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|Title:||Representational Competence and Spatial Thinking in STEM|
|Publisher:||Boulder, CO: International Society of the Learning Sciences|
|Citation:||Stieff, M., Lira, M., & DeSutter, D. (2014). Representational Competence and Spatial Thinking in STEM. In Joseph L. Polman, Eleni A. Kyza, D. Kevin O'Neill, Iris Tabak, William R. Penuel, A. Susan Jurow, Kevin O'Connor, Tiffany Lee, and Laura D'Amico (Eds.). Learning and Becoming in Practice: The International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2014. Volume 2. Colorado, CO: International Society of the Learning Sciences, pp. 987-991.|
|Abstract:||Spatial ability predicts success in STEM fields, particularly chemistry. As such, new educational models have called for learning environments that improve spatial ability. These environments neglect the role of representational competence in supporting spatial thinking in individual STEM fields. This short paper reports a preliminary investigation concerning the unique contribution of representational competence to spatial thinking in the discipline of organic chemistry. Using authentic disciplinary tasks we show that student achievement and response time depends more upon their developing representational competence in chemistry than mental rotation ability and that the format of a disciplinary representation can significantly mediate spatial thinking. Given these findings we argue that new learning environments that target representational competence may be more effective at supporting spatial thinking than those that attempt to train generic spatial ability.|
|Appears in Collections:||ICLS2014|
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