Spatial Reasoning

Spatial reasoning
Research: The Journal of Educational Psychology published a paper that links spatial reasoning to academic achievement in STEM-related subjects, particularly engineering and mathematics. Spatial reasoning refers to one’s ability to understand relationships among objects in space. It can be taught by maneuvering material through physical space, including activities that are generally linked to play—such as playing with blocks or Legos, knitting, doing puzzles, and playing games. The skills children build in these arenas (while not overtly related to STEM content) can actually improve their ability to perform in STEM-related subjects.

Practice: This evidence strengthens the importance we place on hands-on activities and play during the school day. While most schools refer to drama, art, design, geography, or PE as electives that are too easily eliminated from a student’s day, we recognize their importance and can easily incorporate them into a student’s schedule. Students have access to makerspace activities, puzzles, and games during their free time. While they aren’t directly working on STEM content, their brains are being prepared to do so in ways that they find rewarding and fun.