Supporting Spatial Thinking Translating Research into Practice Carol

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Supporting Spatial Thinking: Translating Research into Practice Carol J. Ormand, SERC, Carleton College With

Supporting Spatial Thinking: Translating Research into Practice Carol J. Ormand, SERC, Carleton College With thanks to The National Science Foundation The Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC) Thomas F. Shipley, Psychology, Temple University The GET Spatial Learning Network The Spatial Thinking Workbook team

Supporting Spatial Thinking “Spatial thinking is pervasive: it is vital across a wide range

Supporting Spatial Thinking “Spatial thinking is pervasive: it is vital across a wide range of domains of practical and scientific knowledge; yet it is underrecognized, undervalued, underappreciated, and therefore under-instructed. ” Learning to Think Spatially, National Research Council, 2006 If you could teach your students how to do one spatial thinking task that they struggle with, what would it be?

Spatial Thinking Challenges • Reading a map • Identifying locations, coordinate systems • Identifying

Spatial Thinking Challenges • Reading a map • Identifying locations, coordinate systems • Identifying structures on a geologic map • Weather maps – imagining the atmosphere as a 3 D volume, inferring 3 D features from a 2 D representation • Rotating things into real coordinates – slides, hand samples • Scaling up and scaling down • Extrapolating from the scale of a laboratory experiment to the world • Translating stereographic projections into reality • Translating 2 D cross-sections into reality, into 3 D • Drawing a map, finding the right locations; thinking in map view • Interpolating data, in real space and in abstract representations • How can two points on the same (rigid) tectonic plate have different velocities? • “Seeing” the 3 D in a block diagram, reading depth in a perspective diagram • • Seeing the 3 rd dimension in field settings Visualizing change over time

Workshop Agenda • What is spatial thinking? • What spatial thinking tasks are challenging

Workshop Agenda • What is spatial thinking? • What spatial thinking tasks are challenging for our students? • BRIEF overview of spatial thinking research • Strategies & tools that support the development of spatial thinking skills • Examples of curricular materials aligned with cognitive science research, and the strategies and tools they employ • Spatial Thinking Workbook activities • GET Spatial Learning Network activities • Others? as suggested by your interests BREAK • How to choose a tool / strategy for a given challenge? • Work time / exploration of resources • Wrap up

Spatial thinking includes (but is not limited to)… • Mental rotation: imagining rotating an

Spatial thinking includes (but is not limited to)… • Mental rotation: imagining rotating an object • In cognitive science research, mental rotation skills have served as a proxy for all spatial thinking until quite recently. Data from many different sources suggest this is insufficient.

Spatial thinking includes (but is not limited to)… • Disembedding: attending to • Perspective

Spatial thinking includes (but is not limited to)… • Disembedding: attending to • Perspective taking: imagining one aspect of a complex looking at an object or scene from a different direction

Spatial thinking includes (but is not limited to)… • Volumetric thinking: visualizing a 3

Spatial thinking includes (but is not limited to)… • Volumetric thinking: visualizing a 3 D volume, including its interior

Spatial thinking includes (but is not limited to)… • Scaling: understanding the • Navigation:

Spatial thinking includes (but is not limited to)… • Scaling: understanding the • Navigation: finding one’s scale of objects represented way through physical space in scaled images

Thinking back to the task you want to help your students with. . .

Thinking back to the task you want to help your students with. . . Is there a task that doesn’t fit into one or more of those categories? If so, what is it?

Workshop Agenda • What is spatial thinking? • What spatial thinking tasks are challenging

Workshop Agenda • What is spatial thinking? • What spatial thinking tasks are challenging for our students? • BRIEF overview of spatial thinking research • Strategies & tools that support the development of spatial thinking skills • Examples of curricular materials aligned with cognitive science research, and the strategies and tools they employ • Spatial Thinking Workbook activities • GET Spatial Learning Network activities • Others? as suggested by your interests BREAK • How to choose a tool / strategy for a given challenge? • Work time / exploration of resources • Wrap up

Research Findings • Spatial thinking skills are essential in STEM (e. g. Uttal et

Research Findings • Spatial thinking skills are essential in STEM (e. g. Uttal et al. , 2013) • Students with stronger spatial thinking skills may be more likely to persist and to succeed in STEM (e. g. Wai et al. , 2009; Sorby et al. , 2013)

including students in upper-level geoscience courses, bring a wide range of spatial skills to

including students in upper-level geoscience courses, bring a wide range of spatial skills to the classroom Distribution of Vandenberg & Kuse (1978) Mental Rotation pre-test scores for students in upper -level courses. Data from Ormand et al.

