ERIC Number: ED137192
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Nov-25
Reference Count: 0
Misplaced Nations: Student Perception of Nation Location.
Fredrich, Barbara E.; Griffin, Ernst C.
College students from colleges and universities throughout the United States were surveyed about the location of the world's 50 most populous countries. Over 3,300 responses were examined to determine the perceived geographic range of given countries, the regional degree of accuracy among students, and the overall significance of response errors. As a group the students were able to locate less than half of the countries. Data for 35 countries are presented in this paper. Most accurately identified were the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, U.S.S.R., and Australia. Countries about which students know the least are Ceylon, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Burma, Nepal, Iran, Nigeria, and Zaire. Over half of the 35 countries were misplaced in 50 or more other nations. Latin American countries were generally misplaced in other LaLin American countries. A similar pattern was exhibited for Asian countries. The regional adjacency pattern for Middle Eastern and North African nations was more complex, with Egypt being placed in other Middle Eastern countries and Turkey sometimes being placed in Europe. African countries, when located, were mainly placed in Africa, although there was a 12% tendency to place Ethiopia in the Middle East. Conclusions are that students can associate given countries with proper regions even if they do not know exact location, and that there is an adjacency pattern for several European countries including France, Spain, West Germany, and Poland. Two tables summarize responses. (Author/AV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of National Council for Geographic Education (San Francisco, California, November 24-27, 1976)