Spatial ability for university biology education

Juan C. Castro-Alonso*, David H. Uttal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studying and pursuing careers of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields demand spatial ability. Completing a university degree in biology is no exception. The aim of this study is to summarize key findings showing that there is a two-way relation between university biology education and spatial ability. The first aspect of this relation is the most investigated: spatial ability facilitates learning biology. However, the other aspect is also possible: learning biology may improve spatial ability. We present empirical evidence to support both possibilities. The focus is on university biology, and the spatial abilities of mental rotation and mental folding (spatial visualization). We present findings showing that these spatial abilities affect university biology learning and achievement from textual and visual materials. We also present correlational studies and experiments showing that university biology learning positively affects mental rotation and mental folding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Human Factors in Training, Education, and Learning Sciences - Proceedings of the AHFE 2018 International Conference on Human Factors in Training, Education, and Learning Sciences, 2018
EditorsAleksandra Polak-Sopinska, Salman Nazir, Anna-Maria Teperi
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages283-291
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783319938813
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
EventAHFE International Conference on Human Factors in Training, Education, and Learning Sciences, 2018 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jul 21 2018Jul 25 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
Volume785
ISSN (Print)2194-5357

Other

OtherAHFE International Conference on Human Factors in Training, Education, and Learning Sciences, 2018
CountryUnited States
CityOrlando
Period7/21/187/25/18

Keywords

  • Biology
  • Mental folding and spatial visualization
  • Mental rotation
  • STEM
  • Spatial ability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science(all)

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  • Cite this

    Castro-Alonso, J. C., & Uttal, D. H. (2019). Spatial ability for university biology education. In A. Polak-Sopinska, S. Nazir, & A-M. Teperi (Eds.), Advances in Human Factors in Training, Education, and Learning Sciences - Proceedings of the AHFE 2018 International Conference on Human Factors in Training, Education, and Learning Sciences, 2018 (pp. 283-291). (Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing; Vol. 785). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93882-0_28