Educating Spatial Thinking for STEM Success


In recent years there has been new recognition of the importance of spatial thinking in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines, in part because of evidence that spatial ability predicts success and persistence in STEM (Wai, Lubinski & Benbow, 2009), but is not fostered in our educational systems (National Research Council, 2006). Based on this evidence, current approaches aim to increase science achievement by training the types of general spatial skills measured by spatial ability tests. However, although there is considerable evidence that these spatial skills can be trained (Uttal, et al., 2013), there has been little evidence to date that training of general spatial skills transfers to success in STEM disciplines (Stieff & Uttal, 2015).

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