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Author(s)

students' learning of the solid visualization in 3D figures

Chow, Hung-keung;

Citation

Issued Date

URL

Rights

2015

http://hdl.handle.net/10722/223641

Three Students Learning of the Solid Visualization in

3D Figures

by

degree of Master of Education,

the University of Hong Kong

August 2015

Declaration

I hereby declare that this dissertation represents my own work and that

it has not been previously submitted to this University, or any other

institution for a degree, diploma or other qualifications.

Signed

August 2015

ii

Acknowledgements

It is fortunate to have Dr. Ida Mok as my academic supervisor and thanks for her

support and guidance throughout my research thus far. She has given me lots of

research ingredients and direction throughout the whole dissertation.

University of Guelph who allow me to use his mental rotation test in this study

and also provide me lots of precious advice on the research methods.

Specially, I would also like to extend by gratefulness and thanks to Principal Lee

and mathematics teachers (Mr. Mok, Mr. Wong, Ms. Chan & Ms. Chow) for the

support of my study. Without their assistance and endurance, this research would

not have been able to be accomplished.

Lastly, I would like to express my sincere thanks to my family and friends (Ms.

Chiu YT, Mr. Lo CM & Ms. Wong CM) for their constant encouragement and

care in my study.

iii

Abstract

In this study, the spatial sense development before and after learning the topic

More about 3D figures was investigated and the spatial sense differences of

junior secondary students among genders and ability groups with similar

social-economical background were analyzed. The performance of secondary 1 to

3 students (N = 374) on a 24 multiple-choice questions of Mental Rotation Test

(MRT) which can reflect students spatial sense (Peters et al., 1995; Vandenberg &

Kuse, 1978) was measured. The results showed that after lesson intervention in S3,

(1) the mean difference of overall spatial sense is statistically significantly

improved at the 0.01 level, (2) the mean difference of the performance in hard

level questions has more significant improvement than the easy and medium level

questions statistically at the .001 level, and (3) the mean difference of the

performance twisted view questions had a significant change than in overlapped

view question at the .001 level.

For gender difference, considerable differences in the MRT of male and female

students in all junior forms were found at 0.001 level in which support the

literatures that male advantage in spatial tasks than female (Hedges & Nowell,

1995; Voyer, 1996; Voyer et al., 1995). In ability group difference, results

revealed that significant differences were found in S2 and S3 top ability students

performance in medium level questions at .05 level, and S3 top ability students

performance in twisted-overlapped view questions at .05 level. It is believed that

moderate and complicated mental rotation was more challenging for most of the

students with low-average ability but not top students from the findings. For the

implications, this study further confirmed that the needs of specific teaching

iv

spatial sense difference among genders or mathematics ability groups.

Table of Contents

Declaration .......................................................................................................... ii

Acknowledgements ............................................................................................ iii

Abstract .............................................................................................................. iv

Table of Contents ............................................................................................... vi

List of Tables ...................................................................................................... ix

List of Figures ................................................................................................... xii

1.

Introduction ................................................................................................. 1

1.1. Introduction ..................................................................................... 1

1.2. The research questions ..................................................................... 3

1.3. Definitions ....................................................................................... 4

1.4.

2.

2.1. Spatial sense .................................................................................... 7

2.2. Spatial sense in mathematics learning ............................................... 9

2.3.

2.4.

2.5.

3.

Summary.......................................................................................... 6

Spatial ability tests and solid visualization .......................................14

The teaching of 3D figures in the Hong Kong curriculum................18

3.1. Introduction ....................................................................................26

3.2. Participants .....................................................................................27

3.3. Research design ..............................................................................30

3.4. Instruments .....................................................................................33

3.5.

3.5.1.

Research integrity ................................................................37

3.5.2.

Procedures of the Mental Rotation Test ................................37

3.5.3.

Pilot test ..............................................................................41

3.5.4.

3.5.5.

4.

Data analysis .......................................................................44

Results ........................................................................................................46

4.1. Introduction ....................................................................................46

vi

4.2.

4.2.1.

Comparison between S1, S2 and S3: Mean score and standard

4.2.2.

Histogram, skewness of S1, S2, S3 pre-test and S3 post-test 55

4.2.3.

Comparison by Gender ........................................................58

4.2.4.

Comparison between ability groups .....................................61

4.3. Inferential Statistical Analysis .........................................................64

4.3.1.

4.3.2.

4.3.3.

4.3.4.

Paired t-test in S3 pre-test and S3 post-test ..........................70

ANOVA test among genders in MRT ...................................72

ANOVA tests among different ability groups in MRT ..........83

4.3.5.

Regression analysis on S3 pre-post tests ..............................94

4.4. Summary.........................................................................................96

5.

Discussion ..................................................................................................97

5.1. Spatial sense development and mathematics learning ......................97

5.2.

5.2.1.

Gender differences in spatial abilities................................. 104

5.2.2.

Ability group differences in spatial abilities ....................... 107

6.

6.1. Summary of the study ...................................................................109

6.2. Educational implications ............................................................... 111

6.3. Limitation and future directions .................................................... 113

7.

8.

8.1. Appendix A: Email approval of using the MRT in this study ......... 123

8.2.

8.3.

8.4.

8.5.

8.6.

Appendix C: Consent form to school principal .............................. 127

Appendix D: Assent and consent forms for students ...................... 129

Appendix E: Passive consent forms for parents ............................. 135

Appendix F: Instruction of Mental Rotation Test (MRT) ............... 139

8.7.

8.8.

8.9.

Appendix H: Performance of the MRT in individual students ........ 145

Appendix I: S3 Scheme of Work (Selected) ...................................154

vii

viii

List of Tables

Table 2.1

space dimension

Table 2.2

and space dimension

Table 2.3

figures

Table 3.1

forms

Table 3.2

abilities

Table 3.3

ability group

Table 3.4

Table 3.5

Table 3.6

Table 3.7

Table 4.1

skewness of academic achievement and MRT performance

in S1

Table 4.2

skewness of academic achievement and MRT performance

in S2

Table 4.3

skewness of academic achievement and MRT performance

in S3 pre-test

ix

Table 4.4

skewness of academic achievement and MRT performance

in S3 post-test

Table 4.5

academic achievement and MRT performance in different

forms

Table 4.6

ranges and skewness of the overall scores in MRT by gender

Table 4.7

ranges and skewness of the overall scores in MRT by ability

group

Table 4.8

Table 4.9

Table 4.10

Table 4.11

Table 4.12

on different levels questions and number of attempted

question within the S3 pre-test and post-test

Table 4.13

Table 4.14

Table 4.15

result of ANOVA for the academic achievement, questions at

different difficulty levels and the no of attempted questions

between genders in S1 MRT

The difference between mean, standard deviation, and the

result of ANOVA for the academic achievement, questions at

different difficulty levels and the no of attempted questions

between genders in S2 MRT

The difference between mean, standard deviation, and the

result of ANOVA for the academic achievement, questions at

different difficulty levels and the no of attempted questions

between genders in S3 pre-test and S3 post-test

Table 4.16

Table 4.17

Table 4.18

Table 4.19

Table 4.20

Table 4.21

result of ANOVA for the academic achievement, questions at

different difficulty levels and the no of attempted questions

between ability groups in S1 MRT

The difference between mean, standard deviation, and the

result of ANOVA for the academic achievement, questions at

different difficulty levels and the no of attempted questions

between ability groups in S2 MRT

The difference between mean, standard deviation, and the

result of ANOVA for the academic achievement, questions at

different difficulty levels and the no of attempted questions

between ability groups in S3 pre-test and S3 post-test

Repeated-measured ANOVA results for the performance of

hard level questions on S3 MRT by time (pre-test an

post-test), genders, ability groups and their interaction

Repeated-measured ANOVA results for the performance of

overlapped view questions on S3 MRT by time (pre-test an

post-test), genders, ability groups and their interaction

Individual regression coefficients of the model on predicting

mean score of the mental rotation post-test

Table 5.1

teaching objectives

Table 5.2

derivation of different level questions in S3 pre-post tests

among genders

xi

List of Figures

Figure 2.1

Figure 2.2

Figure 2.3

Figure 2.4

Figure 2.5

Figure 3.1

Figure 3.2

Figure 3.3

Figure 3.4

Figure 3.5

view)

Figure 4.1

Figure 4.2

Figure 4.3

Figure 4.4

Figure 4.5

among different genders in S1, S2, S3 pre-test and S3

post-test

Figure 4.6

among different ability group in S1, S2, S3 pre-test and S3

post-test

Figure 4.7

and S3 post-test

Figure 4.8

different genders

xii

Figure 4.9a-c

Medium (b) and Hard(c)] in MRT among different genders

overlapped (b) and overlapped-twisted(c)] in MRT among

different genders

Figure 4.11

in S2

Figure 4.12

different ability groups

Figure 4.13

among different ability groups

Figure 4.14

questions in MRT among different ability groups

Figure 5.1

Figure 5.2

Figure 5.3

Figure 5.4

Figure 5.5

xiii

1. Introduction

1.1. Introduction

Since 1999, a reform of junior mathematics curriculum has been implemented in

Hong Kong. Students are required to learn a new topic More about 3D figures

in the section Learning Geometry through an Intuitive Approach (Curriculum

Development Council, 1999) that could not be found in the old secondary

mathematics junior level curriculum in 1985. Students are expected to explore

and visualize geometric properties of 2D and 3D objects intuitively, further

interconnect the knowledge and skills of the measures, shape and space dimension

and other learning dimensions, and apply them to formulate and solve 2D and 3D

problems with various strategies (Curriculum Development Council, 1999, p.10)

which is taught to develop the spatial sense of students.

There are many topics in secondary school mathematics that cover the concept of

the spatial abilities. From the experiences of educators in Hong Kong, spatial

concepts in geometry like finding the curve surface area of a solid such as

cylinder or cone, the orthographic views of different solid patterns and the angle

between planes are common learning difficulties in mathematics. Even the TIMSS

in 2011 confirmed that grade 8 students in Hong Kong, who ranked fourth in the

Geometry dimension, showed the overall mathematics performance in all

domains significantly higher than other countries in the study (Mullis et al., 2012).

According to the Territory-wide System Assessment reports, S3 students

performance in 3D figures was fair, students were weak in dealing with the angles,

lines, and planes associated with 3D figures and relatively regressed slightly in

matching 3D objects from 2D representation (Hong Kong Examinations and

Assessment Authority, 2010). Students are also weak in recognizing the planes of

reflectional symmetries of 3D figures (Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment

Authority, 2013).

On the other hand, for the gender differences in spatial ability, Boys generally

perform better than girls in spatial tasks, girls perform slightly better than boys in

terms of performance in mathematics courses, and there is a positive correlation

between spatial test scores and mathematical test scores (Voyer, 1996, p.564).

Gender differences are most common in the higher range of achievement in

mathematics with girls being less likely to score at the highest levels (Carr et al.,

2008). For the past studies in gender difference, a significant phenomenon that

male has advantage in mathematics is linked to a corresponding benefit in

spatial-visual ability (Maccoby & Jacklin, 1974). On the basis of this research, to

find out whether gender differences exist in spatial abilities in Hong Kong

students, it is hypothesised that male would outperform female in tests of spatial

abilities (especially in three-dimension metal rotation), and the mathematics

achievement of students is positively correlated to the spatial abilities in male

(Casey, Nuttall & Pezaris., 1999; Geary, 1996). The analysis of the performance

of mental rotation and spatial visualisation in different figures will be the main

topic of the research.

The purposes of this research are shown in the following:

1.

before and after learning the topic More about 3D figures in S3?

2.

Are there any considerable differences in the spatial abilities of male and

female students? And between top, high, medium, low and bottom ability

students in S1-S3?

In this study, a junior form (S1-S3) in a Direct Subsidy School (DSS) using

English as the medium of instruction was investigated. The local mathematics

textbook published by a local publisher following the Secondary Mathematics

Curriculum Key Stage 3 of the Education Bureau (Curriculum Development

Council, 1999) was used in the junior form. The teachers were expected to utilize

the textbook, 3D models and manipulatives to teach the content according to the

scope and the content of the textbook. This study can provide fundamental

information of spatial ability of junior secondary school students (S1-S3) and

examine the differences in the spatial abilities of students before and after learning

the topic More about 3D figures (S3).

1.3. Definitions

Spatial sense (ability): It implies the ability to mentally rotate, manipulate, and

twist two- and three-dimension stimulus objects (McGee, 1979, p.909). It is a

kind of ability to make a judgment from the 3D objects that with limited

information. In this study, the mental rotation ability which is one of the important

spatial factors in measuring the spatial senses of students was assessed by using a

spatial ability test.

Spatial ability test: It implies a paper and pencil test in inspecting the spatial

sense ability of the students. Revised Vandeberg & Kuse Mental Rotations Tests

(VKMRT) which are based on the original Vandenberg & Kuse (1978) and

Shepard (Shepard & Metzler, 1971) mental rotation test figures (Peters et. al.,

1995) were used in this study.

different factors. Some previous researches noted that male students outperformed

in mathematics than female due to strong understanding in spatial sense in male

(Royer, Rath, Tronsky, & Marchant, 2002; Sommers, 2000). In this study,

mathematics achievement and spatial sense of students among genders were

investigated.

measured by standardized tests and examinations in the school. It will be used in

classifying students ability group.

School: This study was held in a Direct Subsidy School (DSS) in Hong Kong

with using English as the medium of teaching in class. The school follows the

mathematics curriculum according to the Secondary Mathematics Curriculum Key

Stage 3 (S1-S3) provided by the Education Bureau (Curriculum Development

Council, 1999).

