Mapping Success: Reversing The Matthew Effect




Gregg, Sr. Madeleine

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The Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education


The effects of two models of teaching on map reading and interpreting of seventh graders were compared. Data were obtained from pre- and post-tests and from audio-taped transcriptions of student interviews with 4 high- and 4 low-knowledge students. The test scores were analyzed to determine if the different models of teaching were associated with differences in what the children learned. Analysis of the interview data provided more fine-grained understanding of exactly what was learned and how students were able to reason with their new knowledge. The results showed: 1) All students learned, no matter how they were taught; 2) Map-makers learned more than map-readers; 3) The map-making lessons especially benefited the low-knowledge students’ learning about symbols on maps. 4) Both groups of students learned more about symbols and latitude and longitude than about scale. 5) The findings from the interview data matched the results from the test data.



Matthew Effect, teaching models, map reading and interpretation


Gregg, Sr. M. (1999). Mapping success: Reversing The Matthew Effect. Research in Geographic Education, 1(2), pp. 118-135.


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