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ERIC Number: EJ894388
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
ISSN: ISSN-1571-0068
Exploring Visuospatial Thinking in Learning about Mineralogy: Spatial Orientation Ability and Spatial Visualization Ability
Ozdemir, Gokhan
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, v8 n4 p737-759 Aug 2010
This mixed-method research attempted to clarify the role of visuospatial abilities in learning about mineralogy. Various sources of data--including quantitative pre- and postmeasures of spatial visualization and spatial orientation tests and achievement scores on six measures and qualitative unstructured observations, interviews, and field trip notes--were utilized to document the abilities and learning of 27 university students. Results indicated that (a) some students had initial difficulty with certain visual concepts, such as 3D crystal models, symmetry elements, mirror symmetry, rotation, inversion, and combination of symmetry elements while they were learning about mineralogy; (b) learning about mineralogy and spatial ability are two interrelated components; while the mineralogy course improved students' spatial ability, their existing spatial abilities had a strong influence on facilitating mineralogy learning; and (c) spatial visualization skill is a better predictor of mineralogy achievement than spatial orientation skill. While the discussions highlighted the role of visuospatial thinking in learning about mineralogy, it is argued that researchers and curriculum developers should focus on the productive role of visuospatial thinking in learning about science.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A