新闻稿
发表: 2022年2月10

Spatial training with blocks and puzzles could unlock the UK's mathematical potential

A sustained focus on spatial reasoning training could turn the UK into a science, 技术, engineering and mathematics (STEM) powerhouse by improving young people's mathematics skills, according to new research from the 正规靠谱的网赌软件

The Surrey study found that teaching spatial skills – particularly with the use of blocks, puzzles and other physical manipulatives – is highly effective at improving mathematics performance. The team also found that physical spatial reasoning training was far more effective than digital sessions. 

凯蒂Gilligan-Lee博士, co-author of the study and Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at the 正规靠谱的网赌软件, 说: 

"Our research confirms that when children learn the relationship between space and shapes through tangible physical tools such as puzzles, their mathematics performance improves. This is critical information for us all, 尤其是父母, teachers and decision-makers, at a time when the UK is lagging behind its international competitors when it comes to STEM skills."    

Spatial reasoning is defined as a person's ability to think about shapes and space in two and three dimensions, and previous research has shown that spatial reasoning is crucial for daily living, 例如, 导航到工作, filling the dishwasher, and putting on your shoes. 

十大正规网赌软件, which was conducted in partnership with the University of Toronto and the University of Maryland, also highlights the importance of not restricting the teaching of spatial reasoning to young children as they found evidence of mathematical gains in older groups past the age of seven.  

Dr Zack Hawes, co-author of the study and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, 评论道: 

"Despite these and other findings that demonstrate the fundamental importance of spatial thinking for STEM learning and performance, spatial thinking remains a neglected aspect of educational practice and policy. We hope the current findings inspire new research, 专业实践, and insights into the ways in which spatial thinking may be used to make learning more engaging, 可访问的, 和公平." 

十大正规网赌软件 has been published by the American Psychological Association and details a meta-analysis on how spatial reasoning training impacted the mathematical abilities of 3,700 participants aged between three to 20 years old.  

In a 2021 open letter to the UK Government, the Institute of Engineering and Technology estimated a shortfall of over 173,000 workers in the science, 技术, engineering and mathematics sectors, with an average of 10 unfilled roles per business in the UK. 这封信, signed by 150 of the UK's top firms, warned that if the country did not plug this skills gap, it would cost the economy £1.每年50亿. This research suggests that spatial skill training could be a novel, untapped avenue for improving STEM skills. 

参考 

霍斯,Z. C. K.Gilligan-Lee K. A., & 混合,K. S. (2022). Effects of spatial training on mathematics performance: A meta-analysis. Developmental Psychology, 58(1), 112-137. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0001281

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