>The picture looked fine, but it didn't help me draw what I could see. I also
>did a miserable job at geometry at that point! Later on, I understood
>perspective techniques and could use them (and teach them!) I think that
>students brains need to "be in the right place" for this type of drawing, and
>that there must be a developmental component.
I agree with this observation. I had the fortune or misfortune of having to teach grade 7 math one semester. It made me realize how much of conceptual thinking is developmental. Some kids do well with higher order thinking skills at an earlier age because they are good are "parroting" skills without really thinking them through. If we are truly trying to teach thinking skills we must be aware of what capacity they have mentally. Some of our students just aren't developed enough to get it yet. I was one of those slow bloomers also. When I got, it I got it though. For reference I loved math as a youngling, but was slower to get it in junior high and so by high school hated it. My teachers pushed me and I became frustrated and gave up. This made me realize that not everyone is good at everything at the same time and that we need to focus on the positives. Thinking skills can and should be taught in a number of ways and always with an eye open for what they can do developmentally. I found it interesting that you said it was boys that were the most frustrated with perspective. As I recall boys develop this thinking skill later than girls and are stronger in spatial abilities as an adult.
Live life out of your imagination not your history.