Spatial language and gesture


Spatial language and Gesture are two forms of spatial communication. Spatial language includes terms such as “in”, “on”, “left”, “right” and “under”. Gesture is a form of non-verbal communication that uses action to convey meaning. Within the lab we investigate the development of spatial language, and the use of spatial language and gesture as tools to enhance learning particularly in mathematics and science domains. 

Resources for practitioners

Spatial reasoning platform: Our research on spatial reasoning is centred on the relationship between spatial reasoning and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects in early years and primary school children, and the translation of that research into practice. Our spatial reasoning platform showcases relevant projects and resources for practitioners, with a specific focus on the relationship between spatial reasoning and mathematics. We hope you will find these useful to help you learn more about the value of spatial reasoning and how to promote the use of these skills in your setting or classroom. Click here to view our spatial reasoning platform.

Spatial reasoning toolkit: In collaboration with the Early Childhood Maths Group, we summarise recent international research into the development of spatial reasoning from birth to seven years of age and have developed this into a trajectory of early learning experiences. The toolkit, which also includes videos, posters and spatial book lists, aims to clarify the mathematics in early spatial experiences, suggesting what to emphasise in order to support the development of children’s spatial reasoning in sensitive, appropriate and playful ways. Click here to view our spatial reasoning toolkit

Research projects

Completed projects

Start date: February 2023

End date: February 2024

Start date: 2015

End date: 2015

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Take part in our research

We are always looking for volunteers to take part in our research.