Planning with kids, an evaluation of children's environmental behaviour using mental maps

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Gray, Michael John
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The purpose of this research is to demonstrate the effect an urban studies curriculum has upon children's environmental behaviour, which is evaluated through a mental mapping exercise. The research question put forward: Does children's environmental relationship to their neighbourhood change with the introduction of an urban studies curriculum? This study is based upon the historical fact that children have continuously been disregarded when it comes to public planning consultation. By integrating a simple urban studies curriculum into a classroom children are given the opportunity to learn many of the background skills needed so that they may look at their neighbourhood differently and begin to come up with solutions to the problems they find. The research in this thesis evaluated the effectiveness of the curriculum on the children's perception of their neighbourhood by using a technique called "mental mapping" which is simply the process of drawing a map of a location from memory. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)