Examining differences between preteen groups spatial-scientific understandings: A quasi-experimental study

Jennifer Wilhelm, Christa Jackson, Amber Sullivan, Ronald Wilhelm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The authors examined differences between 2 groups of students spatial-scientific reasoning from pre-to postimplementation of an Earth/Space unit. Using a quasi-experimental design, researchers explored how instructional method and gender affected learning. Treatment teachers employed an integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics curriculum while the control teacher implemented her regular Earth/Space unit. The Geometric Spatial Assessment (GSA), the Purdue-Spatial Visualization Rotation Test, and the Lunar Phases Concept Inventory (LPCI) were used to assess learning. Experimental groups made gains on periodicity LPCI domains while the control made gains on geometric spatial visualization LPCI domains. Only girls made gains on GSA items. This is the first quasi-experimental study to examine students spatial reasoning as they participate in Earth/Space units and to discover gender's role in this spatial development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-351
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2013


  • middle school
  • sex differences
  • spatial visualization
  • STEM integrated curriculum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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