Uutismedian merkitys paikannimistön oppimisessa maantieteen opetuksessa
The new Finnish national curriculum emphasizes the use of topical news media in geography education. As geography explores natural features and requires a knowledge of place names, the subject might be used as a tool for students to develop their worldview and place-naming skills. In this study we examined Finnish lower and upper secondary school students’ (n = 274) knowledge of current news topics and their locations with a questionnaire and a mapping exercise in late autumn 2016. The results show that both the most familiar news topics and the best-known places are primarily located in Western industrialized countries. The students’ knowledge of place names improves when they get older and there is a vast improvement after completing a 7th grade geography course in lower secondary school. The further analyses with generalized boosted regression models (GBM) and linear regression models indicate active news reading and mentions of place names in lessons being major contributors on knowledge of the place names in news topics.