This paper is a systematic review of scholarly articles published in Japan from 1989 to 2019 that discuss instruction regarding the formation of spatial cognition in the context of elementary school social studies. This study aims to examine the trends, transitions, and challenges of this field of research and clarify the backgrounds of these studies. Based on the results of the review, four research themes were determined: “objectives, principles, and curriculum,” “lesson design,” “maps and globes,” and “learning assessment.” For the continued development of this field, we assert the need for further research into (1) the construction of a lesson model that encourages participation in community development and its actual practices based on children’s formation of their worldview; (2) collaboration between researchers and teachers to investigate actual situations and obstacles to teaching and propose strategies for teacher competence development based on evidence; and (3) assessment of the relationships between geography, geography education, and social studies, and consideration of curricula and learning instruction with respect to the formation of children’s spatial cognition, via collaboration among researchers involved in these fields.
Historic Cairo, in Egypt, is a living urban entity that was registered by the UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1979. Its historic urban core is crowded with outstanding medieval buildings which overlap with the city’s modern architecture and local people’s daily life activities. Unfortunately, despite receiving several conservation interventions, since the mid-20th century, most of the historic buildings in Cairo are in constant deterioration. Therefore, the study aimed at identifying the reasons behind this controversial situation, based on theoretical and practical methodologies. Through critical review of related literature and field survey, the study identified the shortcomings in the main conservation practices, implemented in Historic Cairo after the mid-20th century, and the current challenges for its effective conservation. The research findings clarified that no significant conservation effort was made in Historic Cairo during the 1950s and 1960s. While, since the early 1970s, about 17 mega conservation projects have been conducted, by national and international organizations, most of these projects adopted inappropriate conservation approaches which ignored the living nature of Historic Cairo and undermined the active participation and needs of the local community. The ‘top-down’ strategy prevailed in most conservation projects, in which the historic buildings were either ‘restored then closed’ without adaptive reuse or conserved for ‘touristic’ purposes without monitoring after conservation. Finally, the study concluded that the ‘local community’ oriented approach is the most appropriate for the effective conservation of Historic Cairo.
We conducted ground penetrating radar (GPR) soundings and geodetic surveys in four perennial snow patches (PSPs) in the northern Japanese Alps (NJA) and considered the possibility that they could be active glaciers. The Kakunezato and Ikenotan PSPs had large ice bodies (>30 m thick) and flow velocities greater than 2 m/a; hence, both PSPs were admissible as active glaciers. Kuranosuke PSP also had a large ice body (25 m thick) but a flow velocity of only 3 cm/a and, therefore, the PSP was admissible as an active glacier that had been shifting to a PSP. Hamaguriyuki PSP was not admissible as a glacier because there was no evidence of a flow under current conditions. As a result of this study and the work of Fukui and Iida (2012), a total of six PSPs in the NJA were admissible as active glaciers. We also investigated the climate conditions, mass balance, and surface area changes of the active glaciers in the NJA based on in situ measurements of air temperature, snow depth, and mass balance, as well as the interpretation of aerial photographs. We found that the mountain ridges of the Tateyama Mountains were slightly higher than the climatic equilibrium line altitude (ELA). Local topographic conditions that led to huge snow accumulations by avalanches were considered likely to alter significantly the ELA of each glacier in the NJA. The Kakunezato and Ikenotan PSPs lost only 12% and 16% of their surface areas between 1955 and 2016, respectively.