Mental map and spatial thinking
The spatial thinking is a central concept in our researches at the Faculty of Education of University of São Paulo (FE-USP). The cartography is fundamental to this kind of thinking, because it contributes to the development of the representation of space. The spatial representations are the drawings – mental maps – maps, chart, aerial photos, satellite images, graphics and diagrams. To think spatially – including the contents and concepts geographical and their representations – also corresponds to reason, defined by the skills the individual develops to understand the structure, function of a space, and describe your organization and relation to other spaces. The aim of this paper is to analyze the role of mental maps in the development of concepts of city and landscape – structuring concepts for school geography. The purpose is to analyze how students in Geography and Pedagogy – future teachers – and young children in Early Childhood Education think, feel, and appropriate these concepts. The analys is indicates the importance of developing mental map in activities with pedagogy and geography graduate student to know that students at school can be producers of maps. Cartography is a language and allows the student to develop the spatial and temporal relationships and notions such as orientation, distance and location, learning the concepts of geographical science. Mental maps present the basic features of the location such as the conditions – the features verified in one place – and the connections that is to understand how this place connects to other places.