The impact of an intervention program on students’ spatial reasoning

Student engagement through mathematics enhanced learning activities

Tom Lowrie, Tracy Logan, Danielle Harris, Mary Hegarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Spatial reasoning skill has consistently been found to be malleable. However, there is little research to date on embedding spatial training within learning frameworks. This study evaluated the effects of a classroom based spatial reasoning intervention on middle school children’s spatial reasoning. Participants included 337 students from 15 classrooms across 6 schools with 8 experimental and 7 control classes. The program was designed for grades 3, 4, 5, and 6. The intervention program was delivered within the Experience-Language-Pictorial-Symbolic-Application (ELPSA) framework and was delivered across 10 weeks by classroom teachers, while the control group received standard mathematics instruction. Results: Children in the experimental classes outperformed the control classes on spatial reasoning at the conclusion of the program. The intervention program received high levels of engagement and evidence for development through the stages of the ELPSA framework.
Conclusions: This paper provides evidence for the effectiveness of a rich spatial training program delivered within a learning framework. This program has applications for spatial thinking in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalCognitive Research: Principles and Implications
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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