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Educating Spatial Intelligence. Nora S. Newcombe Temple University Talk at National Geographic Society November 2008. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, Preaching to the Converted. Penn State spatial discussion group UC-Santa Barbara NCGIA and Varenius Projects - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Educating Spatial Intelligence

    Nora S. NewcombeTemple University

    Talk at National Geographic SocietyNovember 2008

  • Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, Preaching to the ConvertedPenn State spatial discussion groupUC-Santa Barbara NCGIA and Varenius ProjectsLearning to Think Spatially

  • Nevertheless, Separated Communities Lead to Differences

  • Four ArgumentsSpatial intelligence and learning are importantSpatial intelligence and learning can be improvedThere are sex-linked and SES-linked differences in spatial intelligence--addressing these differences is important for social equitySpatial intelligence and learning are critically under-studiedSpecific educational techniques to foster spatial intelligence are within our grasp

  • Four ArgumentsSpatial intelligence and learning are importantSpatial intelligence and learning can be improvedThere are sex-linked and SES-linked differences in spatial intelligence--addressing these differences is important for social equitySpatial intelligence and learning are critically under-studiedSpecific educational techniques to foster spatial intelligence are within our grasp

  • Spatial Intelligence and Learning Are ImportantIn an evolutionary context, spatial adaptation is vitalIn modern life, spatial thinking is used both in everyday tasks and in reasoning and communicationIn scientific thought and communication, spatial skills are particularly central

  • Basic AdaptationWay Finding

    Tool Making

  • Everyday Life

  • Reasoning and CommunicationGraphs and diagramsInferenceAnalogyMetaphor

  • Performance in STEM DisciplinesPhysicsChemistryBiologyEngineeringMathematicsGeoscience

  • Predicting B.A. Degree AreasFrom Shea, Lubinski & Benbow (2001)

  • What We Still NeedDo improvements in spatial skill translate into greater STEM interest and ability?How important are any such effects?How do such effects compare with other influences, e.g., work-family conflicts?Do such effects reduce sex- and SES-based differences in STEM participation?Does early spatial skill relate to early STEM learning?

  • Four ArgumentsSpatial intelligence and learning are importantSpatial intelligence and learning can be improvedThere are sex-linked and SES-linked differences in spatial intelligence--addressing these differences is important for social equitySpatial intelligence and learning are critically under-studiedSpecific educational techniques to foster spatial intelligence are within our grasp

  • Especially Important For GirlsSpatial Transformation ScoreFrequencyLevine, Huttenlocher, Taylor & Langrock (1999)

  • Social Class Effects and the Male Advantage (Levine, Vasilyeva, Lourenco, Newcombe & Huttenlocher, Psychological Science, 2005)Aerial MapsMental Rotation

  • Not Just Because of Difficulty Level (Levine, Vasilyeva, Lourenco, Newcombe & Huttenlocher, Psychological Science, 2005)

  • Some Prior Reasons To Believe in MalleabilityEffects of practice and trainingBaenninger & Newcombe (1989)Effects of simple instructionsWard, Newcombe & Overton (1986)School effectsHuttenlocher, Levine & Vevea (1998)

  • New Data on MalleabilityNew meta-analysis supports large training effects, as well as durability and transferLiu, Uttal, Marulis, Lewis, Warren, & Newcombe, under reviewDavid Uttal will present this later onTwo specific recent studies on improvement that is durable and transferableTerlecki, Newcombe & Little (Applied Cognitive Psychology, 2008)Wright, Thompson, Ganis, Newcombe & Kosslyn (Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2008)

  • Five Questions about Improvement in Mental Rotation SkillsWhat is the shape of long-term growth trajectories?Does videogame training have effects exceeding simple practice?Do growth trajectories differ for men and women, and for individuals of higher or lower spatial experience?Are practice and training effects durable? Do practice and training transfer, and is transfer durable?

