THE MATERIALIZATION OF ‘IMAGINED GEOGRAPHIES’: EXPLORING THE MENTAL MAPS IN THE SCHOOL UNIVERSE
1Granha, G.; 2Coutinho Ferreira da Silva, L.F.
This research investigates and it establishes comparisons among the mappings accomplished by students of the public and private school, whose objective was centered in the identification of certain tendencies common or divergent concerning the processes of apprehension of the Real for those different social and cultural groups. Thus, the fomentation to the elaboration of the mental maps, especially close to the school universe, it should be understood as the way by which the individual expresses, through the creative capacities and those of space abstraction, their dissatisfactions, uncertainties, desires and expectations. In that context, the Cartography goes away of the model strictly Cartesian of representation, to reveal, above all, as middle of expression loaded of personal existence and human subjective matter. Therefore, when the students work with the mental maps they are not only limited to the grating or the mathematics of the topographical maps, being able to transmit in an artistic way, however, the feelings sustained by a certain portion of the space. Consequently, it can be understood that the studies regarding the cognitive or mental maps may and they should find its base in the field of the Cultural Geography, fundamentally in what it concerns to the identification of the symbolisms, as well as to the understanding of their meanings, registered and documented, and consequently, about the representations of the imagined spaces. It is important to add that other discussions were established, such as: the influences of the ‘Modern Science’ and those of the ‘totalizing reason’ on land representations, which has transformed them, consequently, in an isotropic modeling of absolute spaces; and the inclination, by the modern cartographic communication, toward the own and restricted codification, restraining the Cartography itself into the technical and academic niches, as well as conferring to the maps a feature of specific and encoded idiom, in detriment, mainly, of meanings more ample which refer to the language as the human universal ability of communication less attached to rules or conventions. Furthermore, this research intends to demonstrate the validity of the method that proves that the graphic images, when read with a spirit of cognitive value, may reveal facts, perplexities, doubts and contradictions asleep in time or stories not as consistent as those taught in school or present themselves described in textbooks. Therefore, it is understood that the practice of drawing a mental map, especially with the basic and fundamental layers of education can and should be exercised as a stimulus to creativity, spatial abstraction and through externalization of human subjectivities. However, such understanding must be followed by teachers of Geography susceptible to the potential that 'this alternative way of doing Cartography' offers, since, in this light, the student shall be able to 'talk' through 'cartographic language ', with the spaces that they represent, thus solidifying and consolidating their spatial awareness.
Mental maps; School cartography; Cultural Geography