Spatial thinking is not a single skill (nor is it limited to the small

Spatial thinking is not a single skill (nor is it limited to the small selection shown below) a. Mental rotation (MRT-A) b. Mental slicing: geometric solids (Planes of Reference) c. Slicing: minerals d. Slicing: geologic block diagrams

Spatial thinking is not a single skill, and these skills correlate with general intelligence

Spatial thinking is not a single skill, and these skills correlate with general intelligence and with each other to varying degrees (e. g. Ormand et al. , 2014) Scores on the Geologic Block Cross-sectioning Test vs. the Vandenberg & Kuse Mental Rotation Test (N=142). Although R=0. 40, indicating a statistically significant correlation of these two skills, some students who excel at visualizing a cross-section through a geologic block diagram have weak

Spatial skills are malleable and / but there is a test-retest effect for many

Spatial skills are malleable and / but there is a test-retest effect for many spatial thinking tests N = 31

What strategies do we, as geoscientists, use to support and communicate about our own

What strategies do we, as geoscientists, use to support and communicate about our own spatial thinking? Find a partner. While one of you describes what you think the inside of this block looks like, the other will pay attention to what methods the first person uses to convey that information. Then trade roles.

Tools / Strategies that Support the Development of Spatial Thinking Skills • • PRACTICE!

Tools / Strategies that Support the Development of Spatial Thinking Skills • • PRACTICE! Gesture Predictive sketching Spatial prediction w/ feedback Analogy Comparison Models (physical, computer) Thinking about what processes could produce the observed 3 D configuration • Others? Interestingly, minor adjustments can make our expert strategies more effective as teaching tools.

Predictive sketching with immediate spatial feedback Laboratory experiments explored the effect of sketching vs.

Predictive sketching with immediate spatial feedback Laboratory experiments explored the effect of sketching vs. visualizing on students’ ability to visualize object interiors. Sketchers visualize more accurately. • 64 undergraduate psychology students (half in each condition) • Pre- and post-test: 7 items from the Geologic Block Cross-sectioning Test • Experimental condition: make predictive sketches, for each of a series of progressive slices through Play. Doh “models” of geologic structures • Control condition: place colored dots where you expect the center of each layer to be, for each of the same series of progressive slices through the same models Gagnier, Kristin Michod, Kinnari Atit, Carol J. Ormand, and Thomas F. Shipley (2017). Comprehending Diagrams: Sketching to Support Spatial Reasoning. Topics in Cognitive Science, v. 9, n. 4, pp. 883– 901.

Gesturing Laboratory experiments explored the effect of subjects gesturing vs. verbally describing the structures

Gesturing Laboratory experiments explored the effect of subjects gesturing vs. verbally describing the structures shown in geologic block diagrams on their ability to visualize interiors. Note: it’s not just that better visualizers gesture more accurately. Students who gesture develop the capacity to visualize more accurately. Also, gesturing is more powerful than watching an instructor gesture. Photo by Tim Shipley Atit, K. , Gagnier, K. M. , & Shipley, T. F. (2015). Student gestures aid penetrative thinking.

Visual comparison to identify salient differences Humans find it much easier to identify salient

Visual comparison to identify salient differences Humans find it much easier to identify salient features when asked to identify the key differences between similar objects. Gentner, D. , and Markman, A. B. (1994). Structural alignment in comparison: No difference without similarity. Psychological Science, v. 5, pp. 152 -158.

Workshop Agenda • What is spatial thinking? • What spatial thinking tasks are challenging

Workshop Agenda • What is spatial thinking? • What spatial thinking tasks are challenging for our students? • BRIEF overview of spatial thinking research • Strategies & tools that support the development of spatial thinking skills • Examples of curricular materials aligned with cognitive science research, and the strategies and tools they employ • Spatial Thinking Workbook activities • GET Spatial Learning Network activities • Others? as suggested by your interests BREAK • How to choose a tool / strategy for a given challenge? • Work time / exploration of resources • Wrap up

The Spatial Thinking Workbook: curricular materials informed by cognitive science research Sketching (esp. predictive)

The Spatial Thinking Workbook: curricular materials informed by cognitive science research Sketching (esp. predictive) Gesture Analogical reasoning Progressive alignment * * Progressive alignment is the process of moving from the comparison of very similar to less similar objects, in order to identify salient differences. X Mineralogy Structural Geology Sedimentology & Stratigraphy

The Spatial Thinking Workbook: curricular materials informed by cognitive science research

The Spatial Thinking Workbook: curricular materials informed by cognitive science research

The Spatial Thinking Workbook: Instructional Strategies

The Spatial Thinking Workbook: Instructional Strategies

GET Spatial Learning Network: curricular materials informed by cognitive science research

GET Spatial Learning Network: curricular materials informed by cognitive science research

GET Spatial Learning Network: curricular materials informed by cognitive science research Spatial Feedback Spatial

