Effective materials for increasing young children's spatial and mapping skills
Journal of Geoscience Education
Spatial skills are necessary for mapping success and conceptual understanding in the geosciences. This study investigates the efficacy of using toy figures, toy buildings, digital plan-view photograph maps and digital photograph snapshots in increasing the spatial skills of children ages 2.5 to 9 years. A pretest-intervention-posttest design study with matched experimental and control groups (n=20) was conducted. The investigators examined children's performance in six skill areas: diminution in scale; identifying the simple perspective of another; mental linear displacement; mental rotation; using an aligned map and rotating an unaligned map into alignment; and identifying a more complex viewpoint of another. Pretest mean total scores were not significantly different. Posttest scores showed a twenty percent gain for the experimental group, but no net gain for the control group. Activities as described in this study can build a foundation of spatial skills needed for later geoscience map activities.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Petty, Mandy R. and Rule, Audrey C., "Effective materials for increasing young children's spatial and mapping skills" (2008). Faculty Publications. 2494.