How Much Can Spatial Training Improve STEM Achievement?

Mike Stieff*, David H Uttal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Spatial training has been indicated as a possible solution for improving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) achievement and degree attainment. Advocates for this approach have noted that the correlation between spatial ability and several measures of STEM achievement suggests that spatial training should focus on improving students’ spatial ability. Although spatial ability can be improved with targeted training, few studies have examined specifically the relation between spatial training and STEM achievement. In this brief report, we review the evidence to date for the effectiveness of spatial training. We argue that spatial training offers one of the many promising avenues for increasing student success in STEM fields, but research studies that show such training causally improve retention, achievement, and degree attainment remain outstanding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-615
Number of pages9
JournalEducational Psychology Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Spatial ability
  • STEM education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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