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Presentation 4E4. The Use of Official Statistics in Teaching University Geography Students in Italy

Enrica Aureli (Italy)
Riccardo Russo (Italy)


Presentation Abstract
In the Italian University the course of Geography was completely reformed in 1993.

In the past one could obtain his degree after a two-year specialistic course which itself followed a biennium of studies in of the following faculties: Letters, Sciences, Political Sciences, Economy, or after obtaining any other degree.

The former course was integrated in the faculty of Letters and Philosophy and it was mainly due to form geography teachers for the advanced school.
In 1979 the reform of the Italian primary and advanced school introduced the quantitative and graphic language as an instrument of integration among different disciplines. It specifically defined geography programmes the statistic instruments needed in order to concur a quantitative reading of the territory and the environment.

The university programmes were adapted with much delay to the reform, this happened also because of the new professional interest and chances for new geographers, added to the previous teaching opportunities.

Currently the bachelor in Geography is achieved through an independent four-year course in which, beyond the specific and traditional matters of the discipline (physical geography, economic geography, geology, cartography…) there are new important areas of study: statistic-mathematics and politics-economy, plus many modules about social issues and the territory.

Through technical statistics used in the university didactics, geography can achieve two goals: the possibility to know a country and to carry out comparisons among different countries.

In order to achieve that it must be taught how to find, to select, to process, and to interpret the great mass of the official statistic data and information produced by national and supranational organisations.

Geographically knowing a country implies the learning of the methods for measuring its development and poverty.

In our work the main typologies of the available data will be explained: indices of structural characters, dimension, density, physical order of territory, infrastructure distribution, urban systems and productive areas, attraction poles; spatial distribution, data proceeds from satellite (agrarian production, inhabited development), GIS; demographic indices with particular attention to the measure of the migratory flows; pointers for environmental conditions, meteorological surveys, the surveys on air and water quality, the "pressure-state-answer" model the new "action-pressure-state-impact-answer" model proposed by UN-CSD (United Nations Commission on Sustainable development).

For the international comparison will be explained the main systems of pointers of development produced by international organisations: UN, OECD, UNDP, WB etc.


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