(Measures, Shape and Space Dimension). It covers the contents in (1) reflectional

and rotational symmetries in cubes and tetrahedron, (2) properties of a net solid,

(3) 2D representation of different views in 3D objects, and (4) properties of

simple 3D object such as projection and angles between planes/ lines. In this study,

the contents in More about 3D figures involve the ability of the mental rotation

of the object in considering the three-dimension objects.

1.4. Summary

The ultimate objective of this project is to provide information for educators and

scholars to formulate a picture of relationships between spatial sense and junior

secondary school mathematics learning. By performing spatial type questions in

the study, more ideas and insights of mathematics teaching and learning on the 3D

figures can be found. Indeed, very few investigations on how gender differences

are related to spatial abilities and mathematics achievement in Hong Kong

students were performed in the past. Thus, this research can also clarify the

situation of gender differences in spatial abilities precisely for Hong Kong

students and can fill the gap and contribute to the enrichment of existing literature.

2. Literature Review

The following section characterizes literature related to the background and

direction of this research proposal. It is divided into four parts: (a) Spatial sense,

(b) Spatial sense in mathematics learning, (c) Gender differences in spatial

abilities, (d) Spatial ability tests and solid visualization, and (e) The teaching of

3D figures in the Hong Kong curriculum.

Before discussing the connection between spatial sense and mathematics learning,

it is necessary to define the terminology of spatial sense. By the view of van

Garderen (2006), it is suggested that one of the spatial factors in measuring spatial

sense is spatial visualization, which is related to the use of visual imagery and

spatial imagery. More specifically, McGee (1979, p.893) defined spatial

visualisation as the ability to mentally manipulate, rotate, or twist, or invert a

pictorially presented stimulus objects. To differentiate between visual imagery

and spatial imagery, van Garderen (2006) further pointed out that visual imagery

refers to the representation of the visual appearance of an object, such as its

shape, colour, or brightness while spatial imagery refers to the representation of

the spatial relationships between the parts of an object and the location of objects

in space or their movement (p.497).

researchers (Kimura, 1999; Velez, Silver & Tremaine, 2005) suggested that

spatial ability could be categorize into six different factors: (1) Spatial location

memory: the skill to recall the position of an object in an array, (2) Targeting:

the skill to predict the trajectory of an object in 2D/ 3D space, (3) Spatial

orientation: the skill to figuring the changes of the orientation of an object that

involves the mental rotation of an object in 2D/ 3D space, (4) Spatial

Visualization: the skill to visualize and identify an object being reflected and

rotated in space without the use of mental rotation, (5) Disembedding: the skill to

figure out the embedded object from a complicated figure, and (6) Spatial

Perception: the skill to determine the horizontal and vertical directions on the

graph from a distracted pattern.

mathematics achievement (Battista & Clements, 1996; Guzela & Sener, 2009).

Scribner & Anderson (2005) suggested that having spatial sense to perform spatial

visualization in graphs would be the critical component of graphical

representational skills. For example, a total of 42 students from junior

kindergarten to Grade 2 students from North America were chosen in a lesson

study about the role of 2D and 3D mental rotation in mathematics for young

children (Bruce & Hawes, 2015). The results suggested that the mental rotation

abilities are malleable, and that with practice, they can be improved and it is

possible to accelerate the growth of young childrens mental rotation skills

through a variety of teacher delivered lessons and activities (Bruce & Hawes,

2015, p.341). Arcavi (2003) pointed out that using spatial sense in the practice of

spatial reasoning and spatial visualization could be recognized as the key element

of mathematics reasoning, geometric proofs and problem solving. Booth and

Thomas (1999) believed that the spatial sense could help learners to solve the

problem involving the use of figures and charts in mathematics learning. From all

of the different views of spatial sense, it could be concluded that spatial sense has

a significant role in geometry learning.

In the development of the spatial sense in students, Piaget (1999) suggested that

students around 14 years old would become stable in handling spatial

representation (abstract task) and unable to have further development if they were

not able to develop their abilities in geometry learning. Grattoni (2007) also

believed that some of the students could not cultivate their spatial ability in

secondary school by using their inborn talents, and teachers might provide

specific models, manipulatives or solid visualization software (e.g. SketchUp,

GeoGebra) in order to facilitate spatial sense development in low spatial ability

students.

skills in students. By using the real manipulatives or 3D model in mathematics

lesson, Pedrosa, Barbero & Miguel (2014) agreed that the skills of visualizing

figures can be improved by providing physical 3D objects for students to

manipulate during the lessons. A significant improvement could also be observed

by Ferguson et al. (2008), who suggested providing students with real models in

their hands and letting them understand the method to visualize the 3D figures.

Instead, by applying technology into the classroom task, Piburn et al. (2005)

suggested that the operation of 3D computer objects could considerably cultivate

the development of spatial sense of students. However, some researchers (Battista

et al., 1997) argued that either one (or both) of the manipulatives (real models or

virtual computer 3D objects) might also be used to facilitate the spatial sense

development in the learning classroom.

In addition, Wheatley & Brown (1994) pointed out that students might not eager

to use the spatial ability in problems if they faced the poor situation of learning

and obstacles in spatial sense development. From the teachers perspective,

Guzela & Sener (2009) proposed that teachers could utilize different visual

teaching aids and body language in various teaching strategies. Grattoni (2007)

also reminded teachers to believe that the spatial skills of students can be learnt

but not inherent skills that cannot be taught to students.

Moreover, spatial sense might control the type of understanding model in students.

For a fifth-grade girl study conducted by Brown & Wheatley (1989), the students

with high spatial ability could utilize relational understanding among different

algebra and geometric structure of figure in order to solve the geometry problems.

However, for the low spatial ability students, it was found that they were likely to

apply instrumental understanding that focused on the memorization of procedures

in solving the geometry problems. As conceptual learning could not be facilitated

in the lessons, the students with low spatial sense might have lower mathematical

performance in geometry.

10

Gender differences in mathematics achievement of students are a controversial

research topic in education (Halpern et al., 2007; Leder, Forgasz & Taylor, 2006).

Much evidence suggested that female students often underperform male students

in some international tests, especially when the competitions are males in

engineering / science faculties who acquire more mathematics spatial abilities at

university. In many well-developed cities/ countries, women are usually dominant

in specific industries such as law, medicine and business. On the other hand, they

will have lower participation in mathematics, science and engineering disciplines.

Look it backward, this pattern of gender related interests is already presented in

the high school and university (Halpern, 2004; Halpern et al., 2007).

questions have been raised, including the age at which the differences occurs and

how the gender difference in mathematics varies over a period of time. The gender

difference started to appear in elementary school education (Geary, 1994).

Benbows study (1988) further indicates that gender difference could be spotted in

secondary school level, and the mathematics advantage in males was found more

usual in problem solving, application and reasoning of mathematics (Kimball,

1989). Some of the research even argued that the gender differences were

significant in difficult tasks but not in the easiest tasks (Manger & Eikeland,

1998).

mathematics than female due to strong understanding in spatial ability,

problem-solving and reasoning while female students achieve better results in

11

(Byrnes & Takahira, 1993; Gallagher & Kaufman, 2005; Hyde, Fennema, &

Lamon, 1990; Royer, Rath, Tronsky, & Marchant, 2002; Sommers, 2000). In the

spatial abilities, Vandenberg & Kuse (1978) reported the largest gender difference

appeared in mental rotation tasks, which required the skill to hold solid in the

mind while transforming and operating them perceptually. Casey, Nuttall &

Pezaris (1999) also support that males are more proficient at 3-dimensional

mental rotation and thus have higher mathematics achievement in school.

Furthermore, some researches state the mental rotation differences have strong

influence in middle-school and the effect further increased through the college

years (Geiser et al., 2008; Voyer et al., 1995).

About spatial skills, several studies demonstrated that there exists correlation

between mathematics achievement and spatial abilities in different genders. Casey,

Nuttall, Pezaris & Benbow (1995) performed a mental rotation test on 760 college

students which showed that male outperformed female students in both mental

rotation and scholastic aptitude test Math (SAT-M) for high ability groups.

Furthermore, the study also suggested that spatial ability was a curial part for

explaining gender differences in mathematics aptitude of students. On the other

hand, a total of 62 (36 female and 26 males) Grade 9 students from Finland were

chosen in finding the relationship of visuospatial working memory, the ability to

mentally rotate three-dimensional objects and mathematics skills (Reuhkala,

2001). The results suggested that the performances in the static visuospatial tasks

and in the mental rotation tasks were related to mathematical ability. Mental

rotation in particular can be a useful indicator to reflect students mathematics

performance.

12

A recent study (Ganley & Vasilye, 2011) of 114 Grade 8 students form US on

mental rotation ability by using the Vandenberg Mental Rotation Test

(Vandenberg & Kuse, 1978) was performed. It concluded that gender differences

in cognitive and affective domain of spatial reasoning resulted in gender

differences in mathematics achievement. According to their research, spatial

abilities in particular can even predict mathematics performance in males, but this

rule does not apply to female. On the contrary, Maccoby & Jacklin (1974)

analysed 32 studies of scholars work on spatial visualisation in both genders, 5

studies illustrated male has significant better in spatial tasks, and 3 studies showed

female has significant better spatial visualisation, thus no consistent gender

differences in spatial visualisation can be observed by them. Similarly, some of

the meta-analysis illustrated no significant gender differences in spatial

visualisation but large for mental rotation in specific (Linn & Petersen, 1985;

Voyer, Voyer & Bryden, 1995).

In Hong Kong, there is no recent research which studies the gender difference in

spatial ability of students underlying the current mathematics curriculum. This

study can investigate the difference and provide a foundation on gender research

in the future.

13

For this study, spatial ability tests will be used for examining students mental

rotation and spatial visualisation ability. Vandenberg-Kuse Mental Rotation Test

(VKMRT) created by Vandenberg & Kuse (1978) is commonly used in examining

the mental rotation ability (Carr et al., 2008; Levine et al., 1999). In this study,

revised Vandeberg & Kuse Mental Rotations Test (Peters et al., 1995) which is

based on the original Vandenberg & Kuse (1978) and Shepard (Shepard & Metzler,

1971) Mental Rotation Test figures was chosen in measuring the students spatial

sense. Based on the high reliability (0.87) of mental rotation test for sample

(Ganley & Vasilyeva, 2011), the high internal consistency reliability of VKMRT

for the standardization sample (0.88) and the high test-retest reliabilities of

VKMRT over 1 year for two samples (0.83 and 0.70 respectively) in Vandenberg

& Kuses study (1978), Mental Rotation Test created by Vandenberg & Kuse

(1978) and revised by Peters et al (1995) was chosen as the main instrument in

this study.

studies. For example, mental rotation of participants from 53 countries were

measured by using mental rotation test figures in more than 90,000 female and

111,000 male (Lippa et al., 2010). An online pop-up website with six questions of

mental rotation test (Peters et al., 1995) was accessed over different nations.

Results proposed that male (mean = 8.16) outperformed female (mean = 7.00) and

a significant gender difference on paired t-test (t (52) = 22.67, p < .001) of the

mental rotation scores across 53 different countries was observed (Lippa et al.,

2010). On the other hand, mental rotation test is also applied to another large scale

(N = 3367) cross-cultural study that involved Canada, Germany and Japan (Peters

14

et al., 2006). By using the same MRT and procedures in all regions, significant

gender difference and academic programme (science/ engineering programme or

arts/ social science programme) in mental rotation performance were observed

among three countries. For the use of mental rotation test in the primary and

secondary school, Hoyek et al. (2012) used the Vandenberg and Kuse Mental

Rotation Test (1978) to measure the mental rotation abilities of elementary school

students (N = 28, mean age = 7.8, S.D. = 0.8) and middle school students (N = 66,

mean age = 11.4, S.D. = 0.5). Results indicated that middle school students (mean

score = 7.6, S.D. = 3.95) performed better in MRT than elementary school

students (mean score = 4.3, S.D. = 2.94) due to the maturity, life experience, and

school programmes including mathematics courses (Hoyek et al, 2012, p.65).

Also, boys performed significantly better than girls in the middle school (F (1, 64)

= 6.97; p = .01) but not in elementary school (F (1, 26) = 1.17; p = .29).

15

For the item in the test, by giving the standard target graph on the left-side,

participants are required to select two figures from four items in different rotated

versions (Vandenberg & Kuse, 1978) from the right-side which can match the

target figure (refer to Figure 2.1).

Figure 2.1

Sample figures from Mental Rotation Test (MRT). The first and

fourth options in the right part are identical to the left standard

figure (Vandenberg & Kuse, 1978, p.600)

In the literature review of mental rotation using Vandenberg & Kuse test, one with

20 and one with 24 questions are commonly used in different mental rotation

studies in the past. The suitable length of the test is determined by the

performance of the targeted participants. For example, it was found that the

overall mean of S3 male students in the post-test of MRT is higher than 18 marks,

and numerous students in the tests were able to obtain more than 20 questions.

Similar to the prior cross-cultural studies in measuring students spatial sense, the

24-questions sets of MRT was selected in this study due to higher ceiling that

students can achieve (Peters et al., 2006).

16

Consider the scoring method, two methods of scoring are found in the literature

reviews. The 1st scoring method gives 2 marks for two correct choices in a

question, 1 mark will be given when only one choice is selected and it is correct. 0

marks will be awarded for two choices are selected, only one correct but the other

incorrect. 0 marks will be given for the rest (e.g. choose two incorrect answers or

choose more than two options). The range of the score in this test is 0 48 marks.

