The authors present a content analysis of the selected textbooks for teaching the natural science in the Polish primary school in the scope of cartography and topography. Two series of textbooks edited by the Nowa Era publishing house and approved by the Ministry of National Education are used by the authors. The main aim of this analysis is to determine whether the textbooks meet the requirements of the new core curriculum. The psychological aspects that may cause the difficulties in learning the natural science for students of grades 4 through 6 of the primary school are also discussed.
The contents of textbooks are absorbed by the students in varying degrees. It is important, therefore, to take into account the psychological aspects of the students’ learning process and draw attention to the difficulties that may arise in the course of grade 4–6 instruction. Among them there are, inter alia, the difficulties in using a map scale, some problems with imagining the actual distances and areas, a height above the sea level and the relative heights, as well as the issues related to the students’ abilities to read a drawing of contour lines.
In the process of natural science education in the primary school, it is very important to develop the children’s abstract thinking, which causes the stimulation of their spatial imagination. The various types of teaching aids, which can be helpful for the both groups, as for the teachers, so for the students, are discussed in this article. These are the atlases, models, interactive teaching aids, books and educational games.
The analysis introduced in this article allows for a critical evaluation of the textbooks for primary school from the point of view of their content complacencies on cartography and topography with the new core curriculum.
Teaching the bases of cartography and topography from an early age is very important, but developing the ability to use a map requires the continuous exercises. Working with a map helps to develop not only the practical skills, but also the students’ attitudes having a positive impact on the development of such qualities as conscientiousness, accuracy and patience; it also has an invaluable impact on the students’ spatial imagination.