Spatial Cognition and STEM Learning: When, How and Why?

November 19, 2014, 12:30 - 1:30 pm

Wisconsin Idea Room 159, Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall

David Uttal

Northwestern University, Professor of Psychology

David Uttal

Past studies have demonstrated a correlation between spatial ability and STEM achievement, but recent examination reveals that spatial ability is really not so important at the expert level. This result leads to the hypothesis that spatial ability matters early in STEM learning, but becomes less important as students progress. Thus, interventions that help students get through the "spatial gateway" could substantially improve STEM performance. Dr. Uttal’s talk will consider evidence regarding how spatial ability can be increased and whether doing so increases STEM achievement.