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Experts urge review of maths teaching after study shows children lack spatial reasoning skills

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Mathematics teaching needs to be rethought because children’s spatial reasoning skills are not developed enough, a new study says.


Pupils who took part in the research struggled with basic geometry problems, suggesting their knowledge about shapes isn’t checked often enough, and there needs to be more space on the curriculum for them to practice what they have learned.

Academics measured children’s spatial reasoning skills by asking them simple questions about which shapes fit together. Pupils could identify a main shape from an images made up of many but struggled to identify others.

Spatial reasoning skills help people to rotate shapes mentally to see how they would look in different directions. This is essential in professions involving IT and engineering. Experts believe the 1,357 grade 4 to 9 students in Japan who took part in the study struggled because they couldn’t both visualize shapes and apply mathematical

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