A comparison of the affect of two types of student behavior with manipulatives on the development of projective spatial structures



The primary problem investigated was whether examining materials from a variety of perspecitives enhances the development of projective spatial abilities more than examining materials from a single perspective. A secondary consideration dealt with gender effects. One hundred and five (56 females and 49 males) fifth grade students were randomly assigned to one of four groups. Two teachers taught two classes apiece-one receiving instruction encouraging examination of materials from a single perspective, the other from multiple perspectives. All four groups received instruction consisting of access to manipulatives-SCIIS, 2nd edition, Level 5. Instruction occurred twice a week, 45 minutes per session, for 6 weeks. The experimental design was the Solomon Four Group Design. A Battery of 8 Piagetian-type tasks were used to assess possession of the projective groupings. The main and interactive effects of pretesting were determined to be negligible, while the treatment was determined to have a statistically significant effect on the development on projective spatial abilities. Gender was determined to have no direct effect on the dependent variables.