Nowadays, the experience related to migration is leading to a series of social and economic debates about the borders of nation states, and this is leaving a noticeable imprint on students’ thinking even in formal education. Students may have very different experiences regarding borders in Hungary, but even more so in a super-diverse urban environment like Berlin. Despite this, research into students’ knowledge about European borders is relatively scarce. This study explores Berlin secondary school students’ perceptions of Europe. Using the method of mental mapping, we investigated how Berlin secondary school students (n=45) perceive Europe and its borders. The results indicate that students’ spatial and cartographic knowledge of Europe is rather limited. Furthermore, it appears that students predominantly interpret Europe as groups of nation states, resulting in a predominance of representations of the borders of nation states in their maps. Drawing on the diagnostic significance of mental maps, the study presents thought-provoking results on students’ spatial cognition, spatial orientation and map skills.

GeoMetodika 7. 2. (2023) pp. 27–46


Bagoly-Simó Péter
Johannes Graaf
Farsang Andrea
Tóth Ádám
Bokis Alexandra
Pál Viktor
Kádár Anett