- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The balance between visual-spatial and verbal-logical thought may determine "mathematical casts of mind" that influence how an individual processes mathematical information. Thus, to investigate the role that spatial thinking plays in learning, problem solving, and gender differences in high school geometry, spatial thought was examined along with its counterpart verbal-logical thought. The results suggest that whereas males and females differed in spatial visualization and in their performance in high school geometry, they did not differ in logical reasoning ability or in their use of geometric problem-solving strategies. There was evidence of gender differences in profiles of those mental abilities that are important for geometry performance and of a teacher-by-gender interaction on geometry achievement.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spatial Orientation ability correlates with important criteria such as achievement in calculus and physics, but this ability has not been investigated systematically. Performance on individual items adapted from a standard test of Spatial Orientation was studied. Subjects judged whether aerial views would be seen by an observer oriented in various ways. For practiced subjects, the time to answer items was an approximately linear function of the number of abstract spatial dimensions on which the aerial view and the observer's orientation were consistent. Practice led to lower error rates and lower intercepts for the response-time functions. Subject's ability correlated with the linearity of their response-time functions suggesting that lower ability subjects fail to code one or more spatial dimensions. A model specifying serial, self-terminating comparison of abstract spatial dimensions is proposed as an ideal which subjects approach after practice.
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