GIS in school education in Estonia – looking for an holistic approach

Juri Roosaare, Ülle Liiber


The strategic role of GIS for geography education is undoubted, but there is a diversity in understandings with regard to what, when and how to teach. Also, the concept of geo-media has growing popularity in the educational context. Its borderline with GIS is quite fuzzy and changing. In this paper we present the case of Estonia on integrating geo-media and GIS into school education. According to the National Curriculum (NC) of Estonia, students must acquire a wide variety of skills in information technology, therefore a list of compulsory ICT based practical works have been added to the geography curriculum. NC now gives more emphasis to optional subjects. Geoinformatics is one of such elective courses at secondary school level. In order to graduate from secondary school every student needs to compile a research paper in one subject in addition to state exams. Advanced students are given more and more emphasis, their special needs being recognized also by the NC. The Gifted and Talented Development Centre at the University of Tartu and Geography Olympiads have been a means to select and involve students. A centrally hosted web-based school information and management system and supporting activities of the Tiger Leap Foundation are assisting teachers, and e‑learning platforms (e.g. Moodle) are used by many schools. Advanced students can join social networks of the professional community (e.g. Estonian Geoinformatics Society), have meetings (e.g. in the Annual GIS Day) and present students’ research papers.

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Sponsoring Organizations:

Sapienza Università di Roma University of Helsinki Università di Torino Western Michigan University


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Edizioni Nuova Cultura


Online ISSN: 2281 - 5694 Print ISSN: 2281 – 4310 © 2013 - Edizioni Nuova Cultura