The re-emergence of spatial reasoning within primary years mathematics education

Geoff Woolcott, Tracy Logan, Margaret Marshman, Ajay Ramful, Robert Whannell, Tom Lowrie

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


This chapter presents a review of the re-emergence of spatial reasoning in Australiasia as a potentially powerful but under-utilised bridging mechanism between real-world experiences and mathematics teaching and learning. This is the first time a chapter has been solely dedicated to spatial reasoning in the Maathematics Education Research Group of Australasia's (MERGA's) four yearly review and hence the chapter outlines preliminary studies that have formed the basis for the research profiled in the 2016-2019 period. A focus on the primary years (Foundation to Year six) mathematics reflects a resurgence of insights from the 1980's amplified as a research focus on the interaction of spatial reasoning and mathematics development during childhood. Because mathematical concept formation is connected to interaction with the three-dimensional world in both a mathematical and non-mathematical way it will be important to spatialise the primary curriculum. The review includes coverage of the work established Australasian research projects, along with smaller studies and literature emanating from intervention pgorams that are not nominally spatiall, but have spatial underpinnings or spatial reasoning components. While further research is needed to explore teacher knowledge and practice, this chapter acknowledges the valuable contribution and global influence of re-emerging Australasian research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in Mathematics Education in Australasia 2016-2019
EditorsJennifer Way, Catherine Attard, Judy Anderson, Janette Bobis, Heather McMaster, Katherin Cartwright
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9789811542692
ISBN (Print)9789811542688
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'The re-emergence of spatial reasoning within primary years mathematics education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this