Pedagogic Value of The National Atlas of Korea in U.S. Secondary Education

Authors: Gregory Chu*, UWisconsin-La Crosse, Jongnam Choi, Western Illinois University
Topics: Geography Education, Cartography, Pacific Rim
Keywords: Teaching spatial thinking, The National Atlas of Korea, secondary education, lesson plans.
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: 8224, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper is predicated on literature that asserts middle and high school age children have the cognitive ability to understand thematic maps and achieve some degree of cartographic literacy. Specifically, it aims to find ways that can effectively contribute to the teaching of cartographic elements associated with spatial thinking. With collaboration and support from Korea’s National Geographic Information Institute (NGII), the recently published The National Atlas of Korea was adopted as concrete cartographic examples to develop secondary school geography and social science lesson plans. The Atlas includes a broad range of maps, graphics, tables, and photographs that are deemed most appropriate for this task. Maps range in complexity from single-themed maps to multivariate maps, time sequence maps, planning maps, a broad range of socioeconomic/demographic maps, as well as territorial reference maps. Maps also range in scale, from national to provincial to urban and local community scales. Instead of training teachers on spatial thinking skills, four master teachers with background in geography who have taught secondary level geography for over a decade were invited to examine the Atlas to conceive and develop lesson plans. Four lesson plans have continually been implemented in classrooms in the States of Utah, Georgia, Minnesota, Kentucky, and Tennessee since the 2015 Fall semester. Six additional lesson plans have been developed and currently used in classrooms. The teachers’ observations on student performance were documented and summarized and presented here.

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