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Seeking New Horizons

Seeking New Horizons: A Perceptual Approach to Geographic Education

Copyright Date: 1990
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Seeking New Horizons
    Book Description:

    Castner developed this innovative perspective on geographic education through observation of the Orff-Schulwerk technique of music education. This pedagogical method provides an organizational framework within which the primitive elements and concepts of music can be introduced, experienced, and explored, and auditory discrimination developed. The process of improvisation is the focal point of the Schulwerk. Castner suggests that the numerous educational benefits of improvisation can be obtained in geographic education by the process of "mapping." He defines mapping as graphic description, analysis, and presentation in a problem-solving context. After more than two decades of research in cartographic communication, Castner concludes that success in examining and analysing landscapes, and images representative of them, is dependant upon developed skills in visual discrimination.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6225-7
    Subjects: Geography

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-14)

    In the past twenty years a great deal of research has appeared concerning the interaction between maps and users of maps. The general hope for this cartographic communication research has been that it could provide some specific results that would be useful in improving the efficiency of the maps we make. Unfortunately, there has been some disappointment with much of that research because it did not provide the specific and detailed design guidance some were seeking. What it did do was to provide more general insights into the communication process and to show map makers how many variables were not...

  5. CHAPTER ONE Changing the Educational Relationships Between Cartography and Geography
    (pp. 15-28)

    Traditionally, simple map making and atlas use have been significant, if not the primary, components of geographic education, particularly at the elementary and intermediate school levels. These activities usually revolve around various kinds of “where is” questions (Petchenik, 1979) and thus reinforce an idea that maps serve essentially as repositories of information, that is, as spatial dictionaries. Without any experiences with other kinds of maps, this singular exposure may be in part responsible for the very limited (and certainly simplistic) view of the nature of geography and cartography which is held by much of the general public. In contrast, I...

  6. CHAPTER TWO The Education Connection
    (pp. 29-50)

    The educational enterprise in North America is a vast and complex mechanism made up of a variety of groups of different ages, vested interests, and power. For better or worse, much of the collective energy of the enterprise is focused on curriculum - an agenda for what our children will do while they are in school that will contribute to their intellectual growth and mastery of skills. There is also an equally complex body of writing on the theory and practice of children’s learning and development. Ideally, a clear picture of the latter would make possible the formulation of a...

  7. CHAPTER THREE The Visual System
    (pp. 51-80)

    One of the central themes of this volume is that looking with insight and discrimination is a basic perceptual skill, of equal value in life as skills listening, in language, and in mathematics. Hence separate chapters are required on both the mechanics of looking (chapter 3) and on looking in action (art and drawing, chapter 5).

    Cartographers have long been interested in the former topic in an effort to better understand the perception of maps and to determine the limits within which their alterations in map design could intercede in that perception. Thus the first part of this chapter is...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR The Music Connection
    (pp. 81-96)

    After seeing, listening is perhaps the richest source of environmental information for human beings. The loss of either system would obviously necessitate extensive physical and mental adjustments. However, the concern here is not to contrast the nature of those adjustments, but to consider the many interesting parallels between these two perceptual systems - seeing and listening - and, by extension, between cartography and music.

    First of all, we can assume that listening with precision and discrimination is as basic a life skill as is seeing with precision and discrimination. Needless to say,they are both as fundamental in this modern world...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE A Connection with Art
    (pp. 97-122)

    Implicitly, art would seem to be an area from which cartography should a great deal of creative inspiration and technical knowledge. After both areas are involved in one way or another with the representation of our circumstances here on earth. Indeed, cartographers have usually considered their discipline to be a meeting place between science and art (see, for example, Robinson et al., 1978, 6).

    However, the connections with art are neither clearly identified by practitioners nor recognized by educators. Perhaps the stated goals of education are too divergent from those of cartography and geography, or the media of expression and...

  10. CHAPTER SIX The Science Connection
    (pp. 123-134)

    What is science? The definition that it is the search for explanation suggests that there are things we do not understand. But this is rather a negative way to consider all that we do know; after all, there have been some rather stunning scientific achievements. But there may be a certain amount of illusion about the apparently stable, smooth-running environment that man has constructed around himself. Perhaps the most exemplary expression of this illusion is in the public’s attitude toward health and medicine. There are many individuals who seem to feel that they have no obligation or role to play...

  11. CHAPTER SEVEN Influences of Cartographic Communication
    (pp. 135-162)

    The growth of cartography as an academic discipline and as a research activity has been particularly vigorous during the last quarter of a century. Some of the factors contributing to this have been reported elsewhere by Castner (1983b), Muehrcke (1981), Petchenik (1983), and Wolter (1975). Suffice it to say here that this growth was driven in part by a desire to better understand how maps interact with the people who use them. In other cases it may have been the desire to discover and confirm the science behind the art in cartography.

    In any case, there is emerging a body...

  12. CHAPTER EIGHT A Perceptual Approach to Geography
    (pp. 163-184)

    It is my contention that one of the most beneficial products of the improvizational approach to music education taken by Orff is a sharpening of the perceptual abilities of young listeners - it is perceptual and discovery learning at its best. By increasing their discriminating abilities for auditory material, children are able to detect and appreciate more subtle attributes and contrasts in that material. In addition, by the very nature of their participation, children are provided with the varieties of feedback that are so useful in judging one's performance and thereby promoting a greaterunderstandingand thus enjoyment of the...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 185-188)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 189-202)
  15. Index
    (pp. 203-206)