Spatial thinking


Spatial thinking is the ability to understand the location (position) and dimensions (e.g., length, size) of objects, and how different objects are related to each other. Our research investigates the development of different types of spatial thinking and how different aspects of spatial thinking are associated with mathematics and science achievement. Beyond associational work, we are interested in understanding whether cognitive interventions targeting spatial skills can be used to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) outcomes in primary school children. 

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