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Durham e-Theses
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Aspects of environmental learning among 10-12 year-old schoolchildren

Bagenal, Mary Jocelyn (1981) Aspects of environmental learning among 10-12 year-old schoolchildren. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This study is an investigation into some factors affecting children's environmental learning. Two chapters review previous work in the field of environmental cognition- in one the psychological processes involved in drawing sketch maps are considered, in the other a number of urban studies are summarised, with some accounts of methods and results for adults as well as children. The fieldwork was carried out with two groups of top juniors aged 10- 11 years old at a mixed school on a suburban estate at Ulverston, Cumbria, and with the intake of 11-12 year olds at the Lower Comprehensive School. Some factors affecting behaviour were investigated and attempts made to relate these to the extent of the sketch maps drawn. It was suggested that behavioural differences control the opportunity for learning, and cognitive differences the extent and nature of learning. The extent of sketch maps was related to general school attainment, sex, and socio-economic group. Further influential factors were mode of transport, attendance at out of school organised activities. and the junior school attended. At the junior school there was some evidence for a distance decay function operating with respect to scale, with the home as origin. There was no substantial evidence to support the hypothesis of preference having a systematic effect on scale. A general ability to portray direction, both of a visually observed landmark, and of the location of home, through a built-environment, was demonstrated. As well as sketch maps, free recall lists of road names were employed. It was concluded that the number of roads indicated on a map can be used as a measure of the extent of environmental knowledge with some validity (the correlation with numbers of roads on lists was r = 0.68) and some reliability (the correlation between successive years was r = 0.61).

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1981
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Jul 2013 10:52

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