Croatian National Education Standard for Geography - A Review

Dragica Husanović-Pejnović


We are witnesses to the increasing spreading of knowledge in all fields of scholarship and life itself. This has placed a burden on education at all levels. It has created a gap between possibilities and aspirations, which has in turn resulted in dysfunctional knowledge and dissatisfaction of pupils, teachers and parents. The objective of the Croatian National Education Standard (CNES) is to resolve these problems. The CNES is a comprehensive approach to the educational process and encompasses the objectives of education and learning, educational content, proposed instruction methods, expected outcomes of teaching, instruction and the teaching environment. The overall objective here is to educate and prepare younger generations for getting their bearings under unpredictable future circumstances, for a knowledge-based economy and society. A large number of experts from the relevant higher educational and scholarly institutions and practicing teachers from throughout Croatia participated in the development of the CNES. The task of the CNES in the field of geography is to disburden pupils and to develop knowledge, skills and habits, and to train and socialize individuals, in compliance with the value system of the European Union. The CNES in geography has been presented, as in all subjects of the natural science group, through lecture topics. The structure of topics is tabular, with 13 parameters that indicate objectives of the CNES. An analysis of the CNES clearly shows that teaching geography is inconceivable without maps, because complex spatial reality cannot be perceived without corresponding knowledge, ability and habits from the field of cartography. The map, with its universal nature (cartographic symbols), is an irreplaceable lecture aid to educate and socialize pupils. Implementation of the CNES commenced in 2005 in an experimental 5% (49) of Croatia's schools. Implementation of CNES requires additional education of geography teachers, which has been conceived by means of seminars in several phases.


Croatian National Education Standard; geography; curriculum; disburdening; geographic map; knowledge; skill; habit; training; socialization

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