It is assumed that foreign holidays and previous exposure to cartographic media play a role in the development of children's spatial cognition and map-drawing ability. Few empirical studies to date have focused on the development of these spatial cognitive representations. This study examined the map-drawing abilities of an international sample of 432 ten-year-old children. It examined the nature of the world maps they drew. It explored the extent to which more travel experiences and greater previous exposure to cartographic media were correlated to enhanced ability of children to represent their spatial cognitive structure of the world as a drawn map. Results indicated that both travel experiences (in male students) and exposure to cartographic media (in both female and male students) were positively correlated with effective map drawing. Male children had more previous exposure to cartographic media than female children. This exposure was 60% more correlated to higher map drawing ability for male, than for female students. The paper discusses the implications of findings for the creation of learning environments which support the development of map-drawing.
- Cognitive maps
- Travel experiences