Measures and References: Spatial Skills

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Numerous measures exist to gain a full picture of a student's learning strengths and challenges. Following are examples of measures used to assess this Learner Factor. These measures should be administered and interpreted by experienced professionals.

Block Design subtest (WISC-IV) (Wechsler, 2003): Measures the ability to mentally assemble and analyze abstract visual stimuli in students six to 16 years old.


Blatto-Vallee, G., Kelly, R. R., Gaustad, M. G., Porter, J., & Fonzi, J. (2007). Visual - spatial representation in mathematical problem solving by deaf and hearing students. The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 12(4), 432-448.

Della Sala, S., Gray, C., Baddeley, A., Allamano, N., & Wilson, L. (1999). Pattern span: A tool for unwelding visuo-spatial memory. Neuropsychologia, 37(10), 1189-1199.

Holmes, J., Adams, J. W., Hamilton, C. J. (2008). The relationship between visuospatial sketchpad capacity and children's mathematical skills. European Journal Of Cognitive Psychology, 20(2), 272-289.

Jansen, P., Schmelter, A., Kasten, L., & Heil, M. (2011). Impaired mental rotation performance in overweight children. Appetite, 56(3), 766-769.

Jansen, P., Ellinger, J., & Lehmann, J. (2018). Increased physical education at school improves the visual-spatial cognition during adolescence. Educational Psychology, 38(7), 964-976.

Kyttala, M., & Lehto, J. E. (2008). Some factors underlying mathematical performance : The role of visuospatial working memory and non-verbal intelligence. European Journal of Psychology Education, 23(1), 77-94.

Lauer, J. E., Yhang, E., & Lourenco, S. F. (2019). The development of gender differences in spatial reasoning: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 145(6), 537-565.

Pittalis, M., & Christou, C. (2010). Types of reasoning in 3D geometry thinking and their relation with spatial ability. _Educational Studies in Mathematics, 75(_2), 191-212.

Pruden, S. M., Levine, S. C., & Huttenlocher, J. (2011). Children's spatial thinking: Does talk about the spatial world matter? Developmental Science, 14(6), 1417-1430.

Ungar, S., Blades, M., & Spencer, C. (1996). The construction of cognitive maps by children with visual impairments. In The Construction of Cognitive Maps (pp. 247-273). Springer, Dordrecht.

Uttal, D. H., Meadow, N. G., Tipton, E., Hand, L. L., Alden, A. R., Warren, C., & Newcombe, N. S. (2013). The malleability of spatial skills: A meta-analysis of training studies. Psychological Bulletin, 139(2), 352-402.

Wechsler, D. (2003). Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children—Fourth Edition. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.