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ERIC Number: ED336199
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Development of Spatial Thinking in Everyday Activity.
Gauvain, Mary
Activity theory is a perspective that is largely rooted in the writing of Soviet psychologists. One of the premises of the theory is that human behavior and thinking occur within meaningful contexts as people conduct purposeful goal directed activity. The primary unit of psychological study should be socially organized human activity, rather than mind or behavior alone. To exemplify this, ethological studies of wayfinding which investigate the use of spatial knowledge in naturalistic contexts are cited, and the use of cultural tools and practices in spatial problem solving is discussed. Several issues relevant to spatial cognition are considered in terms of their relation to Gladwin's study of spatial problem solving among traditional Puluwat navigators. Suggestions on ways of incorporating activity theory in research on the development of spatial thinking are offered. It is noted that one direction of study concerns the investigation of the development and use of materials and social resources in the structuring of spatial problems and the ways developmentalists go about solving them. Another direction involves the examination of spatial thinking in relation to task structure and goals. A final direction involves researchers' queries about what skills develop and the manner in which they develop. A list of 24 references is included. (BC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Activity Theory; Spatial Tasks; Theory Development
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).