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dc.contributor.authorBuckley, Jeffrey
dc.identifier.citationBuckley,J. (2018). Investigating the role of spatial ability as a factor of human intelligence in technology education: towards a casual theory of the relationship between spatial ability and STEM education. Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Department of Learning in Engineering Sciences, School of Industrial Engineering and Management.en_US
dc.identifier.otherTERG Thesesen_US
dc.identifier.otherTRITA-ITM-AVL 2018:0
dc.description.abstractEducation is a particularly complex discipline due to the numerous variables which impact on teaching and learning. Due to the large effect of human intelligence on the variance in student educational achievement, there is a substantial need to further contemporary understandings of its role in education. Multiple paradigms exist regarding the study of human intelligence. One in particular, the psychometric tradition, has offered many critical findings which have had a substantial impact on STEM education. One of the most significant offerings of this approach is the wealth of empirical evidence which demonstrates the importance of spatial ability in STEM education. However, while categorically identified as important, a causal relationship between spatial ability and STEM is yet to be confirmed As there is insufficient evidence to support a causal investigation, this thesis aims to develop an empirically based causal theory to make this possible. Five studies were conducted to achieve this aim and are described in the appended papers. As the research explores spatial ability in technology education, Paper I examines the epistemological position of technology education within STEM education. Based on the evidence showing spatial ability is important in Science, Engineering and Mathematics, Paper II explores its relevance to Technology. Paper III offers an empirically based definition for spatial ability through a synthesis of contemporary research and illustrates empirically where it has been observed as important to STEM learning. Paper IV examines the perceived importance of spatial ability relative to intelligence in STEM education from the perspective of technology education. Finally, Paper V examines the psychometric relationship between spatial ability and fluid intelligence (Gf) based on a hypothesis generated throughout the preceding papers. The main results of this thesis illustrate the predictive capacity of visualization (Vz), memory span (MS), and inductive reasoning (I) on fluid intelligence (Gf) which is posited to offer a causal explanation based on the creative, innovative, and applied nature of STEM. Additional findings include the observation that learners use problem solving strategies which align with their cognitive strengths, that external representations of problems can scaffold the use of spatial ability or alleviate the need for it, that the variability of knowledge types across STEM sub-disciplines may affect the nature of reasoning within disciplines, and that for technology education specifically, acquiring an explicit knowledge base is not perceived to denote intelligence while the capacity to reason abstractly to solve novel problems is. This epistemological fluidity and focus on reasoning highlights the unique way in which technology education can provide insight into intelligence in STEM education. The implications of these results are discussed with specific focus on their theoretical validity and potential application in applied educational contexts.en_US
dc.publisherKTH Royal Institute of Technology.en_US
dc.rightsAttribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike-3.0 Ireland*
dc.subjectSpatial abilityen_US
dc.subjectTechnology educationen_US
dc.subjectSTEM educationen_US
dc.titleInvestigating the role of spatial ability as a factor of human intelligence in technology education: towards a casual theory of the relationship between spatial ability and STEM education.en_US
dc.publisher.institutionKTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
dc.rights.accessOpen Accessen_US
dc.type.degreetitleDoctoral Thesis in Technology and Learning

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