Seeing the big picture: map use and the development of spatial cognition
D.H. Uttal 2000 Developmental Science v. 3, n. 3, p. 247-264.

This paper considers the relation between the development of spatial cognition and children's use of maps and models. A new theoretical perspective is presented that takes into account the influences of maps on the development of spatial cognition. Maps provide a perspective on spatial information that differs in important ways from the perspective gained from direct experience navigating in the world. Using and thinking about maps may help children to acquire abstract concepts of space and the ability to think systematically about spatial relations that they have not experienced directly. In addition, exposure to maps may help children to think about multiple spatial relations among multiple locations. The results of previous studies that have demonstrated developmental differences in children's cognition of large-scale environments are examined from this theoretical perspective. This review suggests that the development of spatial cognition consists partly of the acquisition of models of large-scale space, and that maps influence the development of the modern Western model.

Subject: Psychology, Education
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Research Results, Journal Article
Special Interest: Spatial Thinking
Research on Learning: Ways Of Learning:Active/Kinesthetic/Experiential, Spatial Intelligence:Maps, Scale, Ways Of Learning:Visual Learning