About this Research Topic
We aim to unpack the relationship between spatial ability and performance in STEM learning. We are also interested in closely related abilities or other models of cognition including memory models. Studies that examine the relationship between spatial ability and many important tasks in STEM including problem solving, design, creativity and conceptual understanding across all STEM subjects and disciplines are relevant to this Research Topic. The potential for transfer of development of spatial ability to improved performance in STEM through interventions that are separated from or integrated with STEM learning deserves further examination. How findings from studies by cognitive psychologists in a laboratory setting can inform teaching practice and learning activities in the classroom or how teachers can be supported to promote spatial ability development is an important topic that deserves more attention. We would also like to hear about research methods and techniques that are effective at measuring the relationship between spatial ability and a range of STEM tasks such as problem-solving, especially methods of measuring performance in mental representation of STEM tasks and how such methods are transferable across context and subject area.
We welcome reviews, meta-analyses and original research articles on the following or closely related topics:
• Examining the relationship between spatial ability/related factors of cognition and performance in a range of STEM subjects and tasks including problem-solving, developing conceptual understanding in physics, chemistry and programming
• Studies of the role of spatial ability/related factors of cognition in design-based learning and how it is related to creativity and divergent problem-solving
• Developmental studies conducted in a lab environment and how these can transfer to a classroom setting
• Spatial ability development in the classroom or informal STEM learning environments that is separated from or integrated with STEM learning
• Teacher professional development to support spatial ability development beyond existing levels
• How the relationship between spatial ability and STEM learning can vary by gender, region and SES.
Keywords: STEM learning, Gender in STEM, Spatial visualization, Problem-solving, STEM Education, Spatial Ability
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.