For the 2nd scoring method, the range of the score is 0 24 marks, one and only

one mark is given if both choices of figures that match the target figure are

selected. This method was recommended by Vandenberg and Kuse (1978) and

Peters et al. (2006) as it can eliminate the wild guessing. For example, if students

in the MRT choose one correct graph randomly, students can get extra 1 mark out

of 48 marks by 1st scoring method but no extra marks can be obtained for a single

correct answer by 2nd scoring method. This will not affect students with high

spatial sense that can identify two figures correctly to get high score in MRT. 2nd

scoring method (24 full marks) is used in this study as it can eliminate the random

factor and thus further differentiate students performance on MRT (medium/ low

spatial sense students cannot get marks easily by wild guessing of one correct

figure in MRT).

17

Referring

to

Hong

Kong

junior

mathematics

curriculum

(Curriculum

three parts: (1) Number and Algebra Dimension, (2) Measures, Space and Space

Dimension, and (3) Data Handling Dimension. With respect to the geometry

learning in 3D figure, the section of Measures, Space and Space Dimension in the

curriculum were considered. The learning targets of the section in measures,

shape and space dimension in key stage 3 (secondary 1- 3) were shown in Table

2.1. It is mentioned that to explore and visualize geometric properties of

2-dimensional and 3-dimensional objects intuitively is one of the main target in

learning of 3D objects.

18

Table 2.1 The learning targets of the section in measure, space and space

dimension

precision and accuracy;

solving mensuration problems;

3-dimensional objects intuitively;

study the properties of 2-dimensional rectilinear shapes;

rectilinear shapes with appropriate symbols, terminology and reasons;

figures using numeric and algebraic relations;

relations; and

interconnect the knowledge and skills of the Measures, Shape and Space

Dimension and other Learning Dimensions, and apply them to formulate

and solve 2-dimensional problems.

(Adapted from Curriculum Development Council, 1999, p.10)

By considering the sub-sections and units in the section of Measures, Shape and

Space dimension in junior secondary school mathematics, they are listed in Table

2.2. The ideas of spatial sense in 3D figures are distributed into several units of

the sub-section Measures in 2D and 3D figures like the volume of different

solids and one core in More about 3D Figures.

19

Table 2.2

space dimension

(Adapted from Curriculum Development Council, 1999, p.20-24)

Learning sub-section

Learning unit

Estimation in Measurement

Simple Idea of Areas and Volumes

Figures

More about Areas and Volumes

Introduction to Geometry

Learning Geometry

through an Intuitive

Approach

More about 3-D Figures

Simple Introduction to Deductive Geometry

Pythagoras Theorem

a Deductive Approach

Quadrilaterals

Learning Geometry through

Introduction to Coordinates

an Analytic Approach

Trigonometry

new unit More about 3D figures is added in the sub-section Learning

Geometry through an Intuitive Approach (Curriculum Development Council,

1999). Students are expected to explore and visualize geometric properties of 2D

and 3D objects intuitively, further interconnect the knowledge and skills of the

20

measures, shape and space dimension and other learning dimensions, and apply

them to formulate and solve 2D and 3D problems with various strategies

(Curriculum Development Council, 1999, p.10) which is taught to develop the

spatial sense of students.

learning and teaching as it is frequently used in teacher instruction. In this study, a

popular mathematics textbook is selected as the main teaching tools in the

teaching of More about 3D figures (Man et al., 2009). The teaching sequence of

3D figures is (1) Symmetries of Solids, (2) Nets of Solids, (3) 2-D

Representations of Solids, (4) Points, Lines and Planes in Solids, and (5) More

about Solids. The sections and the teaching objectives about More about 3D

figures are tabulated in Table 2.3.

21

Table 2.3 The sections and teaching objectives about More about 3D figures

Section

1. Symmetries of Solids

A. Reflectional and Rotational

Symmetries of Solids

B. Symmetries of Regular

Polyhedra

(Enrichment: Other Regular

Polyhedra)

2. Nets of Solids

Teaching Objective

rotational symmetries of solids.

Recognize the reflectional and rotational

symmetries of cubes and regular tetrahedra.

Explore the reflectional and rotational

symmetries of other regular polyhedra.

(Enrichment topic)

Understand and learn to design a net for a

solid.

Realize the relationships among the

vertices and the faces of a solid formed by

a net.

B. Identifying Solids from their

Orthographic Views

(Enrichment: Drawing Solids on

representation.

Learn to draw the orthographic views of a

solid and understand the related concepts.

Sketch the solid according to its

Isometric Grid)

orthographic views.

Draw the solid on isometric grid paper

according to its orthographic views.

(Enrichment topic)

Solids

a point or a line segment on a plane.

A. Relationships between Lines Learn to identify the angle between a line

and Planes

and a plane.

B. Relationships between Two Learn to identify the angle between two

Planes

A. Eulers Formula

planes.

Solve practical problems involving lines

and planes in a solid.

Realize the Eulers formula.

Explore the duality of regular polyhedra.

22

To analyse the learning of 3D figures in the school, some class activities from the

textbook about More about 3D figures were implemented. For example, in

teaching the reflectional symmetry, daily life examples were shown on the

textbook and students were required to identify the number of plane(s) of

reflection of the objects (refer to Figure 2.2).

Figure 2.2

In teaching the net of solids, to allow students to know that there might have more

than one net for a solid, different nets (manipulatives) of solids were provided to

students (refer to Figure 2.3) in the class activity about the learning of nets of

polyhedra (refer to Figure 2.4). Students were able to fold the nets and thus found

out the correct nets in the activity.

23

Figure 2.3

Figure 2.4

24

In teaching the Eulers Formula, the nets of triangular prism, cube, regular

tetrahedron, quadrilateral prism and regular octahedron were provided for students

to construct different solids so as to investigate the relationship between the

number of vertices, faces, and edges (see Figure 2.5).

Figure 2.5

25

3.1. Introduction

This study is a quantitative research. The relationship of the learning of solid

visualization in 3D figures and spatial sense of students is investigated. It is a

descriptive and correlational study which examines the significance of spatial

abilities among genders and different ability groups.

1.

before and after learning the topic More about 3D figure in S3?

2.

Are there any considerable differences in the spatial abilities of male and

female students? And between top, high, medium, low and bottom ability

students in S1-S3?

To answer the research question 1, the quantitative design of pre-test and post-test

about mental rotation (which can measure the spatial ability) for S3 Hong Kong

students approach were used to measure the changes of spatial sense after learning

the topic More about 3D figure in secondary three. On the other hand, to answer

the research question 2, additional mental rotation tests were given to S1-S3

students in the school so as to analyze the differences in spatial abilities among

genders and ability groups.

26

3.2. Participants

The participants in this research are 374 S1 to S3 students from 15 classes, around

196 males and 178 females who agree to participate in the study were chosen in

performing the study (see the Table 3.1). 5 classes of each form were named A, B,

C, D and E according to students overall academic ability. For example, Class A

and B contain top 40% of students in form and Class C, D and E are the classes

with bottom 60% of students in form.

Gender

Participant

Total

Male

Female

Secondary 1

71

69

140

Secondary 2

71

49

120

Secondary 3

54

60

114

Total

196

178

374

Students are selected according to their educational level and their availability to

participate in the research. A wide range of forms is covered so that the correlation

of spatial abilities and forms can also be studied. In the mathematics lessons, five

classes in different form would have a split-class according to their mathematics

ability. The aim of the split class was to reduce the learning diversity in class.

Students in different classes were divided to more sets with different teachers

instruction in each sub-set. For instance, Class A and Class B were mixed and

divided into two sets, Class C and Class D were mixed and divided into three sets,

and Class E was divided into two sets according to the mathematics ability.

27

grouping, the standardized mathematics achievement in the school test and exam

were obtained from school under the permission of students, parents and school.

In the data analysis, each form of participants in different genders is divided into

five (Top, High, Middle, Low and Bottom) ability groups (see Table 3.2)

according to their mathematics scores in school. For each form, rank with top 5 %

of students were assigned to top ability group, next 30% of students were assigned

to High ability group, and then next 30% of students were assigned to middle

ability group, and then next 30% of students were assigned to low ability group,

and the rank with bottom 5 % of student were assigned to bottom ability group

(see Table 3.3).

Mathematics Abilities

Participant

Total

Top

High

Middle

Low

Bottom

Secondary 1

42

42

42

140

Secondary 2

36

36

36

120

Secondary 3

34

34

34

114

Total

19

112

112

112

19

374

28

Ability Group

Top

Rank 5%

High

Middle

Low

Bottom

The school that we choose is a Direct Subsidy School (DSS) which is located in

the western region of Hong Kong SAR. The medium of instruction of the

mathematics lesson is English. Students are required to use English to chat, listen

and write in the mathematics lesson. All junior form students in the school have

around 240 minutes in Mathematics lesson per week. Students who attend the

school are expected to have similar social economic status (most of the students

families are able to afford the moderate school fee, around $20,000 - $ 30,000 per

year) and thus the economic context variable in this study can be minimized in

this study.

29

For junior mathematics curriculum in in Hong Kong, different topics about

geometry learning are implemented spirally in the lessons. In the investigated

school, different topics about spatial geometry and figures in S1-S3 are tabulated

below (see Table 3.4).

Table 3.4 Different topics about spatial geometry and figures in S1-S3

Form

Date

S1

Dec 2014

Introduction to Geometry

S1

Jan 2015

S1

Feb 2015

S1

April 2015

S2

Jan 2015

S2

Feb 2015

S2

May 2015

S3

Nov 2015

S3

Dec 2015

Quadrilaterals

S3

S3

May 2015

* 2 mental rotation tests were given to measure the spatial sense of S1 and S2

students respectively

** 2 mental rotation pre-test and post-test were given to measure the change of the

spatial sense of S3 students after the learning of the topic More about 3D

figures

30

In this study, the main purpose is to investigate the changes in the spatial ability

after teaching the topic of More about 3D figure. This study can be divided into

two parts. For the first part, in order to reply the research question 1, a quantitative

study by using Vandenberg-Kuse Mental Rotation Test (VKMRT) was used in

pre-test and post-test design of the approach on S3 students. For the second part,

to further understand the spatial sense and investigate gender and ability group

differences among S1 to S3 students (N = 374), a quantitative analysis of the

results from the performance of VKMRT was used so as to answer research

question 2.

To investigate the spatial sense of S3 students after introducing the topic of More

about 3D figure in S3, a pre-post test design in experimental research could be

used so that examined the effect of learning specific topic. However, in reality, it

is compulsory for all S3 students in the school to learn the topic such that pure

experimental design of pre-post test cannot be used. Quasi-experimental design

which involves the causal influence on an intervention is used as an alternative.

All students are required to do the pre-test in order to access the spatial sense just

before the learning of More about 3D figure. By using the same mathematics

textbook and the same amount of lesson time on teaching the topic More about

3D figure to all S3 students, another spatial test (post-test) was given to students

to complete afterward.

31

With the purpose of studying the paired change of the overall performance in

spatial sense test after the instruction of More about 3D figure topic, a paired

t-value test on the number of correct response was used to evaluate the difference

for S3 students, as well as between male and female participants and different

ability groups.

32

3.4. Instruments

In this study, two sets (pre-test and post-test) of Mental Rotation Test were used to

examine the spatial abilities of S3 students. Also, one single set of Mental

Rotation Test was used to find out the spatial sense of secondary one and two

students (see Table 3.5).

Table 3.5 Use of different instruments in different forms

Participant

MRT (Pre-test)

MRT (Post-test)

MRT (Single)

Secondary 1

Secondary 2

Secondary 3

To measure the spatial sense ability of students, 24 multiple-choice questions of

Mental Rotation Test (MRT) provided by Peters et al. (1995) were used. The

E-mail approval of using the MRT and that the figures reproduced in this study

were shown in the appendix A, and the regulation (not to disclose statement) for

using the MRT was shown in the appendix B.

IN MRT, each question contains a standard 3-dimensional figure on the left part of

the test. Two out of four options on the right part are identical to the standard

3-dimensional figure, only rotated in different orientation and present in different

perspective. The rest of two figures are made by the mirror image of the standard

figure or similar figure as distractors (see Figure 3.1). Participants are required to

choose two figures which are identical to the standard figure from four response

choices. The time allowed for this test is 8 minutes.

33

Figure 3.1

Sample figures from Mental Rotation Test (MRT). The first and

fourth options in the right part are identical to the left standard

figure (adapted from Vandenberg & Kuse, 1978, p.600)

1 mark will be awarded for two correct choices in a question, 0 marks will be

given for the rest (e.g. choose two incorrect answers or choose more than two

options). This method can eliminate participant to get the correct answers by wild

guessing. The range of the score in this test is 0 24 marks. The reliability of

VKMRT was 0.87 for sample (Ganley & Vasilyeva, 2011). The internal

consistency reliability of VKMRT for the standardization sample was 0.88 and the

test- retest reliabilities of VKMRT over 1 year for two samples are 0.83 and 0.70

respectively (Vandenberg & Kuse, 1978).

By considering the type of questions in the Mental Rotation Test, three different

levels (Easy, Medium and Hard) are classified according to their requirement of

the mental rotation. For the easy and medium level questions, the rotation of the

chosen figures with respect to the standard graph are usually less than 90-degrees

(refer to Figure 3.2) or greater than 90-degrees (refer to Figure 3.3) respectively.

For the hard level questions, complex mental rotations involving multiple mental

rotation of 3D figures (twisted view, see Figure 3.4) and spatial visualization

relating the complete overlapping of cubes in the figure (overlapped view, see

34

Figure 3.5) will be assessed. Questions with both multiple mental rotations and

complete overlapping of cubes in the figure were classified as twisted-overlapped

view figure. Table 3.6 shows the framework of the difficulties on the MRT

questions.