  • TrainingOne hour per week for a semesterTetris or SolitaireWeekly MRT administration

  • Time Course of ImprovementTerlecki, Newcombe & Little, 2008

  • Time Course of ImprovementTerlecki, Newcombe & Little, 2008

  • Improvement is DurableTerlecki, Newcombe & Little, 2008

  • Transfer is Durable and Tetris Augments TransferTerlecki, Newcombe & Little, 2008

  • Five New AimsTraining intensive enough to produce large gains but shorter than a semesterNovel stimuli: to assess stimulus-specific versus general effectsSymmetric look at transfer: A to B and also B to ANon-spatial task to make sure transfer is spatially-specificComponential analysis: intercept versus slope effects

  • Three Tasks

  • Training21 consecutive days, about 20 minutes per dayEither MRT or Paper Folding

  • Transfer Across Spatial TasksWright, Thompson, Ganis, Newcombe & Kosslyn, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2008

  • Transfer Across Spatial TasksWright, Thompson, Ganis, Newcombe & Kosslyn, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2008

  • Goals for New Training StudiesDelineate mechanisms of improvement and possible additivity of methodsAllowing for tailored recommendations about sequencing and aptitude-treatment interactionsTim Shipley will present progress report on an adult study of this kindHow should we best enhance spatial learning in children?Methods that are more play, less workGesture, puzzle play, paper folding, block playTraining in different SES groups

  • More GoalsWhat are the neural correlates of improvements?Do they provide clues as to mechanism?How do we improve way finding skills?Is there far transfer from visualization to way finding and vice versa?(Again) What are the implications of improvements for STEM learning? Different at various ages?Different for different disciplines or sub-areas?

  • Four ArgumentsSpatial intelligence and learning are importantSpatial intelligence and learning can be improvedThere are sex-linked and SES-linked differences in spatial intelligence--addressing these differences is important for social equitySpatial intelligence and learning are critically under-studiedSpecific educational techniques to foster spatial intelligence are within our grasp

  • Spatial FrameworkTwo spatial framesObject (internal relations that define shape)Scene (external relations that define relations among objects)Two temporal propertiesStatic (unchanging relations)Dynamic (changing relations)

  • The 2 by 2 Framework

    ObjectStaticDynamicScene

  • One Application of the Framework: Language

    Manner VerbObjectStaticDynamicScenePath VerbPrepositionNoun

  • The Third Dimension:ScaleDifferent processes for different scales (particularly peri-personal space)Object versus scene at many scales

  • Domain General ProcessesThere are many such processes and most of them are relevant to spatial learningIn SILC, we have been concentrating on:AnalogyGestureWorking memoryPerceptual learningIn addition, specific skills (e.g., understanding diagrams) involves non-spatial content mastery (e.g., of diagrammatic conventions)

  • Symbolic RepresentationLanguageBrings up classic language and thought issuesSpatial representationsMapsGraphsDiagrams

  • Static Scene Representations:Hierarchical Coding ModelCategorical or qualitativeFine-grained or coordinate or metricBayesian combinationLeads toMethod to diagnose categoriesWork on natural scenes and geoscience expertiseWay to think about developmentWay to think about neural bases of spatial codingAnjan Chatterjee will talk about this later

  • Dynamic Representations:Mental Transformations May Be Formally But Not Psychologically EquivalentRotate object (or array) vs move viewer

  • *Dynamic Scene RepresentationsNavigation can be guided byEgocentric codingAllocentric codingLandmarks/place learningGradients such as slopeDaniele Nardi will present work on this laterMost work of this kind is on groups or normative developmentindividual differences?

  • *Morris Water Maze

  • *Morris Water Maze

  • The Emergence of Place Learning

    Considerable evidence, from a wide variety of techniques, that place learning depends on hippocampusAnimal studies: e.g., Morris, Garrud, Rawlins, & OKeefe (1982)Human studies: e.g., Holdstock et al. (2000) Place learning seems to emerge between 18 and 24 months of age

  • *New Research Questions

    Are there individual differences in early place learning abilities?Do language and spatial representations develop independently?What is the relationship between the developing brain and emergent behavior?

  • *Balcomb & NewcombeSubjectsChildren aged 16-24 monthsMaterials10 diameter carpeted circle divided into quadrantsBattery operated puzzleTask Locate puzzle hidden under carpetRemember puzzle location

  • *

  • *ProceduresFamiliarizationLearning 4 trials to learn the puzzles locationDifferent points of entryTestSame as learning trialsNo puzzleControlControl for motivation & walking speedPuzzle clearly visible

  • Spatial Results

  • Space and LanguageIntercorrelations between language and spatial searches

    Measure Nouns Verbs Preps# times goal found # searches under other Nouns--.87.72.21 (.34).36 (.09) Verbs--.80.11 (.61).34 (.10)Preps--.42 (.05).20 (.34) # times goal found---.2 (.35)

  • Conclusions and ImplicationsPlace learning and expressive language develop independently in 16-24 month old childrenBUT--Acquisition of prepositions and place learning do correlateIndividual diff

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