Toponyms in Croatian geographical education
Within the Croatian elementary school education toponyms are well represented in geography and history classes. In high school, students are additionally introduced with toponyms within other courses. At the university level toponyms are embedded in studies of geography, geodesy, history and Croatian language. Theoretical knowledge of toponyms is acquired within few university courses. In geography classes, the fifth-graders are introduced with the names of the continents, oceans and seas, islands, deserts, rivers, etc. These names are adapted in the Croatian language so there are no problems with toponyms. Since the sixth-graders learn about non-European continents and polar-regions, they encounter the names of settlements so the first problems with foreign toponyms occur. The seventh-graders learn about Europe and Russia so the problems increase. It is only in the eighth grade when they learn about Croatia that the problems reduce. Since the geography gymnasium program is similar to the one in elementary school, problems with exonyms, such as the ways of writing and reading them, the criteria for using them, the usage of certain adaptation system, are identical to those in elementary school. Regardless of their ubiquity in the education and public space, exonyms are not studied systematically. Disparity in writing and the use of exonyms is evident in the geographical school literature, because the authors of textbooks and atlases offer different variants of toponyms. It remains unclear which variants will pupils adopt and use in further education. This presentation highlights some problems regarding toponyms on three levels of geographical education.