Relationship between earth-science education and spatial visualization

Nir Orion, David Ben-Chaim, Yael Kali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to look for interrelations between the study of introductory geology courses and the development of spatial-visualization ability. The study was conducted among 32 undergraduate students during their first year of earth sciences study in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The students' spatial-visualization ability was measured at the beginning and at the end of the course by two different validated instruments. Pre- and post-geology scores were analyzed for any significant change and for correlation with final scores in the course. Results indicated that the students' spatial-visualization ability significantly improved after the first geology course was taken. Interviews revealed that the students claimed that only the earth-science courses required spatial-visualization skills. It is suggested that there is a two-way relationship between studying earth science and spatial-visualization skills. It seems that studying earth science itself might improve student spatial-visualization aptitude. The findings also support the notion that males develop better spatial-visualization skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-132
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Geoscience Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Education - geoscience
  • Geology - teaching and curriculum
  • Structural geology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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