What improves spatial thinking? Evidence from the Spatial Thinking Abilities Test

Robert Bednarz, Jongwon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Geography educators have been, and continue to be, interested in spatial thinking, especially since they have been convinced of its importance in their students’ ability to learn and do geography. As they developed strategies to improve students’ spatial thinking, they searched for assessment instruments to evaluate their interventions’ effects. Because they and we found existing psychometric tests of spatial ability lacking, we developed the Spatial Thinking Ability Test. This article reviews 22 research studies that have used the test to assess spatial thinking. Both instructional strategies or methods and individuals’ characteristics that lead to, or are associated with, improved spatial thinking are identified. Suggestions for further research are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-280
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • assessment
  • Spatial thinking
  • STAT
  • STEM


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