ERIC Number: EJ788791
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Reference Count: 40
Middle Grade Students' Interpretations of Contourmaps
Carter, Glenda; Cook, Michelle; Park, John C.; Wiebe, Eric N.; Butler, Susan M.
School Science and Mathematics, v108 n2 p71 Feb 2008
This study examined eighth graders' approach to three tasks implemented to assist students with learning to interpret contour maps. Students' approach to and interpretation of these three tasks were analyzed qualitatively. When students were rank ordered according to their scores on a standardized test of spatial ability, the Minnesota Paper Form Board Task (Likert & Quasha, 1948), evidence emerged that spatial ability was related to how students interpreted the tasks. Students with the relatively lowest spatial ability scores had difficulty picking out the relevant features of the representations used for instruction and despite scaffolding attempts by peers remained unclear about their interpretation. Students with relatively higher spatial ability were able to pick out salient features of the representations used for instruction which resulted in their learning to read and interpret contour maps.
Descriptors: Standardized Tests, Maps, Spatial Ability, Grade 8, Thinking Skills, Middle School Students, Grade 6, Student Attitudes
School Science and Mathematics Association. Texas A&M University, TAMU 4232, College Station, TX 77843. Tel: 979-862-8100; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://ssmj.tamu.edu
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 6; Grade 8
Authoring Institution: N/A