What’s political about the world map in our classroom?

Posted on February 13th, 2012 by

This is a slight revision to a blog post from last semester. I think it is relevant, given our discussion about scale in class today. Enjoy!:

Here’s a 4 minute clip from a West Wing episode called “Why are we changing maps?”. In it, the characters make an argument that maps are political and that we should rethink (or maybe rehang!) the world map we have in our classroom. I’m curious about what you all think: Are maps political? If so, (how) would you introduce this concept to elementary students? What does this have to do the the Giant Map of Africa that we just shared with the second grade students at South Elementary?


One Comment

  1. Kelly Okerman says:

    I had heard of this idea before, but had never really given it much thought. This weekend it actually came up with me and some of my international friends. It was really interesting to hear their perspective. Some of them didn’t see maps as political at all while others firmly believed that global orientation of the map mattered. I would love to use this when talking about sources in my classroom and have students redesign the global map from a different world perspective. I would be intrigued to see what students came up with.