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Geography in Italian schools (An example of a cross-curricular project using geospatial technologies for a practical contribution to educators)

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Author(s): Gino DE VECCHIS | Daniela PASQUINELLI D’ALLEGRA | Cristiano PESARESI

Journal: Review of International Geographical Education Online
ISSN 2146-0353

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Teaching of geography | cross-curricular projects | virtual globes/world maps | GIS | geospatial technologies

ABSTRACT
During the last few years the Italian school system has seen significant changes but geography continues to be considered a boring and un-useful discipline by public institutions. The main problem is the widespread geographic illiteracy and the fact that very often people do not know the objectives, methodology and tools of geographical studies. In this paper, we provide a framework of the recent modifications concerning geography, recalling the appeal promoted some months ago by the Associazione Italiana Insegnanti di Geografia (AIIG) to avoid a further weakening of the role of geography in senior high schools. We then underline the importance of geography in cross-curricular projects and focus attention on the “Valorinvilla” project in order to make a concrete example of an approach which arouses enthusiasm in the students, fulfils interesting purposes and facilitates dialogue with other disciplines. Specifically, the “Valorinvilla” project has been created by AIIG for schools of every level and type present in Rome in order to safeguard and enhance the Villa Ada Park, important for its biodiversity and significant historical features. Finally, we show how geospatial technologies, above all virtual globes and world maps, can provide added value both during the preparation phase and during the planning and operational phase of educational projects, generally, and of “Valorinvilla” project, particularly. The main aim is to furnish guidelines and a practical contribution to educators and to make geographical research useful, dynamic and pleasant.
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