Enhancement of spatial ability in girls in a single-sex environment through spatial experience and the impact on information seeking.
Description: The test scores of spatial ability for women lag behind those of men in many spatial tests. On the Mental Rotations Test (MRT), a significant gender gap has existed for over 20 years and continues to exist. High spatial ability has been linked to efficiencies in typical computing tasks including Web and database searching, text editing, and computer programming. The relationships between the components of visuospatial ability and performance are complex. However, research strongly indicates that a connection exists, and further research is necessary to determine the interactions between the variables of environment, genetics, and spatial training. Spatial experience can enhance spatial skills. However, to what extent spatial skills can be enhanced in female adolescents through a spatial curriculum to reduce the gap in scores has not been fully researched, nor has the impact of spatial skill on information seeking. This research project investigated spatial skill in adolescent females by examining (1) the extent to which the intervention of teaching a spatial curriculum in a single-sex setting could improve mental rotation test scores, and (2) the impact of spatial skills on an information seeking task in a single-sex setting. The extent to which a spatial visualization curriculum can improve MRT scores from a pretest to a posttest for girls was the first factor examined using a spatial visualization curriculum. The information seeking task used 4 tasks from a doctoral study and utilized the scholarly journal database JSTOR® (JSTOR, Ann Arbor, MI, www.jstor.org).
Date: December 2008
Creator: Swarlis, Linda L.