Faculty Publications

Title

Effective materials for increasing young children's spatial and mapping skills

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Geoscience Education

Volume

56

Issue

1

First Page

5

Last Page

14

Abstract

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

1-1-2008

DOI of published version

10.5408/1089-9995-56.1.5

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