PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENT ORIENTATION IN THE ENVIRONMENT ABILITY EDUCATION: SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND THE ASPECT OF EDUCATION CONTENT
Authors: Rita Makarskaitė-Petkevičienė, Rūta Rimašiūtė
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The purpose of this article is a deep look into orientation in the environment ability education referring to scientific research results, carried out in foreign countries (United Kingdom, Switzerland, United States of America and other).
The research aims: to analyse how orientation in the environment abilities are developed in Lithuanian and foreign country primary school. Essential research questions are: 1) What is meant by orientation abilities and how to develop them? 2) What education research are carried out in the world concerning student orientation in the environment, what is foreign country scientists’ experience? 3) How is orientation in the environment ability education reflected in Lithuanian and some foreign country (England, Australia) general primary education programmes?
Having analysed these questions, a number of very important things were revealed, which are going to be discussed in brief.
The more diverse educational environment is (not only the room, but also geographical environment), the bigger is its role to students’ spatial thinking and orientation in the environment ability education. Spatial thinking development, having started in infancy, later is developed by educators, with the help of their competencies, educational aids, methods. Learner’s personal experience, his motivation is of no less importance. Due to these three main factors, little by little person’s ability is developed to manoeuvre in the environment, to choose the way, to perceive spatial relations of things (form, sizes, distances, directions and so on), to create and to read maps, to make location plans, to construct, to create models.
The research carried out by scientists show, that five-year children already have a certain orientation in the environment abilities. Unlike the adults, children are more observant, prone to count on details. Researchers agree, that speaking about orientation in the environment abilities, there exist sex differences and they acknowledge, that spatial perception develops most intensely up to ten years. Some activity research (e.g., children’s favourable or unfavourable place representation on the map) can be useful in a psychosocial aspect and help the prevention of isolation, personal problem diagnostics.
Orientation in the environment ability education in Lithuanian, English and Australian primary classes has a lot of similarities in its content, however, content realisation differs. In England orientation in the environment abilities are started to be developed the earliest, in Australia – the latest. The subjects, in which these abilities are developed, and learning environments, in which it is recommended to develop them also differ. In foreign countries, for the development of these abilities, various geographical environments are sought to be exploited more. It is hopeful, that in Lithuania as well, implementing a Good school conception, the other geographical environments will change a classroom, which is becoming more and more dull and boring.