I am working on this paper : “Spatial Cognition in the Virtual Environment“by Kimberley Osberg. Published in 1997, it doesn’t bring anything new, although it offers a practical way of applying constructivist theories to help a group of children with spatial processing difficulties. Before getting into the experiment details, the author describe a broad range of research concerned with the positive relationship between spatial exercise and spatial processing skills.
With a background based on Piaget’s stages of childhood development, the following paragraph makes an accurate description of one of the main reason that drive my research: the reduction of our spatial realm in the learning environment. She wrotes:
Howard Gardner (1993) is also a strong advocate of “spatial intelligence”, and its relationship to other intelligences and cognition. In Gardner’s view, spatial ability and spatial cognition are the basic building blocks that a child needs in order to develop higher level thinking skills, specifically those that complement verbal processing skills. As we move closer towards being an “intellectual” rather than an “enactive” (Bruner, 1966) learning society, the opportunity and necessity for practice in the spatial realm has been minimized. However, fully half of the population, when tested, indicates a preference for visual rather than verbal learning style. (Kirby et al, 1988) Learning style preference has been given little attention with regard to curriculum or assessment development. Gardner’s answer is to re-integrate development of all of the intelligences that he has identified back into the curriculum, in appreciation of a holistic approach to both individuals and the education process.