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Sustainable development goals and maps - An analysis of the representation of the SDGs in textbook maps and atlases

Authors: Carina Peter*, University of Marburg, Sandra Sprenger, University of Hamburg
Topics: Geography Education, Sustainability Science, Cartography
Keywords: geography education, maps, sustainability, sustainable development goals (SDGs)
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Maps are a central medium for geography teaching content in the classroom. Maps hold great potential in educational contexts, as they are helpful for the visualization of complex facts. The United Nations General Assembly’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) are complex contents whose teaching is central to education in sustainable development. In order to evaluate the potential of maps for the teaching of SDG-relevant contexts, it is necessary to analyze the extent to which the contents of SDGs have thus far been implemented in educational materials. Qualitative content analysis was used as the methodological basis with a subsequent quantitative evaluation of a number of maps (N = 1.527). The main results represent priority implementation of SDG-related content in map materials in textbooks for older age groups, as well as in atlases. An underrepresentation was observed in temporal aspects and in changes. Implications for the design of educational materials are derived from these observations.

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