Updated: Nov 30, 2021
𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐩𝐞𝐫 𝐦𝐚𝐩𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐤𝐞𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧❓
𝐄𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐡𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐜 with many opinions on 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐞 𝐭𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭, 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐢𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐞 𝐭𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐢𝐭. Opinions range from The 3 basics reading, writing, arithmetic; to the 4 basics English, math, science & social studies; to the emphasis on life skills over formal education. No matter where you fall on the education spectrum 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐚𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧.𝐏𝐚𝐩𝐞𝐫 𝐦𝐚𝐩𝐬! Let’s explore how paper maps open new cognitive pathways and facilitate skill development.
🗺 𝐒𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠
Paper map require visualization of where things are located and where you are in respect to them. This causes you to subconsciously gather information about your surroundings. Then your brain makes connections between the two. Spatial thinking has been linked to greater success in math, science, geography and navigation.
❞𝑺𝒑𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒈𝒖𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒚 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒂 𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒑 𝒂𝒔 𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒓 𝒔𝒉𝒆 𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒘𝒔❞ ~ National Geographic.
🗺 𝐒𝐲𝐦𝐛𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐜 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠
Maps are filled with symbols like roads, rivers, trails, direction etc. This requires the brain to recognize symbols in relation to the bigger picture. Symbolic thinking promotes reading and understanding which is a critical skill needed in many facets of education such as comprehension, math and navigation skills.
🗺 𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐬𝐬 𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐨𝐫 𝐒𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐬:
Reading a paper map requires you to navigate and follow a path. When you draw your route or trace it with your finger hand eye coordination is being developed. Then you need to actually physically navigate your route. By showing children how to do both they can grow their gross motor skills which have been shown to help in all areas of academic improvement.
🗺 𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐬
Decision making and consequences are crucial skills needed in all aspects of our lives. We all succeed or fail based on our decisions. Maps encourage these skills by making you look at all your options then choosing a route. You are then required to act on that decision. It is through this you get hands on knowledge of mistakes and consequence. Did you end up at your intended location? If not what happened? Then you learn from your mistake and how to correct it.
🗺 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐬𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐬
Paper maps provides opportunity to unplug and be present. Digital devices can cause time mismanagement and distraction. By unplugging and using a paper map you promote a distraction-less environment. One where you can really focus on the task at hand. By not relying on digital means you have the opportunity to focus and connect with the world around you.
❞𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒏𝒍𝒚 𝒔𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒄𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘𝒍𝒆𝒅𝒈𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆❞ - Albert Einstein.
Paper Maps are real. They are tangible you can hold them. They show you real places that can be visited. By locating an area on a map then using the map to physically find it you create the opportunity to form a deeper connection. You get to not only see but to experience the communities, streets, landscapes etc. This all works to inform and develop a connection to a location.
So what are you waiting for? Go grab a paper map and work on those navigation skills.
~map on everyone.