The questions addressed in this investigation of mental maps concerned the geographical bases of the construction of the recollected maps. The most improtant concern of the research was to establish the difference between "mental maps" and the actual map of Israel, and to explain the distortions in the mental maps. Respondents were chosen from different age-groups, ranging from 12 to 30 + and living in different locations in northern Israel. The respondents were asked to perform the simple task of "drawing a map of Israel". The main findings were as follows: 1) The amount of information on the maps was scanty. 2) "Blank areas" existed on the maps — i.e. areas containing no information at all. This was particularly true with regard to the borders, a situation resulting from the political history of the State. 3) There were serious distortions in scale, shape and area. In general, there was a 1.5—1.8 exaggeration of the width (east-west distance) of the State. 4) Surprisingly, a comparison of the study groups showed that there are similarities between the maps of adults and children: a general paucity of information, undefined borders, and stress on large urban centres. However, the maps of the older respondents were more complete and less distorted than those of the younger respondents. 5) The research confirms the hypothesis of Peter Gould that by age 12—13 an individual's mental maps are already well formed, a fact that teaches us about the improtance of geographical education in elementary schools. 6) To our regret, the motto chosen for the project, Terra Sancta as Terra Incognita was borne out by our findings.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Perception of the Map of Israel by Pupils and Students|
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||עיונים בחינוך: כתב עת למחקר בחינוך|
|State||Published - Apr 1979|