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Cognitive processes and strategies employed by children to learn spatial representations

By Hitendra K. Pillay


Children often have difficulties in learning spatial representations. This study investigated the effect of four different instructional formats on learning outcomes and strategies used when dealing with spatial tasks such as assembly procedures. It was hypothesised that instructional material that imposed least extraneous cognitive load would facilitate enhanced learning. Forty secondary students were presented with four types of instruction; orthographic drawing, isometric drawing, physical model and, isometric and physical model together. The findings provide evidence to suggest that working from physical models caused least extraneous cognitive load compared to the isometric and orthographic groups. The model group took less time, had more correctly completed models, required fewer extra looks, spent less time studying the instruction and made fewer errors. Problem decomposition, forward working and attending to information in the foreground of the graphical representation strategies were analysed

Publisher: Pergamon
Year: 1998
DOI identifier: 10.1016/S0959-4752(97)00030-3
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