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    First demonstration of effective spatial training for near-transfer to spatial performance and far-transfer to a range of mathematics skills at 8 years

    Gilligan, K.A. and Thomas, Michael S.C. and Farran, E.K. (2019) First demonstration of effective spatial training for near-transfer to spatial performance and far-transfer to a range of mathematics skills at 8 years. Developmental Science , e12909. ISSN 1363-755x.

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    Abstract

    There is evidence that spatial thinking is malleable, and that spatial and mathematical skills are associated (Mix et al., 2016; 2017; Uttal et al., 2013). However, few studies have investigated transfer of spatial training gains to mathematics outcomes in children, and no known studies have compared different modes of spatial instruction (explicit vs. implicit instruction). Based on a sample of 250 participants, this study compared the effectiveness of explicit and implicit spatial instruction in eliciting near transfer (to the specific spatial skills trained), intermediate transfer (to untrained spatial skills) and far transfer (to mathematics domains) at age 8. Spatial scaling and mental rotation skills were chosen as training targets as previous studies have found, and proposed explanations for, associations between these skills and mathematics in children of this age (Mix et al., 2016). In this study spatial training led to near, intermediate and far transfer of gains. Mental visualisation and proportional reasoning were proposed to explain far transfer from mental rotation and spatial scaling skills respectively. For most outcomes, except for geometry, there was no difference in the effectiveness of implicit (practice with feedback) compared to explicit instruction (instructional videos). From a theoretical perspective, the study identified a specific causal effect of spatial skills on mathematics skills in children. Practically, the results also highlight the potential of instructional videos as a method of introducing spatial thinking into the classroom. [Abstract copyright: © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.]

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    SWORD Depositor: Mr Joe Tenant
    Depositing User: Mr Joe Tenant
    Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2019 12:32
    Last Modified: 17 Nov 2019 05:48
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/29623

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