(adapted from Peters et al., 1995)

(Adapted from Peters et al., 1995)

35

(Adapted from Peters et al., 1995)

(Adapted from Peters et al., 1995)

Hard level

Easy

Medium

level

level

MRT

1,2,3,5,

4,6,7,13,14,

(Pre-test)

8,15,16

17,19,20,22,23

MRT

1,3,4,7,

2,5,6,12,16,

(Post-test)

8,13,14

18,19,20,21

MRT

1,3,4,7,

2,5,6,12,16,

(Single)

8,13,14

18,19,20,21

36

Twisted

Overlapped

Twisted-

view

view

overlapped view

9,11,21

10,12

18,24

22,23,24

10,11,15

9,17

22,23,24

10,11,15

9,17

3.5.1.

Research integrity

Before the start of the data collection, ethical review approval was obtained from

the research ethics committee, faculty of education in the University of Hong

Kong. In order to get their permission to carry out the MRT study in the school,

assent and consent forms were given to school principal (refer to appendix C),

S1-S3 students (refer to appendix D) and S1-S3 students parents (passive consent

form, refer to appendix E). Students participation is voluntary in this study and

they have the right not to be included in the analysis. They can also choose to

withdraw from the study at any time without negative consequences. The

information collected will only be used for this project and will be destroyed 1 to

5 years after publication of first paper of the study. All of the obtained information

will be securely stored in a locked cabinet at the researchers office.

3.5.2.

experimenter in order to carry out the Mental Rotation pencil-paper test. Teachers

in the school were invited as the experimenter in the test and they were required to

follow the standard procedures shown in the instruction menu. After distributing

the MRT to students by teachers, students were expected to write down their name,

class, class number and gender on page 1 of the MRT booklet (see appendix G).

Students would not start to read and write on next pages until they were told to do

so. Afterward, the instruction and the procedures of the MRT were displayed on

the PowerPoint and allowed students to read them on the projection screen.

37

Students were required to read on Page 2 of the MRT booklet (see appendix G).

Five different figures were shown and teachers figured out that the first five

figures were from the same figure, but rotated around the vertical axis. If

necessary, teachers made use of rotating the vertically extended hand in order to

illustrate the idea of rotation axis. Students were then asked to determine and

confirm that all versions of the figures come from the same figure. Next, two

identical but different orientation figures were shown. Students were then asked to

find out two figures are different from the first five set of five figures. On the page

2-3 of the MRT booklet, four problem trial sets were given and students were

required to find out two answers from four options that can match the target figure.

Students were reminded not to consume too much time on the same questions

unless they could identify the solution. The verbal instructions of trial examples

were shown below (refer to appendix F):

38

1. Teachers: "One target figure is shown on the left, and four stimulus figures on

the right. In the following problems sets, there are two figures on the right

which are rotated versions of the target figure, and two figures which cannot

be made to match the target figure. In Problem set number 1, try to see which

of the two figures are corrected. The answer is given below. The first and the

third figures match the target figures. You have to find both of the correct

answers to get a point for a problem. A single correct answer or a correct and

an incorrect answer do not count."

2. Teachers: "Now try the three problems on page 3. The correct answers are

given below"

3. (Sufficient time should be given to participants work through these problems,

at least 3 minutes for the three problems on page 3.)

4. Teachers: "Please turn over your test booklet with face down"

In each question, students were required to put down an X across the correct

figures in the MRT booklet. There were 24 questions for each MRT booklet and

the time limit for answering questions is 8 minutes. 4 minutes were given to

students to do the pages 4 and 5 (first 12 questions) and then a short break (around

2 minutes) was given after first 12 questions. Students were told to turn the

booklet face down even if they were in the middle of a problem. Then, students

had next 4 minutes to complete the pages 6 and 7 (last 12 questions). The verbal

instructions of test were shown below (refer to appendix F):

39

remember, there are two and only two correct solutions, and you have to mark

these by putting an X across the correct figure.

2. (Experimenter illustrates the answering method)

3. Experimenter: We do pages 4 and 5 and then we take a little break. You have

4 minutes for the pages 4 and 5. When I say 'stop', turn the test face down

immediately, even if you are in the middle of a problem.

4. Experimenter: "Begin"

5. (4 minutes)

6. Experimenter: Stop, please turn your test booklet face down".

7. (2 minutes rest)

8. Experimenter: Now we begin. Once again, you have 4 minutes for the pages

6 and 7. Please, open the test booklet at page 6 and begin the second half".

9. Experimenter: Begin"

10. (4 minutes)

11. "Stop, please turn your test booklet face down".

12. (Collect the question and answer booklet)

40

3.5.3.

Pilot test

Before the start of the pilot test for students, the MRT was run by two

mathematics educators of the school for checking. The purpose of the checking by

teachers is to determine whether the targeted students can understand the tasks in

the MRT well. For example, difficult diagrams or misleading instructions that

might affect the normal performance of students was removed in setting up the

pilot test for students. This can increase the content validity and the reliability of

the project. The pilot test contains around 24 questions that are of similar question

type to the Mental Rotation pre-test and post-test.

Next, by using stratified random sampling from different grades in the school

under investigation, 6 students (3 male and 3 female students) from different

forms were selected to complete the pilot study in late March 2015. The

performance in the pilot test was used to finalize the question and instruction

setting in the real MRT. The data from the pilot test were examined so as to

improve the instruction design of the whole MRT. The purpose of the pilot test is

to avoid the ceiling effect and increase the content validity and the reliability of

the MRT.

41

3.5.4.

For S1 to S2 students (N = 260), only one set of Mental Rotation Test was given

in the whole study. The test was conducted in late April 2015. The purpose of

collecting MRT performance on S1 and S2 students is to investigate the spatial

sense of junior secondary school students among different ability groups and

different genders.

For S3 students (N = 114), the Mental Rotation pre-test was given just before the

teaching of More about 3D figure topic. The pre-test can serve as an assessment

tool to measure the spatial sense before the investigated topic. To establish the

consistency of the research, the Mental Rotation post-test was administered to

participants after learning the topic More about 3D figure. The post-test

contained similar question types to the previous MRT. 24 similar questions with

different orientation of figures and orders were used to examine the performance

of participants in spatial rotation and visualisation once more.

All S3 participants in the pre-test were invited to attend the post-test. The

comparison of the distribution of score in the overall performance of both male

and female group students for the tests was studied to measure effectiveness of the

intervention. Only participants who took part in both pre-test and post-test were

included in the data analysis and discussion part.

42

number and mathematics achievement in the first test and exam were collected for

correlation studies. The Mental Rotation tests for participants were conducted

after the test and exam periods so as to avoid extra work load to students revision

on school test and exam. The table below summarizes the procedures of data

collection (see Table 3.7).

Table 3.7

Date

30 March 2015

Task

S1-S3:

S3:

13 April 2015

(Mental Rotation pre-test)

16-27 April 2015

S3:

S1-S2:

29 April 2015

Rotation Test

S3:

43

3.5.5.

Data analysis

The response of each questions by each students were imported into an Excel

spreadsheet for record. Performance on each question, both the accuracy and

attempted rates in the pre-test and post-test were collected. By Statistical Package

for Social Science (SPSS) software, the spatial sense and students academic

achievement (ability group) in mathematics on the gender differences were

analyzed and compared. The following Data Analysis (DA) was performed:

DA1:

standard deviations, ranges and Skewness of mental rotation abilities for

pre-test and post-test for different class, gender and ability were

examined. Also, by using the Paired t-test for the pre-test and post-test,

One-way ANOVA and repeated-measured ANOVA, inferential statistic

such as the spatial sense difference before and after the teaching of the

topic More about 3D figure among different gender, mathematics

ability groups correlation were compared. The results of accuracy were

tabulated and plotted with respect to gender differences. The

correlations coefficient r, probability levels p, t-value and zero-order

correlation with gender were calculated to examine the strength and

significance of the mental rotation dependence on gender and ability

group before and after the teaching of the topic More about 3D figure

in S3.

44

DA2:

standard deviations, ranges and Skewness of mental rotation abilities for

different class, gender and ability were examined. Also, inferential

statistic such as the genders (male and female) correlations among

spatial sense and mathematics performance in different mathematics

ability groups (S1-S3) were analysed by using the one-way Analysis of

Variance (ANOVA). The correlations coefficient r, probability levels p,

t-value and zero-order correlation with gender were calculated to

examine the strength and significance of the mental rotation dependence

on gender and ability group.

Based on the studying of DA1 & DA2, the spatial sense of students associated to

gender and mathematics achievement can be demonstrated among different

mathematics ability groups. The correlation will determine the significance of

gender differences. Not only can this project provide a clue on which gender

favours mental rotation, but also it can provide an evidence of the changes in

spatial sense after teaching of the selected topic geometry learning. The

information obtained can be used as an indicator to examine students difficulties

in learning 3-dimensional spatial problems in mathematics. Similar data analysis

was performed in the past (Ganley & Vasilyeva, 2011; Pearson & Ferguson, 1989;

White & Saldaa, 2011) to obtain the correlation between gender and spatial

abilities.

45

4. Results

4.1. Introduction

In the following sections, empirical results were collected to investigate the

following research questions of this study.

1.

before and after learning the topic More about 3D figures in S3?

2.

Are there any considerable differences in the spatial abilities of male and

female students? And between top, high, medium, low and bottom ability

students in S1-S3?

4.2.1.

deviation of MRT

By using the SPSS to examine the quantitative data for S1, S2, S3 pre-test and S3

post-test result, the mean score, standard deviation and skewness against the

academic achievement and MRT performance (number of attempted question,

overall performance on the MRT and the individual performance on problems

with varying difficulty) at S1, S2, S3 pre-test and S3 post-test were shown in the

Table 4.1, Table 4.2, Table 4.3 and Table 4.4 respectively (Refer to appendix H for

individual performance).

46

Table 4.1

of academic achievement and MRT performance in S1

S1 (N = 140)

Measures

Academic achievement

(Max = 190.05)

Overall

(Max = 24)

Mean

S.D.

135.1796 25.67210

Range

Skewness

58.00 190.05

-.314

12.3071

6.09032

0 - 24.00

-.036

.7091

.28615

0 - 1.00

-.972

.5239

.29346

0 - 1.00

-.125

.3311

.28074

0 - 1.00

.783

Twisted view

(Max = 1)

.3213

.39093

0 - 1.00

.752

Overlapped view

(Max = 1)

.3732

.34567

0 - 1.00

.549

Twisted-overlapped

View

(Max = 1)

.2714

.33593

0 - 1.00

.852

20.5429

3.91891

11 - 24

-.703

Easy level

(Max = 1)

Medium Level

(Max = 1)

Hard Level

(Max = 1)

Number of question

attempted

(Max = 24)

47

Table 4.2

of academic achievement and MRT performance in S2

S2 (N = 120)

Measures

Academic achievement

(Max = 200)

Overall

(Max = 23)

Mean

S.D.

118.8367 29.78896

Range

Skewness

55.35 200.00

.461

13.0333

5.18390

0 - 23.00

-.208

.7473

.24785

0 - 1.00

-1.093

.5509

.27989

0 - 1.00

-.196

.3579

.24462

0 - 1.00

.473

Twisted view

(Max = 1)

.3972

.36817

0 - 1.00

.339

Overlapped view

(Max = 1)

.3798

.32213

0 - 1.00

.520

Twisted-overlapped

View

(Max = 1)

.2542

.31753

0 - 1.00

.869

20.5333

4.01454

9- 24

-.973

Easy level

(Max = 1)

Medium Level

(Max = 1)

Hard Level

(Max = 1)

Number of question

attempted

(Max = 24)

48

Table 4.3

academic achievement and MRT performance in S3 pre-test

S3 Pre-test (N = 114)

Measures

Mean

S.D.

Range

Skewness

Academic achievement

(Max = 200)

123.8053

32.56984

36.2 200.00

.176

Overall

(Max = 24)

12.51

6.163

0 - 24

.081

.6954

.27107

0 - 1.00

-.764

.5351

.27937

0 - 1.00

-.032

.3268

.32018

0 - 1.00

.704

Twisted view

(Max = 1)

.3188

.34820

0 - 1.00

.616

Overlapped view

(Max = 1)

.3947

.41260

0 - 1.00

.411

Twisted-overlapped

View

(Max = 1)

.2719

.35908

0 - 1.00

.938

20.6842

4.09255

9 - 24

-1.072

Easy level

(Max = 1)

Medium Level

(Max = 1)

Hard Level

(Max = 1)

Number of question

attempted

(Max = 24)

49

Table 4.4

of academic achievement and MRT performance in S3 post-test

S3 Post-test (N = 114)

Measures

Mean

S.D.

Range

Skewness

Academic achievement

(Max = 200)

123.8053

32.56984

36.2 200.00

.176

Overall

(Max = 24)

16.58

5.517

2 - 24

-.602

Easy level

(Max = 1)

.8573

.19610

.14 1.00

-1.679

Medium Level

(Max = 1)

.6807

.29023

0 - 1.00

-.559

.5596

.28414

0 - 1.00

-.206

.6170

.37492

0 - 1.00

-.427

.6055

.34309

0 - 1.00

-.374

.3947

.36720

0 - 1.00

.354

23.2719

1.78631

16 24

-2.496

Hard Level

(Max = 1)

Twisted view

(Max = 1)

Overlapped view

(Max = 1)

Twisted-overlapped

View

(Max = 1)

Number of question

attempted

(Max = 24)

50

By comparing the mean score variation between S1, S2, S3 pre-test and S3

post-test in MRT performance directly (see Table 4.5), all students with similar

academic achievement (vary from 118.8367 to 135.1796) have different

performance in MRT. For instance, overall mean in MRT range from 12.3071 (S1)

to 16.58 (S3 post-test). Participants in the S3 post-test achieved a mean score

(16.58) higher than the average of measures in MRT overall mean (13.61) while

participants in S1, S2 and S3 pre-test achieved a mean score lower than the

average of measures in MRT overall mean.

Easy level questions in MRT had range from .6954 (S3 pre-test) to .8573 (S3

post-Test). Participants in the S3 post-test achieved a mean score (.8573) higher

than the average of measures in easy level questions (.7523) whereas participants

in S1, S2 and S3 Pre-test achieved a mean score lower than the average of

measures in easy level questions. Indeed, medium level questions in MRT range

from .5239 (S1) to .6807 (S3 post-test). Participants in the S3 post-test achieved a

mean score (.6807) higher than the average of measures in medium level

questions (.5726) whereas participants in S1, S2 and S3 pre-test achieved a mean

score lower than the average of measures in medium level questions. For the mean

scores in hard level questions of MRT, they range from .3268 (S3 pre-test)

to .5596 (S3 post-test). Participants in the S3 post-test obtained a mean score

(.5596) higher than the average measures in hard level questions (.3939). The

participants in S1, S2 and S3 pre-test obtained a mean score lower than the

average of measures in hard level questions.

51

Considering the types of difficulty in hard level questions, the mean scores of

twisted view questions in MRT vary from .3188 (S3 pre-test) to .6170 (S3

post-test). Students in the S3 post-test attained a mean score (.6170) higher than

the average of measures in the twisted view questions in MRT (.4136) while the

participants in S1, S2 and S3 pre-test obtained a mean score lower than the

average of measures in twisted view questions. For the overlapped view questions,

the mean scores vary from .3732 (S1) to .6055 (S3 post-test). Students in the S3

post-test attained a mean score (.6055) higher than the average of measures in the

overlapped view questions in MRT (.4383) while the participants in S1, S2 and S3

pre-test obtained a mean score lower than the average of measures in overlapped

view questions. For the mean score in the twisted-overlapped view questions, they

diverge from .2542 (S2) to .3947 (S3 post-test). Students in the S3 post-test

attained a mean score (.3947) higher than the average of measures in the

overlapped view questions in MRT (.2981) whereas the participants in S1, S2 and

S3 pre-test obtained a mean score lower than the average of measures in

overlapped view questions.

Likewise, the mean number of the attempted questions range from 20.5333 (S2) to

23.2719 (S3 post-test). Participants in the S3 post-test have higher mean number

(23.2719) than the average of measures in the number of attempted questions in

MRT (21.2581).

52

Table 4.5

academic achievement and MRT performance in different forms

Measures

S1

(N = 140)

S2

(N = 120)

S3 Pre-test

(N = 114)

S3 Post-test

(N = 114)

Mean (S.D.)

Average of

measures

Academic

Achievement

135.1796

(25.67210)

118.8367

(29.78896)

123.8053

(32.56984)

123.8053

(32.56984)

125.4067

Overall

12.3071

(6.09032)

13.0333

(5.18390)

12.51

(6.163)

16.58

(5.517)

13.61

Easy level

.7091

(.28615)

.7473

(.24785)

.6954

(.27107)

.8573

(.19610)

.7523

Medium Level

.5239

(.29346)

.5509

(.27989)

.5351

(.27937)

.6807

(.29023)

.5726

Hard Level

.3311

(.28074)

.3579

(.24462)

.3268

(.32018)

.5596

(.28414)

.3939

Twisted

view

.3213

(.39093)

.3972

(.36817)

.3188

(.34820)

.6170

(.37492)

.4136

Overlapped

.3732

.3798

.3947

.6055

view

(.34567)

(.32213)

(.41260)

(.34309)

Twistedoverlapped

View

.2714

(.33593)

.2542

(.31753)

.2719

(.35908)

.3947

(.36720)

.2981

Number of

question

attempted

20.5429

(3.91891)

20.5333

(4.01454)

20.6842

(4.09255)

23.2719

(1.78631)

21.2581

53

.4383

For the S3 pre-test and the post-test, there were large increments in the overall

mean, individual performance on problems with varying difficulties and the

number of attempted questions in MRT. It shows the MRT performance of the

students in S3 post-test performed better the students in S1, S2 and S3 pre-test. A

paired t-test and ANOVA tests were used to investigate the significant change of

the pre-post tests in the later session. Up to this stage, the preliminary finding can

provide evidence on the spatial sense enhancement between the pre-test and the

post-test.

In the view of the standard deviation of the overall mean, individual performance

on problems with varying difficulties and the number of the attempted questions

at different stages (S3 pre-test and post-test), there was not much variation in the

standard deviation of the above items except the mean score in the easy level

questions (decrease from .27107 to .19610), overlapped view questions (decrease

from .41260 to .34309) and the number of the attempted questions (decrease from

4.09255 to 1.78631).

54

4.2.2.

Figure 4.2, Figure 4.3 and Figure 4.4 shows the histogram of the overall mean of

S1, S2, S3 pre-test and S3 post-test respectively. Among the histogram of the four

mental rotation tests, more students obtained higher overall score in the S3

pre-test than S1 MRT, S2 MRT and S3 pre-test.

Mean = 12.31

S.D. = 6.09

N = 140

Skewness = -.036

55

Mean = 13.03

S.D. = 5.184

N = 120

Skewness = -.208

Mean = 12.51

S.D. = 6.163

N = 114

Skewness = .081

56

Mean = 16.58

S.D. = 5.517

N = 114

Skewness = -.602

The skewness of the overall mean distribution in S1, S2, S3 pre-test and S3

post-test are -.036, -.208, .081 and -.602 respectively. It shows that the mass of the

distribution of the overall score in S3 pre-test (skewness = .081) is most

concentrated to the lower marks (left-skewed) while S3 post-test (skewness =

-.602) is most concentrated to the higher marks (right-skewed). Furthermore, the

skewness of the overall score in S3 Pre-test (skewness = .081) leans towards to

zero.

57

4.2.3.

Comparison by Gender

gender, the descriptive statistic by gender, including the means, standard

deviations, medians, ranges, interquartile ranges and skewness of the overall

scores in MRT were compared and tabulated in the Table 4.6.

It was found that the both male and female students had a higher overall mean and

median in S3 post-test than S1, S2 and S3 pre-test. The result also indicated that

the overall mean and median in male were much higher than in female for all four

tests. Furthermore, the dropping of standard deviation of the overall mean of both

male and female in the pre-post tests was observed such that the students

performance in the MRT were less dispersed after the intervention in S3. By

comparing the skewness of S3 pre-test and post-test in different genders, the

skewness in male students became more negative (from -.084 to -.1278) while the

skewness in female students changed from positive (.287) to negative (-.190) in

S3 Post-test. Figure 4.5 shows the box-and-whisker diagram of the overall mean

variation among different genders in S1, S2, S3 pre-test and S3 post-test.

58

Table 4.6

ranges and skewness of the overall scores in MRT by gender

Measures

Gender

S1

S2

S3 Pre-test

S3 Post-test

Number of

69

49

60

60

participant

71

71

54

54

9.2174

11.00

10.70

14.78

15.3099

14.4366

14.52

18.57

11

10

15

15

15

14.50

20

5.27165

5.22015

5.958

5.462

5.30119

4.70177

5.801

4.897

0 - 22

0 - 21

0 - 24

2 - 24

5 - 24

4 - 23

3 - 24

5 - 24

6.5

10

-.014

-.016

.287

-.190

-.106

-.228

-.084

-1.278

Mean

Median

S.D.

Range

Interquartile

range

Skewness

59

Figure 4.5

among different genders in S1, S2, S3 pre-test and S3

post-test

60

4.2.4.

ability group, including the means, standard deviations, medians, ranges,

interquartile ranges and skewness of the overall scores in MRT were compared

and tabulated in the Table 4.7.

It was found that the both all ability group students had a higher overall mean and

median in S3 post-test than S1, S2 and S3 pre-test. The result also indicated that

the overall mean and median in top ability group were much higher than in other

ability groups for all four tests. By comparing the skewness of S3 pre-test and

post-test in different genders, the skewness in high (from -.105 to -.777), middle

(from .311 to -.885), low (from -.143 to -.212) and bottom (from .392 to -.098)

ability students became more negative in S3 Post-test. Figure 4.6 shows the

box-and-whisker diagram of the overall mean variation among different ability

groups in S1, S2, S3 pre-test and S3 post-test.

61

Table 4.7

Measures

Number of

participant

Mean

Median

S.D.

Range

Interquartile

range

Skewness

ranges and skewness of the overall scores in MRT by ability

group

Gender

Top

High

Middle

Low

Bottom

Top

High

Middle

Low

Bottom

Top

High

Middle

Low

Bottom

Top

High

Middle

Low

Bottom

Top

High

Middle

Low

Bottom

Top

High

Middle

Low

Bottom

Top

High

Middle

Low

Bottom

S1

7

42

42

42

7

16.5714

13.3571

11.9762

11.3771

9.4286

18

13

12

11

9

4.39155

5.87604

5.89538

6.32001

6.92477

10-22

1-24

0-23

0-23

2-23

8

9.25

9

8.25

8

-.258

.030

.007

-.099

1.34

S2

6

36

36

36

6

17

12.8889

13.9167

12.0556

10.5

17.5

13

15

11.5

10.5

4.56070

4.96719

4.87779

5.79628

2.25832

10-23

0-22

1-21

0-23

8-13

7.75

8.5

7.75

8.75

5

-.398

-.337

-.664

.148

.000

62

S3 Pre-test

6

34

34

34

6

18.83

13.68

12.47

10.88

9

21.5

14.5

12.5

10.5

8

6.432

6.498

5.658

5.623

5.329

7-24

3-24

2-24

0-21

2-17

10

10

9

7

9

-1.61

-.105

.311

-.143

.392

S3 Post-test

6

34

34

34

6

19

17.65

16.88

15.26

13.83

22

19

19

15

14.5

6.033

5.045

6.124

4.876

6.555

8-23

6-24

2-24

5-24

6-22

9

8

10

8

13

-1.582

-.777

-.885

-.212

-.098

Figure 4.6

among different ability group in S1, S2, S3 pre-test and S3

post-test

63

4.3.1.

Table 4.8 4.11 presented the Pearson (zero-order) correlations among different

variables (academic achievement, overall means, mean scores on different levels

questions and number of attempted question) in MRT for S1, S2, S3 pre-test and

S3 post-test respectively. Generally, the academic achievement in school was

significantly correlated to the overall mean and the mean scores in easy level

questions at 0.05 level in S1, S2 and S3 Pre-Test. Also, the overall mean in MRT

and the mean score on different level questions were significantly correlated in the

tests, and the correlations of some variables (overall mean, easy level questions,

medium level questions, hard level questions and twisted-overlapped view in S3

pre-test) with the academic achievement in school were significant at the 0.01

level. By comparing the variables correlation among S3 pre-post tests, significant

decreases in the correlations between academic achievement and certain variables

(overall means, mean scores on different levels questions) were observed.

64

Variables

O1#

EL1#

ML1#

HL1#

TV1#

OV1#

TOV1#

NA1#

.216*

.245**

.195*

.139

.073

.151

.110

-.249**

.855***

.928***

.864***

.635***

.780***

.580***

-.280**

.721***

.584***

.397***

.569***

.380***

-.269**

.705***

.473***

.668***

.499***

-.223**

.816***

.825***

.649***

-.260**

.450***

.290**

-.162

.433***

-.272**

(S1)

Academic

achievement

(AA1)

Overall

(O1)

Easy level

(EL1)

Medium

Level

(ML1)

Hard Level

(HL1)

Twisted view

(TV1)

Overlapped

view (OV1)

TwistedOverlapped

-.165

View

(TOV1)

Number of

question

attempted

(NA1)

#Abbreviation for S1 MRT:

Academic achievement (AA1)

Overall (O1)

Hard Level (HL1)

Twisted view (TV1)

Twisted-Overlapped View (TOV1)

Number of question attempted (NA1)

65

Variables

O2

EL2

ML2

HL2

TV2

OV2

TOV2

NA2

.228*

.204*

.150

.232*

.134

.216*

.152

-.008

.759***

.910***

.812***

.624***

.715***

.332***

.537***

.569***

.393***

.250**

.387***

.189*

.274**

.625***

.504***

.590***

.156

.481***

.785***

.796***

.512***

.564***

.386***

.100

.605***

.266**

.394***

(S2)

Academic

achievement

(AA2)

Overall

(O2)

Easy level

(EL2)

Medium Level

(ML2)

Hard Level

(HL2)

Twisted view

(TV2)

Overlapped

view (OV2)

TwistedOverlapped

.091

View (TOV2)

Number of

question

attempted

(NA2)

#Abbreviation for S2 MRT:

Academic achievement (AA2)

Overall (O2)

Medium Level (ML2)

Hard Level (HL2)

Twisted view (TV2)

Overlapped view (OV2)

Twisted-Overlapped View (TOV2)

Number of question attempted (NA2)

66

Variables

O3a

EL3a

ML3a

HL3a

TV3a

OV3a

TOV3a

NA3a

.313**

.284**

.294**

.255**

.206*

.136

.343**

.059

.839***

.931***

.879***

.784***

.756***

.737***

.341***

.689***

.602***

.561***

.513***

.475***

.046

.728***

.613***

.620***

.672***

.332***

.918***

.871***

.786***

.485***

.720***

.587***

.409***

.523***

.439***

(S3 Pre-test)

Academic

achievement

(AA3a)

Overall

(O3a)

Easy level

(EL3a)

Medium Level

(ML3a)

Hard Level

(HL3a)

Twisted view

(TV3a)

Overlapped

view (OV3a)

TwistedOverlapped

.417***

View (TOV3a)

Number of

question

attempted

(NA3a)

#Abbreviation for S3 MRT (pre-test):

Academic achievement (AA3a)

Overall (O3a)

Medium Level (ML3a)

Hard Level (HL3a)

Twisted view (TV3a)

Overlapped view (OV3a)

Twisted-Overlapped View (TOV3a)

Number of question attempted (NA3a)

67

Variables

O3b

EL3b

ML3b

HL3b

TV3b

OV3b

TOV3b

NA3b

.228*

.167

.220*

.198*

.111

.160

.221*

.001

.782***

.933***

.888***

.704***

.774***

.589***

.216*

.659***

.540***

.399***

.538***

.310***

.002

.724***

.554***

.656***

.476***

.127

.834***

.802***

.699***

.378***

.460***

.413***

.448***

.382***

.269**

(S3 Post-test)

Academic

achievement

(AA3b)

Overall

(O3b)

Easy level

(EL3b)

Medium Level

(ML3b)

Hard Level

(HL3b)

Twisted view

(TV3b)

Overlapped

view (OV3b)

TwistedOverlapped

.111

View (TOV3b)

Number of

question

attempted

(NA3b)

#Abbreviation for S3 MRT (post-test):

Academic achievement (AA3b)

Overall (O3b)

Medium Level (ML3b)

Hard Level (HL3b)

Twisted view (TV3b)

Overlapped view (OV3b)

Twisted-Overlapped View (TOV3b)

Number of question attempted (NA3b)

68

By using the scatter plot, the relationship between the overall mean of the S3

pre-test and S3 post-test in this study has been shown in the Figure 4.7. The best

fit line found is [S3 overall score in post-test] = 8.31 + 0.66 [S3 overall score in

post-test], and the S3 overall scores in post-test is positively correlated to the S3

overall scores in pre-test, with R2 Linear = 0.545.

