THE USE OF CARTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL IN HIGH SCHOOL: DIAGNOSIS AND CONSEQUENCES

Mariana Alesia Campos

(Departamento de Geografía, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Puán 480, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Corresponding author: alesia_76@yahoo.it phone: ++54-11-45667240

alesia_76@yahoo.it

 

Abstract

 

In the contents of obligatory education in Argentina the teaching of the essential concepts of cartography is planned. These concepts are considered necessary tools to understand and to analyze the organization of the geographical space. Since 2004, the teachers of the chair of Cartography in the Geography careers (Facultad de Filosofìa y Letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina) make the students perform a test with the aim of getting a diagnosis of the knowledge on cartographic tools that they bring from the high school. The first day of practical class, a different topographic chart is given to each student, and they are asked to make a brief analysis of the topographic chart. The results of the test showed that the 61,4% of the students made a sequential reading of the chart, enumerating the whole elements in it. This way to reading the chart matches with a descriptive geography, which looks for answers about the localization of variety elements. We also observed that there is an ignorance about other concepts as coordinates and projection systems.. These results would indicate that there is a big distance between the educational plans and what is actually taught at school