Competences and Geography. A meta-cognitive approach

Angela Caruso

Abstract


Geography helps knowing, educating, orienting; today it plays an educational role, aimed at developing the knowledge of space in order to observe, analyse and interpret the relationships between environment and human society (Ubertazzi and Forte, 2005a, p. 15). From an educational point of view, it contributes to the development of culture on one side and of the fundamental abilities and skills to achieve personal autonomy on the other. How to describe geographical knowledge from the perspective of constructivism? How to implement a competence-based didactic of geography? This contribution attempts to answer these questions by analysing the idea of competence in terms of pedagogy and didactics, thus examining constructivist didactic models which lead to new interchanges between knowledge, didactics and technology. The role of geography in competence training turns out to be fundamental, as it makes it possible to practice basic space skills, which are necessary to orient oneself in an active and responsible way in the world, and to recognize and face problems at different levels. Lastly, a practical example of competence-based didactics is presented, which proposes the analysis of a geographical region in a dynamic, interactive, laboratorial way; living relevance to meta-cognitive learning, which guides students to acquire: discovery strategy and methods, operational procedures to apply their knowledge, new solutions intuition and invention procedures.

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