Figure 4.7

and S3 post-test

69

4.3.2.

By using the paired t-test to examine the paired difference of the MRT

performance within the S3 pre-test and S3 post-test, paired mean difference,

standard deviation, t values and p values of paired t-tests in the pre-post tests on

certain variables (overall means, mean scores on different levels questions and

number of attempted question) were found and tabulated in the Table 4.12.

the spatial abilities of students before and after learning the topic More about 3D

figures in S3?), three null hypotheses were identified before the paired t-test.

before and after the learning of the topic More about 3D figures in S3 at the p =

0.05 level.

on problems with varying difficulties (easy level questions, medium level

questions,

hard

level

questions,

twisted

view,

overlapped

view

and

twisted-overlapped view) before and after the learning of the topic More about

3D figures in S3 at the p = 0.05 level.

questions before and after the learning of the topic More about 3D figures in S3

at the p = 0.05 level.

70

Table 4.12

scores on different levels questions and number of

attempted question within the S3 pre-test and post-test

S3 Pre-test and Post-test (N = 114)

Measures

Mean

Difference

(Pre-test

Post-test)

t-value

SD

SE

Mean

(degree of

freedom =

113)

Overall

-4.070

4.269

.400

-10.180***

.000

Easy level

-.16184

.22617

.02118

-7.640***

.000

Medium Level

-.14561

.23671

.02217

-6.568***

.000

Hard Level

-.23281

.27118

.02540

-9.166***

.000

Twisted view

-.29825

.38313

.03588

-8.311***

.000

overlapped view

-.21079

.39917

.03739

-5.638***

.000

Twisted-overlapped

view

-.12281

.41839

.03919

-3.134**

.002

Number of question

attempted

-2.58772

3.34138 .31295

-8.269***

.000

Paired t-test on the changes of the performance in S3 pre-test and post-test was

conducted. There was a significant difference in students overall mean (spatial

abilities) before and after the teaching of the topic More about 3D figures in S3

(t = -10.180, p = .000). It was sufficient to reject the null hypothesis (1) that is no

significant difference in students overall mean before and after the learning of the

topic More about 3D figures in S3. Also, there was a significant difference in

easy level questions (t = -7.640, p = .000), medium level questions (t = -6.568, p

= .000), hard level questions (t = -9.166, p = .000), twisted view (t = -8.311, p

= .000), overlapped view (t = -5.638, p = .000) and twisted-overlapped view (t =

-3.134, p = .002) before and after the learning of the topic More about 3D figures

71

in S3. It was sufficient to reject the null hypothesis (2) that there was no

significant difference in individual performance on problems with varying

difficulty before and after the learning of the topic More about 3D figures in S3.

Furthermore, students were significantly better to attempt doing questions after

the learning of the topic More about 3D figures, t (113) = -8.269, p = .000). It

was sufficient to reject the null hypothesis (3) that there was no significant

difference in the number of attempted questions before and after the learning of

the topic More about 3D figures in S3. To conclude, the paired t-test in the

performance of pre-post tests provided more evidences to the belief that S3

students had considerable differences in the spatial abilities before and after

learning the topic More about 3D figures.

4.3.3.

investigation about the spatial sense. The group differences related to gender

factor in the spatial sense were examined using an analysis of variance (ANOVA)

tests in the measures of the academic achievement and MRT performance

(number of attempted question, overall performance on the MRT and the

individual performance on problems with varying difficulty) at S1, S2, S3 pre-test

and S3 post-tests (see Table 4.13 to 4.15). For S1 to S2, one-way between subjects

ANOVA tests were performed in the analysis while the measures in the tests were

defined as a dependent variable and the genders as independent variables. Instead

of using one-way between subjects ANOVA, repeated-measures ANOVA tests

(Two-way mixed-design ANOVA) were used to measure the significant difference

between the genders (independent variables) in a group of measures in the tests at

different time interval (1: pre-test ; 2: post-test).

72

To investigate the gender part of the research question 2 (Are there any

considerable differences in the spatial abilities of male and female students in

S1-S3?), four null hypotheses were identified before the ANOVA and repeatedmeasures ANOVA test.

achievement between genders in all S1-S3 at the p = 0.05 level.

between genders in all S1-S3 at the p = 0.05 level.

on problems with varying difficulties (easy level questions, medium level

questions,

hard

level

questions,

twisted

view,

overlapped

view

and

questions between genders in all S1-S3 at the p = 0.05 level.

73

Table 4.13

of ANOVA for the academic achievement, questions at different

difficulty levels and the no of attempted questions between

genders in S1 MRT

S1

Group means

Measures

Analysis

Male

Female

(N=71)

(N=69)

137.1754

(25.93642)

Group differences

(Main effect of group)

F

p2

133.1261

(25.42182)

F(1,138)=

0.87

.353

.006

15.3099

9.2174

F(1,138)=

(5.30119)

(5.27165)

46.473***

.000

.252

Easy level

0.821

(0.19456)

0.5941

(0.31924)

F(1,138)=

25.959***

.000

.158

Medium Level

0.6531

(0.26213)

0.391

(0.2645)

F(1,138)=

34.671***

.000

.201

Hard Level

0.4641

(0.28515)

0.1943

(0.19989)

F(1,138)=

41.782***

.000

.232

Twisted view

0.5023

(0.39851)

0.1351

(0.28201)

F(1,138)=

39.399***

.000

.222

Overlapped

view

0.488

(0.36954)

0.2551

(0.27523)

F(1,138)=

17.815***

.000

.114

0.3592

(0.37017)

0.1812

(0.27077)

F(1,138)=

10.496**

.001

.071

20.169

(4.02842)

20.9275

(3.79364)

F(1,138)=

1.314

.254

.009

Academic

Achievement

Overall

ANOVA

Twistedoverlapped

view

Number of

question

attempted

74

Table 4.14

result of ANOVA for the academic achievement, questions at

different difficulty levels and the no of attempted questions

between genders in S2 MRT

S2

Group means

Measures

Analysis

Group differences

(Main effect of group)

Male

(N=71)

Female

(N=49)

p2

Academic

Achievement

120.2577

(29.58005)

116.7776

(30.27607)

F(1,118)=

0.394

.532

.003

Overall

14.4366

(4.70177)

11.00

(5.22015)

F(1,118)=

14.15***

.000

.107

Easy Level

0.7946

(0.22785)

0.6786

(0.26163)

F(1,118)=

6.661*

.011

.053

Medium

Level

0.6121

(0.26244)

0.4622

(0.28321)

F(1,118)=

8.861**

.004

.07

Hard Level

0.4232

(0.25602)

0.2633

(0.19316)

F(1,118)=

13.725***

.000

.104

Twisted view

0.4835

(0.36936)

0.2722

(0.33186)

F(1,118)=

10.293**

.002

.08

Overlapped

View

0.4363

(0.35088)

0.298

(0.25717)

F(1,118)=

5.555*

.02

.045

Twistedoverlapped

view

0.3028

(0.35334)

0.1837

(0.24354)

F(1,118)=

4.191*

.043

.034

Number of

question

attempted

21.5915

(3.3746)

19.00

(4.39223)

F(1,118)=

13.334***

.000

.102

ANOVA

75

Table 4.15

of ANOVA for the academic achievement, questions at different

difficulty levels and the no of attempted questions between

genders in S3 pre-test and S3 post-test

S3 Pre-test (Time = 1) and Post-test (Time = 2)

Group means

Measures

Academic

Achievement

Analysis

ANOVA

Time

(5.801)

(5.958)

18.57

(4.897)

14.78

(5.462)

0.7939

0. 6068

(0.23693)

(0.27101)

0.9024

(0.17334)

0.8167

(0.20766)

0.6259

(0.25416)

0.4533

(0.27768)

0.7824

(0.2587)

0.5892

(0.28848)

0.3859

(0.33511)

0.2737

(0.29898)

0.6554

(0.25595)

0.4735

(0.28258)

0.383

(0.36373)

0.261

(0.3259)

0.7163

(0.36326)

0.5277

(0.36543)

2

1

Easy level

Level

measures

ANOVA

Hard Level

Twisted view

p2

122.5667

124.9200 F(1,113) =

.702 .001

(32.81404) (32.58470)

.147

10.7

Overall

Medium

Female

(N=60)

14.52

Repeated-

Male

(N=54)

Group differences

(Main effect of group)

76

F(1,112) =

.000 .123

15.673***

F(1,112) =

.000 .108

13.612***

F(1,112) =

16.051***

F(1,112) =

8.986**

F(1,112) =

7.708**

.000 .125

.003 .074

.006 .064

Group means

Measures

Analysis

Time

Male

(N=54)

Female

(N=60)

0.4537

0.3417

(0.42635)

(0.39586)

0.6796

(0.31095)

0.5388

(0.35922)

0.3241

(0.36546)

0.225

(0.34964)

0.5185

(0.36294)

0.2833

(0.33657)

Number of

question

20.95

(3.96777)

20.3889

(4.24449)

attempted

23.2333

(2.02833)

23.3148

(1.48989)

overlapped

view

Twisted-

Repeated-

overlapped

view

measures

ANOVA

Group differences

(Main effect of group)

F

p2

F(1,112) =

.036 .039

4.496*

F(1,112) =

9.702**

F(1,112) =

.226

.002

.635 .002

among the genders (male and female) to the S1 (F (1,138) = 0.87, p =.353), S2 (F

(1,118) = 0.394, p=.532) and S3 (F (1,113) = .147, p=.702) by using the ANOVA

test. It was not sufficient to reject the null hypothesis (4) that there is no

significant difference in students academic achievement between genders in all

S1-S3.

77

.08

On the contrary, in comparing the gender difference in the overall mean, result

suggested that the male really outperformed the female in all S1 (F (1,138) =

46.473***, p = .000) and S2 (F (1,118) = 14.15***, p = .000) MRT by using the

ANOVA test and S3 (F (1,112) = 15.673***, p = .000) MRT pre-post tests by

using repeated-measures ANOVA. It was sufficient to reject the null hypothesis (5)

that there is no significant difference in students overall mean between genders in

all S1-S3. The S3 performance among different genders on the overall means over

the two time points (pre-test and post-test) was shown in the Figure 4.8.

Figure 4.8

different genders

78

in the Table 4.13 to 4.15, the significance levels p of each item in all forms were

smaller than .05 and thus concluded that the difference in the easy level (S1:

F(1,138)= 25.959***, p = .000 ; S2: F(1,118)= 6.661*, p = .011 ; S3: F (1,112) =

13.612***, p = .000), medium level (S1: F(1,138)= 34.671***, p = .000 ; S2:

F(1,118)= 8.861**, p = .004 ; S3: F(1,112) = 16.051***, p = .000) and hard level

(S1: F(1,138)= 41.782***, p = .000 ; S2: F(1,118)= 13.725***, p = .000 ; S3:

F(1,112) = 8.986**, p = .003) between male and female were statistically

significant. Furthermore, in considering different spatial view in hard questions in

MRT, the male is also outperformed the female significantly in the twisted view

(S1: F(1,138)= 39.399***, p = .000 ; S2: F(1,118)= 10.293**, p = .002 ; S3:

F(1,112) = 7.708**, p = .006), overlapped view (S1: F(1,138)= 17.815***, p

= .000 ; S2: F(1,118)= 5.555*, p = .02; S3: F(1,112) = 4.496*, p = .036) and

twisted-overlapped view (S1: F(1,138)= 17.815***, p = .000 ; S2: F(1,118)=

5.555*, p = .02 ; S3: F(1,112) = 4.496*, p = .036) (S1: F(1,138)= 10.496**, p

= .001 ; S2: F(1,118)= 4.191*, p = .043 ; S3: FF(1,112) = 9.702**, p = .002) in the

ANOVA tests. It was sufficient to reject the null hypothesis (6) that there is

significant difference in individual performance on problems with varying

difficulties between genders in all S1-S3. The S3 performance among different

genders on various difficulties over the two time points (pre-test and post-test)

was shown in the Figure 4.9a c and Figure 4.10a c.

