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Why Spatial is Special in Education, Learning, and Everyday Activities

This thematic series, published in Cognitive Research: Principles and Implicationsfocuses on spatial ability and spatial thinking. 

People's thinking about, with, and in space has been extensively studied in the literatures of psychology, education, and other related fields. In the context of education, researchers have shown that spatial ability correlates significantly, over and above mathematical and verbal ability, with students' interest in STEM disciplines, and affects their eventual occupational choices. 

The existence of large individual differences in the extent, accuracy, and flexibility of internal representations of our spatial environments is now stimulating research. The pervasive availability of geospatial information raises concern about negative effects on people’s geospatial literacy and awareness. This special issue aims to bring together articles on questions such as: What is spatial thinking? Is it related to spatial ability and other abilities? To academic achievements in different fields? Can it be taught and trained? Brought into the classroom?

Edited by: 

  • Toru Ishikawa
  • Nora Newcombe

This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer-review process. The Guest Editors declare no competing interests.

  1. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards inspectors are faced with the difficult task of learning the layout of complex nuclear facilities while being escorted through the facilities. This study ad...

    Authors: Mallory C. Stites, Laura E. Matzen and Zoe N. Gastelum

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2020 5:13

    Content type: Original article

    Published on:

  2. Anyone who has ever found themselves lost while driving in an unfamiliar neighborhood or forgotten where they parked their car can appreciate the importance of being able to navigate their environment. Navigat...

    Authors: Vanessa Vieites, Shannon M. Pruden and Bethany C. Reeb-Sutherland

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2020 5:12

    Content type: Original article

    Published on:

  3. Mental rotation (MR) is the ability to transform a mental representation of an object so as to accurately predict how the object would look from a different angle (Sci 171:701–703, 1971), and it is involved in...

    Authors: Scott P. Johnson and David S. Moore

    Citation: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2020 5:10

    Content type: Review article

    Published on: