ERIC Number: ED333985
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Developing Map Concepts in Children and Psychologists: Going Beyond Maps as RE-Presentations.
Liben, Lynn S.; Downs, Roger M.
A geographer and a developmental psychologist collaborated on an investigation of the development of children's ability to comprehend, produce, and use graphic representations of space. Such representations are called "geo-graphics" in this paper. The researchers held that children's mastery of maps is dependent on their developing understanding of symbols in general, of logical reasoning, and of integrated spatial conceptual systems. Evidence for children's misunderstanding of both the duality and arbitrariness of symbols was derived from responses showing children's failure to separate graphic characteristics of the symbol from physical characteristics of the referent. This could be seen first in children's overextension of iconic qualities, and second, in their oversubscription to graphic conventions. Many situations were observed in which the child identified some characteristic of the symbol, and then inappropriately inferred from that characteristic that the referent must be characterized in the same way. Evidence indicated that children appeared to adhere rigidly to certain graphic rules that may come from other graphic forms than maps. There were many indications of children's confusion in understanding the scale and viewing angle of maps. There was informal evidence that adults, too, may overextend qualities of the representation to the referent. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Representational Competence; Representational Thinking
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).