases from one place, Sweden. At first he went through the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century’s educational ideas and then studied them thoroughly. The studies showed that the ideas related to the regional geography found in the nineteenth century was actually observed before that time and in the nineteenth century, those were criticized again. The first part of Pontus Hennerdal’s defense was more about the literature review and extracting the relevant information and observation related to his defense. Then the second part comes which is more of a comparative study. To know more about the topics of dissertation, you can also visit to dissertation-topics.net.
The second part discussed about the ability of the school children whether they can locate a geographical name on the maps outlined with the school children who had gone through the same task 45 years ago. The current study took one thousand one hundred and one twenty four students under consideration whereas the same study was done on the same town in 1968 on one thousand and two hundred students. Then these two studies are compared. The results covered a lot of aspects. One of the aspect showed that today’s children can locate continents better than the students from 1968 on the world’s map. This study also brought in light interesting information. It identified a new sort of difficulty in the map reading. The coherence of the edges on the world’s map is also important. The study also showed that children, grown-ups as well as map readers responded to the conception of continuity on linear peripheral which means that the continuation goes along the linear line which is carried away tangentially to the actual route when it comes to the crossing edge. This is actually a misleading understanding and this, in turn, lead to erroneous world maps interpretation.
The examining board included two associate professors from the Blekinge Institute of Technology and the Sogn og Fjordane University College and one professor from the Stockholm University. The associate professors were Christer Persson from Spatial Planning Department and Per Jarle Sætre. The professor was Ola Halldén from Centre for Teaching and Learning in the Social Sciences. The main supervisor for this doctoral dissertation was was Dr Ulf Jansson from the Stockholm University, Department of Human Geography. The supervisor was Professor Bo Malmberg who is also from the same department. The chair of the public dense was held by Peter Schmitt who is a associate professor of the Stockholm University from the Human Geography Department. The post of the ‘opponent’ was held by Ann Grubbström from Uppsala University, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
Based on this dissertation, it has become important to work more on this topic as this can bring changes to our pattern of thinking and such a misunderstanding can lead to many serious misinterpretations. So, it is time to do more elaborate researching on this topic. This doctoral dissertation has revealed much new information and based on its findings more in depth knowledge is required to analyze this issue. It is high time that we find the problems so that necessary measures can be taken to solve issues before the misconception spreads among too many other people. It is also crucial to take necessary steps to make the public understand their map reading misunderstandings. More dissertations and more research works are also needed to identify the problems and steps are needed to be taken to solve this issue.