New teaching tactics? Verbal and spatial skills may be inextricably linked in the brain

Conventional tests can underestimate a student’s ability to learn. Sociocultural barriers, test anxiety, and differences in brain development rates can skew results. In principle, neuroscience tools that allow observation of brain activity could better characterize learning gains. But neuroscience and education have not always formed successful partnerships.

New search which combines the two domains more advantageously suggests that when students use spatial skills in the classroom, the benefits extend beyond spatial understanding to other types of thinking, such as mentally deciphering a problem at a time. word help.

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Because it’s unethical to send students to classes they don’t want to take — for research, anyway — investigators took a different tack. Students had the opportunity to follow aGeospatial Semestercourse in which they constructed and evaluated geographic datasets using digital resources. The researchers paired students who chose the geospatial course with peers who chose a different but equally challenging science course, creating two groups that were as similar as possible.

Students in the geospatial class started with lower reasoning and spatial thinking scores similar to their counterparts in the other class. But after completing the geospatial course, students in this group improved significantly more than their peers on most measures.

The most intriguing result for the researchers supported the mental model theory: Improvements in these students’ verbal reasoning tracked their improvements on spatial tests, suggesting that where spatial thinking has sharpened, verbal reasoning has improved. is also sharpened.

This is an excerpt. Read the original article here.