79

(a)

(b)

(c)

Figure 4.9a-c

(b) and Hard(c)] in MRT among different genders

80

(a)

(b)

(c)

Figure 4.10 a-c

overlapped (b) and overlapped-twisted(c)] in MRT among

different genders

81

Another ANOVA analysis showed that the male participants in S2 were likely to

attempt the questions than female participants significantly, F (1,118) = 13.334***,

p = .000. However, the differences in number of attempted questions between

genders in S1 (F (1,138) = 1.314, p = .254) and S3 (F (1,112) = .226, p = .635)

were insignificant according to the result of the variance analysis. Therefore, it

was not sufficient to reject the null hypothesis (7) that there is no significant

difference in the number of attempted questions between genders in all S1-S3.

The number of attempted questions among different genders over the two time

points (pre-test and post-test) was shown in the Figure 4.11.

Figure 4.11

82

4.3.4.

Compared with the gender difference, the difference in spatial sense and the

performance in MRT were found less significant among different ability group in

this study. To compare the group differences among the ability factor in the spatial

sense, ANOVA tests in the measures of the academic achievement and MRT

performance (number of attempted question, overall performance on the MRT and

the individual performance on problems with varying difficulty) at all forms were

investigated and summarized in Table 4.16 to 4.18. One-way between subjects

ANOVA tests were performed in the analysis of S1 and S2 performance in MRT

while repeated-measures ANOVA tests (Two-way mixed-design ANOVA) were

used to measure the significant difference between ability groups (top, high,

middle, low and bottom) in a group of measures in the tests at different time

interval (1: pre-test ; 2: post-test).

Referring to the students ability part of the research question 2 (Are there any

considerable differences in the spatial abilities of top, high, medium, low and

bottom ability students in S1-S3?), five null hypotheses were identified before the

ANOVA and repeated- measures ANOVA tests.

83

achievement between ability groups in all S1-S3 at the p = 0.05 level.

between ability groups in S3 pre-post tests at the p = 0.05 level.

on problems of medium level questions between ability groups in all S2 and S3 at

the p = 0.05 level.

on problems with twisted-overlapped view between ability groups in all S3 at the

p = 0.05 level.

attempted questions between ability groups in S1pre-test at the p = 0.05 level.

84

Table 4.16

of ANOVA for the academic achievement, questions at different

difficulty levels and the no of attempted questions between

ability groups in S1 MRT

S1

Group differences

Group means

(Main effect of group)

Measure

Analysis

Top

High

Middle

Low

Bottom

F

Academic

(1) N=7

(2) N=42

(3) N=42

(4) N=42

(5) N=7

179.4286

159.9369

134.8738

113.0167

77.2

F(4,135) =

(6.14938)

(8.41003)

(4.81092)

(8.16923)

(14.04063)

352.980***

16.5714

13.3571

11.9762

11.3571

9.4286

F(4,135) =

(4.39155)

(5.87604)

(5.89538)

(6.32001)

(6.92477)

1.895

0.9171

0.7724

0.6769

0.6698

0.5514

F(4,135) =

(0.14151)

(0.24855)

(0.29153)

(0.29514)

(0.39143)

2.393

Medium

0.7471

0.5557

0.5376

0.46

0.4114

F(4,135) =

Level

(0.19015)

(0.27481)

(0.279)

(0.32349)

(0.29323)

1.967

0.43

0.3712

0.3036

0.3183

0.2343

F(4,135) =

(0.30605)

(0.3092)

(0.26095)

(0.25719)

(0.34856)

0.757

0.3329

0.3971

0.2455

0.3333

0.2371

F(4,135) =

(0.47141)

(0.41202)

(0.36113)

(0.39006)

(0.37062)

0.88

overlapped

0.5729

0.3805

0.3881

0.3402

0.2386

F(4,135) =

view

(0.31816)

(0.36553)

(0.35303)

(0.30844)

(0.41843)

0.968

0.3571

0.3095

0.25

0.25

0.2143

F(4,135) =

(0.37796)

(0.34838)

(0.29735)

(0.35355)

(0.3934)

0.378

19.1429

19.2857

20.6667

21.381

23.7143

F(4,135) =

Overall

Easy level

Hard Level

ANOVA

Twisted view

Posthoc

1>2>3

.000

Achievement

p2

.913

>4>5

.115

.054

NA

0.054

.066

NA

0.103

.055

NA

0.555

.022

NA

0.478

.025

NA

0.427

.028

NA

0.824

.011

NA

0.017

.085

Twistedoverlapped

view

Number of

question

(3.57904)

(4.08618)

(3.90539)

(3.71518)

attempted

85

(0.48795)

3.12*

5>1,

2,3,4

Table 4.17

result of ANOVA for the academic achievement, questions at

different difficulty levels and the no of attempted questions

between ability groups in S2 MRT

S2

Group differences

Group means

(Main effect of group)

Measure

Analysis

Top

High

Middle

Low

Bottom

F

Academic

(1) N=6

(2) N=36

(3) N=36

(4) N=36

(5) N=6

187.8333

145.225

116.7611

91.3583

68.8333

F(4,115)=

(10.46349)

(11.8034)

(7.35612)

(7.20808)

(9.91538)

286.588***

17

12.8889

13.9167

12.0556

10.5

F(4,115)=

(4.5607)

(4.96719)

(4.87779)

(5.79628)

(2.25832)

1.879

0.8317

0.7933

0.7178

0.7183

0.7367

F(4,115)=

(0.14275)

(0.24273)

(0.23303)

(0.28704)

(0.19012)

0.731

0.76

0.4967

0.64

0.505

0.4083

F(4,115)=

Overall

Easy level

Medium

Level

(0.2283)

(0.2666)

(0.2579)

(0.30464)

(0.17093)

2.891*

0.5433

0.3606

0.3956

0.3111

0.2117

F(4,115)=

(0.3025)

(0.23769)

(0.22794)

(0.25921)

(0.10128)

2.007

0.61

0.3703

0.4536

0.3614

0.2233

F(4,115)=

(0.32955)

(0.36393)

(0.38411)

(0.36054)

(0.34599)

1.188

overlapped

0.6117

0.3883

0.4156

0.3142

0.2767

F(4,115)=

view

(0.25286)

(0.32456)

(0.33291)

(0.31874)

(0.25153)

1.443

0.3333

0.2917

0.2639

0.2222

0.0833

F(4,115)=

(0.40825)

(0.34589)

(0.27995)

(0.32611)

(0.20412)

0.746

21.8333

20.3056

20.3889

20.3333

22.6667

F(4,115)=

(3.92003)

(3.67866)

(3.97332)

(4.63527)

(2.06559)

0.636

Hard Level

ANOVA

Twisted view

Posthoc

1>2>

.000

Achievement

p2

.909

3>4>5

.119

.061

NA

.573

.025

NA

.025

.091

1>2,

3,4,5

.098

.065

NA

.32

.04

NA

.224

.048

NA

.563

.025

NA

.638

.022

NA

Twistedoverlapped

view

Number of

question

attempted

86

Table 4.18 The difference between mean, standard deviation, and the result of

ANOVA for the academic achievement, questions at different

difficulty levels and the no of attempted questions between ability

groups in S3 pre-test and S3 post-test

S3 Pre-test (Time = 1) and Post-test (Time = 2)

Group differences

Group means

(Main effect of group)

Measure

Analysis

Time

Top (1)

High (2)

Middle (3)

Low (4)

Bottom (5)

F

Academic

ANOVA

N=6

N=34

N=34

N=34

N=6

191.5750

153.5647

121.7779

94.9647

62.3167

p2

F(4,109) =

Achievement

(12.95639)

(7.59108)

(8.27862)

(15.61662)

18.83

13.68

12.47

10.88

9.00

(6.432)

(6.498)

(5.658)

(5.623)

(5.329)

F(4,109) =

19.00

17.65

16.88

15.26

13.83

2.581*

(6.033)

(5.045)

(6.124)

(4.876)

(6.555)

0.88

0.7397

0.7185

0.6215

0.5483

(0.19110)

(0.27139)

(0.23479)

(0.30192)

(0.27107)

F(4,109) =

0.905

0.8909

0.8488

0.8406

0.7617

1.738

(0.17341)

(0.16157)

(0.20263)

(0.20799)

(0.29404)

0.7833

0.5941

0.5500

0.4412

0.4000

(0.24833)

(0.29330)

(0.25966)

(0.24509)

(0.33466)

F(4,109) =

0.8333

0.7291

0.7032

0.6147

0.5

2.849*

(0.31309)

(0.26644)

(0.31451)

(0.26246)

(0.33681)

0.69

0.365

0.2774

0.3024

0.1667

(0.40802)

(0.33064)

(0.31827)

(0.2786)

(0.16825)

F(4,109) =

0.6483

0.6094

0.5794

0.4844

0.5033

1.881

(0.33127)

(0.28078)

(0.30879)

(0.2482)

(0.29582)

0.6117

0.3826

0.2453

0.2841

0.2767

(0.49073)

(0.34072)

(0.35176)

(0.31993)

(0.25153)

F(4,109)

0.6683

0.6665

0.6082

0.5782

0.555

=1.082

(0.21189)

(0.40252)

(0.40633)

(0.34245)

(0.40461)

0.8333

0.3676

0.3382

0.4559

0.0833

overlapped

(0.40825)

(0.39521)

(0.40303)

(0.41501)

(0.20412)

F(4,109)

view

0.7217

0.6474

0.6176

0.53

0.6117

=1.520

(0.44364)

(0.30742)

(0.38667)

(0.33053)

(0.25286)

hoc

1>2>3>

.000

(5.90760)

Post-

.907

267.109***

4>5

1>2,3,4,

Overall

.041

.087

.147

.06

NA

1

Easy level

2

1>2,3,4,

Medium Level

Repeated-

.027

.095

.119

.065

NA

.369

.038

NA

.201

.053

NA

measures

ANOVA

Hard Level

2

1

Twisted view

2

87

Group differences

Group means

(Main effect of group)

Measure

Analysis

Time

Top (1)

High (2)

Middle (3)

Low (4)

Bottom (5)

F

N=6

N=34

N=34

N=34

N=6

0.6667

0.3382

0.2647

0.1765

0.0833

(0.40825)

(0.38377)

(0.35324)

(0.29854)

(0.20412)

p2

Posthoc

1

Twisted-

F(4,109)

1>2,3,4,

.009

overlapped view

Repeated-

ANOVA

=3.565**

0.5

0.4559

0.4706

0.2647

0.25

(0.54772)

(0.35607)

(0.34687)

(0.3311)

(0.41833)

21.8333

20.6765

20.1765

21.2647

19.1667

(4.83391)

(4.34651)

(4.57576)

(3.26885)

(3.65605)

F(4,109)

23.6667

23.1176

23.1471

23.4706

23.3333

= .532

(0.8165

(1.99643)

(1.9715)

(1.56157)

(1.63299)

question

attempted

measures

Number of

.116

.712

2

The ANOVA tests on the students academic achievement suggested that there

were a significant differences among the ability groups to the S1 (F (4,135) =

352.980***, p = .000), S2 (F (4,115) = 286.588***, p = .000) and S3 (F (4,109) =

267.109***, p = .000). It was sufficient to reject the null hypothesis (8) that there

is no significant difference in students academic achievement between ability

groups in all S1-S3.

88

.019

NA

the overall mean indicated a significant difference among groups (F (4,109) =

2.581*, p = .041) in S3. The post-hoc analysis further pointed out the top ability

students differed significantly from other ability groups in S3 pre-post tests (top >

high, medium, low, bottom). It was sufficient to reject the null hypothesis (9) that

there is no significant difference in students overall mean between ability groups

in S3 pre-post tests. The S3 performance among different genders on the overall

means over the two time points (pre-test and post-test) was shown in the Figure

4.12.

Figure 4.12

different ability groups

89

Also, by using the ANOVA (S2) and repeated-measures ANOVA (S3 pre-post

tests) on the ability group differences in the medium level questions, results

suggested that there existed a significant difference among groups in S2

(F(4,115)= 2.891*, p = .025) and S3 pre-post tests (F(4,109) = 2.849*, p = .027).

The post-hoc analysis further pointed out the top ability students differed

significantly from other ability groups (top > high, medium, low and bottom) in

S2 and S3. It was sufficient to reject the null hypothesis (10) that there is no

significant difference in individual performance on problems of medium level

questions between ability groups in all S2 and S3. The S3 performance among

different ability group on medium level questions over the pre-test and post-test

was shown in the Figure 4.13.

Figure 4.13

among different ability groups

90

The result also showed that there was a significant difference among ability

groups in the S3 MRT performance involving twisted-overlapped view. The

post-hoc analysis further indicated that the top ability students in S3 were

significantly more capable than other ability groups in doing twisted-overlapped

view questions. It was sufficient to reject the null hypothesis (11) that there is no

significant

difference

in

individual

performance

on

problems

with

twisted-overlapped view between ability groups in all S3. The Figure 4.14 shows

the performance on the twisted-overlapped view questions among different ability

groups in S3 pre-post tests.

Figure 4.14

in MRT among different ability groups

91

attempted questions was found in S1 (F (4,135) = 3.12*, p = 0.017) while the

bottom ability students in S1 significantly attempted more questions than other

ability groups by using the post-hoc analysis (bottom > top, high, medium, low).

It was sufficient to reject the null hypothesis (12) that there is no significant

difference in the number of attempted questions between ability groups in S1

pre-test.

Besides analysing the group differences on overall mean and the performance of

different level questions in S3, repeated-measures ANOVA were used to further

investigate the within-group differences and the relevant interactions among

genders and ability groups. Results showed that there were significant interaction

effects between time and ability group in hard level (F (4,104) = 2.676, p = .036,

p2=.093) and overlapped view (F (4,104) = 3.718, p = .007, p2=.125) questions

at .05 level, shown in the Table 4.19 and Table 4.20 respectively. No other

interactions were significant (ps > .15). By comparing the mean score on the

performance on the above two highly interacted factors (see Table 4.18), it was

found that the bottom achievers had significant higher gain than the top and high

achievers in general. This will be discussed in the next chapter.