GET Spatial Learning Network: curricular materials informed by cognitive science research Spatial Feedback Spatial Accommodation X Physical Geology Structural Geology Geophysics Tectonics

GET Spatial Learning Network: examples of spatial clicker questions

GET Spatial Learning Network: examples of spatial clicker questions

Workshop Agenda • What is spatial thinking? • What spatial thinking tasks are challenging

Workshop Agenda • What is spatial thinking? • What spatial thinking tasks are challenging for our students? • BRIEF overview of spatial thinking research • Strategies & tools that support the development of spatial thinking skills • Examples of curricular materials aligned with cognitive science research, and the strategies and tools they employ • Spatial Thinking Workbook activities • GET Spatial Learning Network activities • Others? as suggested by your interests BREAK • How to choose a tool / strategy for a given challenge? • Work time / exploration of resources • Wrap up

Selected References Atit, K. , Gagnier, K. M. , & Shipley, T. F. (2015).

Selected References Atit, K. , Gagnier, K. M. , & Shipley, T. F. (2015). Student gestures aid penetrative thinking. Journal of Geoscience Education, 63(1), 66 -72. Gagnier, Kristin Michod, Kinnari Atit, Carol J. Ormand, and Thomas F. Shipley (2017). Comprehending Diagrams: Sketching to Support Spatial Reasoning. Topics in Cognitive Science, v. 9, n. 4, pp. 883– 901. Gagnier, Kristin Michod, Thomas F. Shipley, Basil Tikoff, Carol J. Ormand, Kinnari Atit, Ilyse Resnick, and Bridget Garnier (2016). Training Spatial Skills in Geosciences: A Review of Tests and Tools. AAPG Memoir 111: 3 -D Structural Interpretation: Earth, Mind, and Machine. Gentner, D. , and Markman, A. B. (1994). Structural alignment in comparison: No difference without similarity. Psychological Science, v. 5, pp. 152 -158. Gold, Anne U. , Philip M. Pendergast, Carol J. Ormand, David A. Budd, and Karl J. Mueller. Improving Spatial Thinking Skills among Undergraduate Geology Students through short online Training Exercises. Submitted to the International Journal of Science Education; accepted pending revisions. Goldin-Meadow, S. (2011). Learning through gesture. WIREs (Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews): Cognitive Science, v. 2, n. 6, pp. 595 -607. Jee, Benjamin D. , David Uttal, Dedre Gentner, Cathryn Manduca, Thomas Shipley, Brad Sageman, Carol J. Ormand, & Basil Tikoff (2010). Analogical thinking in geoscience education: Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 58, n. 1, pp. 2 -13. La. Due, N. D. , & Shipley, T. F. (2018). Click-On-Diagram Questions: a New Tool to Study Conceptions Using Classroom Response Systems. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 1 -16. National Research Council (2006). Learning to think spatially—GIS as a support system in the K-12 curriculum. Washington DC: National Academies Press. 313 pp. Ormand, Carol J. , Cathryn A. Manduca, Thomas F. Shipley, Basil Tikoff, Cara L. Harwood, Kinnari Atit, and Alexander P. Boone (2014). Evaluating Geoscience Students' Spatial Thinking Skills in a Multi-Institutional Classroom Study: Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 62, n. 1, pp. 146 -154. JGE Paper of the Year. Ormand, Carol J. , Thomas F. Shipley, Basil Tikoff, Barbara Dutrow, Laurel Goodwin, Thomas A. Hickson, Kinnari Atit, Kristin Michod Gagnier, and Ilyse Resnick (2017). The Spatial Thinking Workbook: A Research-Validated Spatial Skills Curriculum for Geology Majors. Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 65, n. 4, pp. 423 -434. Resnick, I. , Davatzes, A. , Newcombe, N. S. , & Shipley, T. F. (2017). Using analogy to learn about phenomena at scales outside of human perception. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 2: 21, 1 -17. Sinton, D. S. , Bednarz, S. , Gersmehl, P. , Kolvoord, R. and Uttal, D. (2013). The People’s Guide to Spatial Thinking: National Council for Geographic Education. 81 pp. Sorby, S. (2009). Educational Research in Developing 3 -D Spatial Skills for Engineering Students: International Journal of Science Education, v. 31, n. 3, pp. 459 -480. Sorby, S. , Casey, B. , Veurink, N. , & Dulaney, A. (2013). The role of spatial training in improving spatial and calculus performance in engineering students. Learning and Individual Differences, 26, 20 -29. Uttal, D. H. , Meadow, N. G. , Tipton, E. , Hand, L. L. , Warren, C. , and Newcombe, N. S. 2013. The malleability of spatial skills: A meta-analysis of training studies.