Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Liner, Michael Shawn URN etd-07032012-131830 Title Spatial Ability and Achievement in High School Physics Degree Master of Natural Sciences (M.N.S.) Department Natural Sciences (Interdepartmental Program) Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Slezak, Cyrill Committee Chair Butler, Les Committee Member Moreno, Juana Committee Member Keywords
- high school
Date of Defense 2012-06-29 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis study investigates the relationship between a studentís spatial abilities and their success in high school physics. First, I investigate whether the success of students in high school physics class correlates with their spatial abilities before taking the class. Second, I investigate whether taking high school physics has an effect on studentís spatial abilities. No direct intervention was given to any of the students.
Three instruments were administered to determine the studentís spatial abilities, The Perspective Taking/Spatial Orientation Test (Hegarty & Waller, 2004), The Mental Rotation Test (Peters & Laeng, 1995), and The Paper Folding Test (Ekstrom, French, Harmon, & Derman, 1976). Students were also evaluated on their pre-conceived notions of force and motion using the Force Concept Inventory (Hestenes, Wells, & Swackhamer, 1992). These four instruments as well as the studentís course test averages were evaluated to determine correlation. Results show that there may have been an improvement in spatial abilities as measured by the Mental Rotation Test in the AP course (n=17,p<0.05). However, I did not find any correlation to pre-existing spatial abilities and performance in the course
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