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Lesson Plans

Re:visual/spatial thinking -long post

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sheryl McCoy (sheryl)
Sun, 13 Dec 1998 15:40:04 -0700

Dear Lily and ArtsEdNet friends:

This is a very long post, but it is research info for several of our threads: visual/spatial thinking, use of technology in art, why art is important, performance assessment, etc.

Please note that this type of research supports my general hypothesis that the school experience should be one of enrichment for each and every child, no matter where we meet them on their journey through life.

I will leave the information about the listserv that I received this from in case you would like to join. I have found the information from this listserv helpful to me as teacher.

Article transfered through listserv, this is the intro from forwarder:

"The following is a copy of an article that appeared on page 28 of the December 9, 1998 edition of Education Week."

I would suggest that the issues raised are at the heart of the importance of Technology Education and warrant further study and documentation.

The article also presents what may be one of the most convincing arguments for technology studies at all grade levels, but especially in comprehensive
high schools.

Randy Schaeffer

Randy Schaeffer, Coordinator
FIRST Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition
c/o Ethicon Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company
Public Affairs, Room F101
P.O. Box 151
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 412-1117 (v)
(908) 412-1118 (f)


Education Week, December 9, 1998, page 28


The ability to visualize a project in several dimensions and to understand mechanics is important for engineers, physical scientists, architects, and

But, unlike gifted mathematics students, students who are spatially talented often become classic underachievers in school, a report in the fall issue of the American Educational Research Journal says.

Three researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign sifted through survey data on a national sample of 1,600 gifted high school seniors. Roughly half the students had scored in the top 1 per-cent of their gender on a test of mathematical skills, and the rest had similarly high spatial-skills scores.

Other test scores showed that all the students were capable of succeeding in school. But, for the spatially gifted students, academic success turned out
to be much harder to grasp.

Even though the students in the spatial group had higher grades than the mathematically oriented stu-dents in vocational and business courses, they
did worse in science, English, history, social studies, and foreign languages - all the courses required for college admission.

Spatially gifted students also received less college guidance from school counselors, were less motivated by their lessons, and aspired to -and achieved - lower levels of academic and occupational success. Only 8 percent of the boys in the spatially oriented group, for example, went on to earn doctoral degrees, compared with 36 percent of the mathematically
talented boys.

The study's Achilles' heel: The data date back to 1960. Still, the researchers say, their findings may well apply to schools today.

In the 1990s, as in the 1960s, college-admissions tests focus narrowly on gauging verbal and mathemat-ical aptitudes. The researchers believe that
emphasis influences high school educators to do the same.

Students with spatial talents certainly appear to be discouraged or not encouraged to go on, and that's a waste of their abilities and talents;' says Carol L. Gohm, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois. Her co-authors on the report are Lloyd G. Humphreys, a professor emeritus in psychology at the university, and Grace Yao, who is now an assistant professor of psychology at National Taiwan University.

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On Sun, 13 Dec 1998 16:52:26   Lily Kerns wrote:
>I have a dyslexic grandson and just came across this article which I thought
>might be of interest to art teachers whether you have any dyslexic
>students or not.
>The article focuses on visual/spatial thinking as compared to visual/verbal
>processing and two areas in which dyslexics may be outstanding:
>"The understanding/awareness/management of 3D form and space;
>The understanding/awareness/management of innovative composition. "

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