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Title: The geographical understanding of children aged 5 to 8 years.
Author: Piche, Denise.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3489 8259
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1977
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This research investigates the geographical understanding of children aged 5 to 8 years defined as children's conception of the earth's surface. The purpose is to study geographical understanding as emerging mainly from four cognitive operations: the separation of the earth's surface into places and land uses, the assemblage of these elements into a continuous surface, the construction of the elements into a geographical hierarchy and their representation on a two-dimensional plan. The first three operations are studied through clinical interviews and drawing tasks, which bear upon the child's construction of geographical objects, of geographical space and of the origin of the built environment. The fourth operation is studied through an exercise in a real large-scale environment consisting of two blocks of houses: the exercise implies route learning, descriptions and predictions of routes, indications of directions, map drawing and model construction. The children's answers on each topic in the interviews and at each task In the field exercise are ordered according to their level of development: consequently, developmental scales of geographical understanding are formed. These scales appear to follow the developmental sequence identified by Piaget, except for a few disparities owing to the particular topic investigated. They cover the span from the end of the preconceptual period to the beginning of the stage of concrete operations. However, developmenta.l decalages are observed between a number of scales, more particularly between route learning, the conception of the earth's surface and the representation of a large-scale environment on a plan. Besides describing the development of geographical understanding, the research is aimed at explaining this development. The respective role of the cognitive functions, namely sensori-motricity, perception, images and operations, in the construction of the earths surface is therefore examined, and Piaget's explanations of development, more specifically the regulation and grouping of actions and operations and the equilibration of assimilation andFccqqsnodatlon, are assessed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology