Learning to think Spacially

What do Student's 'See' in Numeracy Test Items?

Carmel Diezmann, Thomas LOWRIE

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Learning to think spatially in mathematics involves developing proficiency with graphics. This paper reports on 2 investigations of spatial thinking and graphics. The first investigation explored the importance of graphics as 1 of 3 communication systems (i.e. text, symbols, graphics) used to provide information in numeracy test items. The results showed that graphics were embedded in at least 50 % of test items across 3 year levels. The second investigation examined 11 – 12-year-olds’ performance on 2 mathematical tasks which required substantial interpretation of graphics and spatial thinking. The outcomes revealed that many students lacked proficiency in the basic spatial skills of visual memory and spatial perception and the more advanced skills of spatial orientation and spatial visualisation. This paper concludes with a reaffirmation of the importance of spatial thinking in mathematics and proposes ways to capitalize on graphics in learning to think spatially.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1469-1490
    Number of pages22
    JournalInternational Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
    Volume10
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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    mathematics
    spatial orientation
    learning
    student
    communication system
    visualization
    symbol
    interpretation
    performance
    Learning
    Graphics
    Communication Systems
    Visualization
    Skills

    Cite this

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    title = "Learning to think Spacially: What do Student's 'See' in Numeracy Test Items?",
    abstract = "Learning to think spatially in mathematics involves developing proficiency with graphics. This paper reports on 2 investigations of spatial thinking and graphics. The first investigation explored the importance of graphics as 1 of 3 communication systems (i.e. text, symbols, graphics) used to provide information in numeracy test items. The results showed that graphics were embedded in at least 50 {\%} of test items across 3 year levels. The second investigation examined 11 – 12-year-olds’ performance on 2 mathematical tasks which required substantial interpretation of graphics and spatial thinking. The outcomes revealed that many students lacked proficiency in the basic spatial skills of visual memory and spatial perception and the more advanced skills of spatial orientation and spatial visualisation. This paper concludes with a reaffirmation of the importance of spatial thinking in mathematics and proposes ways to capitalize on graphics in learning to think spatially.",
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    Learning to think Spacially : What do Student's 'See' in Numeracy Test Items? / Diezmann, Carmel; LOWRIE, Thomas.

    In: International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, Vol. 10, No. 6, 2012, p. 1469-1490.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - LOWRIE, Thomas

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