Monitoring the own spatial thinking in second grade of primary education in a Spanish school: Preliminary study analyzing gender differences

María José Contreras, Chiara Meneghetti, David H. Uttal, Laura M. Fernández-Méndez, Antonio Rodán, Pedro R. Montoro

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Previous studies on metacognitive performance have explored children’s abilities during primary school (7–11 years) in abstract and mathematical reasoning tasks. However, there have been no studies evaluating the metamemory processes with spatial tasks in primary school children, and even more generally, only a few studies have explored spatial metacognition in adults. Taking as a preliminary study a Spanish school, the present work explores the validity of the confidence judgment model when thinking about one’s own performance in a spatial test, for boys and girls in Second Year of Primary Education (mean age of 7 years). A total of 18 boys and 15 girls applied a 4-point scale to evaluate, item by item, the confidence of their responses in the Spatial aptitude test “E” of the EFAI-1 (Factorial Assessment of Intellectual Abilities to mentally process visual stimuli). Accessibility and Accuracy Indexes were calculated for each item of the spatial task. The effect of gender was analyzed too. The tasks were administered in small groups; at the end examiners interviewed each participant, performing the confidence judgment task, item by item, of the EFAI-1 previously answered. The results (analyses carried out by SPSS) showed a high mean confidence (3 mean points out of a maximum of 4), without finding any significant differences either in the spatial performance or in the mean confidence rating between boys and girls. A significant relationship between confidence judgments and spatial task performance accuracy was found. The relationship between confidence judgments and spatial performance cannot be confirmed. The procedure adapted for testing spatial judgments about the own responses has been useful for showing the well calibrated perception about performance at this stage. The implications of the results of this exploratory study and the potential of the application of the procedure to promote thought about one’s own spatial performance and the development of strategies that modulate the effective approach of this type of spatial tasks are discussed within an educational approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number237
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


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