skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Uttal, David H."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract Background Prior research has revealed positive effects of spatial activity participation (e.g., playing with blocks, sports) on current and future spatial skills. However, research has not examined the degree to which spatial activity participation remains stable over time, and little is known about how participating in spatial activities at multiple points in development impacts spatial thinking. In this study, adolescents completed measures of spatial thinking and questionnaires assessing their current and previous participation in spatial activities. Results Participation in childhood spatial activities predicted adolescent spatial activity participation, and the relation was stronger for females than for males. Adolescents’ current participation in spatial activities predicted spatial thinking skills, whereas participation in childhood spatial activities predicted adolescents’ spatial habits of mind, even when accounting for factors such as gender and academic performance. No cumulative benefit was incurred due to participating in spatial activities in both childhood and adolescence, and a lack of spatial activities in childhood was not made up for by later spatial activity participation. Conclusions These findings reveal a consistently positive relationship in spatial activity participation between childhood and adolescence. Results highlight the importance of participating in spatial activities during childhood, and underscore the differential impact that participation inmore »spatial activities during childhood versus adolescence has on different facets of adolescents’ spatial thinking. Implications for the timing of interventions is discussed.« less
  2. The construct of active learning permeates undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), but despite its prevalence, the construct means different things to different people, groups, and STEM domains. To better understand active learning, we constructed this review through an innovative interdisciplinary collaboration involving research teams from psychology and discipline-based education research (DBER). Our collaboration examined active learning from two different perspectives (i.e., psychology and DBER) and surveyed the current landscape of undergraduate STEM instructional practices related to the modes of active learning and traditional lecture. On that basis, we concluded that active learning—which is commonly used to communicate an alternative to lecture and does serve a purpose in higher education classroom practice—is an umbrella term that is not particularly useful in advancing research on learning. To clarify, we synthesized a working definition of active learning that operates within an elaborative framework, which we call the construction-of-understanding ecosystem. A cornerstone of this framework is that undergraduate learners should be active agents during instruction and that the social construction of meaning plays an important role for many learners, above and beyond their individual cognitive construction of knowledge. Our proposed framework offers a coherent and actionable concept of active learningmore »with the aim of advancing future research and practice in undergraduate STEM education.« less