92

Table 4.19

hard level questions on S3 MRT by time (pre-test an post-test),

genders, ability groups and their interaction

Source

Sum of

Squares

df

Mean

square

p2

Time

1.161

1.161

32.759

.000

.240

Time * Gender

.001

.001

.042

.838

.000

Time * Ability

Group

.379

.095

2.676

.036

.093

Time * Gender *

Ability Group

.056

.014

.393

.814

.015

Error(Time)

3.686

104

.035

Table 4.20

overlapped view questions on S3 MRT by time (pre-test an

post-test), genders, ability groups and their interaction

Source

Sum of

Squares

df

Mean

square

p2

Time

1.458

1.458

19.646

.000

.159

Time * Gender

.024

.024

.321

.572

.003

Time * Ability

Group

1.104

.276

3.718

.007

.125

Time * Gender *

Ability Group

.186

.047

.628

.644

.024

Error(Time)

7.720

104

.074

93

4.3.5.

By using a linear regression analysis, mean scores of the mental rotation pre-test,

genders and mathematics achievement were used together as predictors of the

mean score in post-test. The overall regression model was found in significant

level at the .05 level, R2 = .56, F (3,110) = 46.624, p = .000. The individual

regression coefficients of the model were analysed and tabulated in the Table 4.20.

In formulating the regression equation, mathematics achievement is not

significant (b = .003, t =.225, p = .823) and thus it was omitted in the equation.

The score in the pre-test was involved in regression model as it had high

significant level at the .05 (b = .62, t = 9.786, p =.000). Even though gender is not

significant at the .05 level (b = 1.428, t = 1.928, p = .056 > .05), it was included in

predicting the score of post-test because its significant level is still less than .06

and there is a significant gain (+1.428 points ) in the pre-test score for male

students.

[Post-tests score] = 7.824 + [pre-tests score] 0.62 + [gender = male] 1.428

Equation 1

94

Table 4.21

mean score of the mental rotation post-test

Standard

error

SEB

Beta

Constant

7.824

1.435

---

5.451

.000

Mathematics

Achievement

.003

.011

.015

.225

.823

Pre-Test

.620

.063

.693***

9.786

.000

Gender

1.428

.740

.130

1.928

.056

95

4.4. Summary

To sum up, different data analyses and the comparisons among different genders

and ability groups on the S1, S2 and S3 MRT were performed. With respect to the

performance on all tests, the students in S3 post-test achieved better result than the

students in S1, S2 and S3 pre-test from the means comparison in section 4.2.1. By

further using the paired t-test on the S3 pre-post tests (see section 4.3.2), students

had a significant improvement in spatial abilities after the learning of the topic

More about 3D figures in S3. For the Pearson correlation analysis (section 4.3.1)

of all tests in the correlation studies, there were significantly correlations between

the overall mean and the mean scores on different levels questions. Also, the

strong correlations among academic achievement and certain variables (overall

means in MRT and mean scores on different level questions) in S3 pre-post tests

were found. For the gender differences, ANOVA analyses (section 4.3.3) showed

that male students outperformed the female students in the overall mean and

problems with varying difficulties in all S1-S3 MRT. Furthermore, the results

showed that there was a significant difference in overall mean and medium level

questions between ability groups in S3 pre-post tests (see section 4.3.4).

96

5. Discussion

5.1. Spatial sense development and mathematics learning

Research Question 1: Are there any considerable differences in the spatial abilities

of students before and after learning the topic More about 3D figures in S3?

variables (overall means, mean scores on different levels questions and number of

attempted question) were obtained between S3 pre-test and post-test at 0.01 level.

By comparing the overall mean in all tests, the overall mean of students in S1, S2

and S3 pre-test did not deviate much (S1 mean score in MRT: 12.3071; S2 mean

score in MRT: 13.0333 and S3 pre-test: 12.51) while there was a significant rise in

S3 post-test (S3 post-test: 16.58). As the spatial sense can be represented by the

mean score of the MRT, it is supposed that there is a significant improvement in

spatial ability of students after the instruction of the mathematics topic More

about 3D figures in S3 but not in other topics mentioned before the S3 pre-test. It

is sensible to assume that students might acquire some special mathematics

content or related ideas in mathematics lessons with topic More about 3D figures

that could develop their spatial abilities in 3D figure significantly.

By considering the mean difference on the performance of easy, medium and hard

questions, it was found that hard level questions (mean difference = -.23281, t =

-9.166, p = .000) had more significant improvement than the easy (mean

difference = -.16184, t = -7.640, p = .000) and medium (mean difference =

-.14561, t = -6.568, p = .000) level questions statistically at the .001 level. More

students were able to achieve higher mean difference in hard level (from .3268

97

to .5596, + 71.2%) than easy level (from .6954 to .8573, +23.3%) and medium

level (from .5351 to .6807, + 27.2%) mental rotation questions in MRT. This

could show intervention (lesson practice on visualizing 3D figures) on students

can favour the development of their spatial sense on difficult MRT questions.

Also, in assessing the mean differences of the twisted view and overlapped view

questions, twisted view questions (mean difference = -.29825, t = -8.311, p = .000)

had a more significant statistical change than in overlapped view question (mean

difference = -.21079, t = -5.638, p = .000) at the .001 level. It is reasonable to

conclude that the abilities to visualize the twisted and overlapped 3D objects were

enhanced after learning the topic More about 3D figures. One of the main

inferences is that the mathematics textbook used in the lesson consist of many

problems of 3D figures that can sharpen students spatial sense by degrees. For

instance, referring to the mathematics curriculum in teaching the topic More

about 3D figures, three selected sections and their teaching objectives associated

to the mental rotation were listed below (see Table 5.1, refer to appendix I).

98

Table 5.1

teaching objectives

Section in

More about 3D figures

Teaching objective

Section 5.1

Symmetries of Solids

A. Reflectional

and

Rotational Symmetries of

Solids

reflectional and rotational

symmetries of solids.

Recognize the reflectional

and rotational symmetries

B. Symmetries of Regular

Polyhedra

(Enrichment:

Other

Regular Polyhedra)

tetrahedra.

Explore the reflectional and

rotational symmetries of

Duration

160 mins

(4 lessons)

Section 5.2

Nets of Solids

design a net for a solid.

Realize the relationships

among the vertices and the

80 mins

net.

of a 2-D representation.

A. Orthographic Views of

Solids

B. Identifying Solids from

their Orthographic Views

Learn

to

draw

the

orthographic views of a

solid and understand the

related concepts.

Sketch the solid according

on Isometric Grid)

Draw the solid on isometric

grid paper according to its

orthographic views.

Section 5.3

2-D Representations of Solids

160 mins

were required to identify the plane of reflection in 3D figures. After the drawing

99

of the plane and dividing the figure into two parts, 180 O mental rotations of

different parts in a 3D figure were performed for checking (refer to Figure 5.1).

Also, in learning the concept of the rotational symmetry of solid, students were

required to identify different but suitable axes of rotational symmetry in the 3D

figure and then perform the ability of mental twisting the figure in different

directions for checking (refer to Figure 5.2). Repeated training on mental rotation

can be performed by figuring out the position axes of rotational symmetry in the

3D figure. Besides, the section nets of solids (section 5.2 of the textbook) in the

topic More about 3D figures can further develop students mental rotation

ability. Net of a solid is a 2D pattern that can be folded into a 3D figure (see

Figure 5.3). While the net is transformed into 3D figure, overlapping of sides and

twisting of the 2D plane of the net were performed mentally in three-dimensional

space. Therefore, it is believed that the one of the reasons of the significant

enhancement of students performance in twisted view questions might be due to

the learning of the concept of reflectional symmetry and rotational symmetry of

solid.

Figure 5.1

(Man et al., 2009, p.5.6)

100

Figure 5.2

(Man et al., 2009, p.5.7)

Figure 5.3

(Man et al, 2009, p.5.16)

view (see Figure 5.4) and orthographic views (see Figure 5.5) of solids were

introduced to students. As the isometric view of the 3D figure can only show the

view of the solid in one direction only, students were required to perform mental

construction of the 3D figure in mind from the isometric view learnt from this

section. In a case of the complicated 3D figures, students were needed to visualize

the overlapped view from the isometric view and recognize the existence of some

101

hide parts in the 3D figure. To further construct the orthographic views (front

view, side view and top view) of solids, students were trained to rotate the

diagram mentally in order to extract different views of the selected figure. For the

lesson instructions performed in this study, teachers showed different 3D models

(manipulatives) in most of the mathematics lessons, and students were able to

touch the real models by their hands. In teaching of the net of a solid, students

were given the net (unfold solid paper) and requested to fold the model by

themselves in order to visualize different planes on the solid. This is consistent to

the literatures (Ferguson et al., 2008; Pedrosa et al., 2014) that manipulatives

could help students to develop their spatial sense effectively. The learning

contents above might be the reason that could favour the spatial sense

development on students in respect to the significant changes in the performance

on twisted and overlapped view questions in this study.

Figure 5.4

(Man et al., 2009, p.5.24)

102

Figure 5.5

(Man et al., 2009, p.5.24)

All in all, according to the Pearson correlations analysis in section 4.3.1, it was

found that the S3 overall scores in pre-post-testes were positively correlated to the

academic achievement of mathematics in school. Consistent with prior research,

the result confirmed that mental rotation ability is related to mathematical

achievement (Battista and Clements, 1996; Casey et al., 1997; Reuhkala, 2001).

More than 80.7 % (92 out of 114) of students in S3 showing improvement in the

post-test could further indicate that the students with higher overall means in

pre-test had little room for improvement while the students with lower overall

means had a better chance to strengthen their spatial sense after the learning the

topic More about 3D figures (see Figure 4.7).

103

Research Question 2: Are there any considerable differences in the spatial abilities

of male and female students? And between top, high, medium, low and bottom

ability students in S1-S3?

5.2.1.

students in different forms among genders were measured and showed in the

previous chapter. Results indicated there were considerable differences in the

spatial abilities (overall mean) of male and female students in all junior forms (S1:

F (1,138) = 46.473; S2: F (1,118) = 14.15; S3: F (1,112) = 15.673) statistically at

0.001 level. The regression equation (see Equation 1) mentioned in the section

4.3.5 also pointed out male can have an additional advantage (+1.428 marks) in

predicting the post-test scores from the pre-test score. These showed the gender

differences existed in spatial performance in which male students outperformed

female students in spatial ability test and this finding is consistent with the major

findings in the literature that males are more likely to use spatial strategies than

female (Geary, Saults, Liu, & Hoard, 2000). This study can thus support the fact

that male advantage in spatial tasks than female (Hedges & Nowell, 1995; Voyer

et al., 1995; Voyer, 1996).

104

(easy, medium and hard) differed significantly among genders for all forms, it is

interesting to discover that the percentage changes (see Table 5.2) of the mean

scores of easy (Male: +13.7 %, Female: +34.6 %) , medium (Male: +25.0 %,

Female: +30.0 %) and hard (Male: +69.8 %, Female: +73.0 %) level questions in

female were higher than in male. One of the explanations may be schoolgirls had

lower overall mean in MRT than male students initially. However, after the

learning of the topic in 3D figures, female students had more improvement than

male students in percentage difference. Also, as females is more likely to have

rote-learning in mathematics learning and apply the taught methods directly (Kaur,

1990), the girls might try their best to apply the methods or algorithms that they

had learnt in the lessons to do the questions that might involve the mental rotation,

this might be the reason why girls can have a greater improvement in the post-test

than boys.

On the other hand, the percentage changes of the standard derivation (see Table

5.2) of hard level questions in male students (-23.6 %) was larger than female

students (-5.49 %), which indicated the variation in male on hard level questions

can be reduced more than female. It is believed that the teaching curriculum on

3D figures would favour minimization of the individual differences in male than

female.

105

Table 5.2

derivation of different level questions in S3 pre-post tests

among genders

Mean score

Standard derivation

Male

Female

Male

Female

Easy

+13.7 %

+34.6 %

-26.8 %

-23.4 %

Medium

+25.0 %

+30.0 %

+1.79 %

+3.89 %

Hard

+69.8 %

+73.0 %

-23.6 %

-5.49 %

In comparing the performance of twisted and overlapped view questions for all

forms (see section 4.3.3) , male students generally had better performance in

twisted view questions than overlapped view questions (except S3 pre-test) while

female had relatively better performance in overlapped view than twisted view.

The difference in the performance among genders might due to the male students

having stronger sense of mental rotation than female students. Actually, the

finding were also consistent with prior studies found by Manger & Eikeland (1998)

that significant gender differences could be found in difficult tasks but not in the

easiest tasks.

106

5.2.2.

Considering the ability group difference mentioned in section 4.3.4, this study

divided students into five ability groups according to the school academic

performance and thus there were significant difference in students academic

achievement between ability groups in all S1-S3 at the p = 0.001 level. Also,

significant statistical differences were found in S2 top ability students

performance in medium level questions at p = 0.05 level, and S3 top ability

students performance in medium level and twisted-overlapped view questions at

p = 0.05 level. These results were consistent with the existing finding (Velez,

Silver & Tremaine, 2005) that large spatial ability differences existed in general

population. These might also indicate that moderate and complicated mental

rotation was more challenging for most of the students with low-average ability

but not top students.

The results in the interaction studies of S3 pre-post tests (section 4.3.4) mentioned

that there were significant interaction effects between time and ability group in

hard level questions and overlapped view questions at .05 level. It is believed that

top or high ability students would probably obtain high score in the hard level

questions and overlapped questions of the pre-test, and thus it was difficult for

them to have a giant gain. On the contrary, for the bottom level students, although

some scholars (Velez, Silver & Tremaine, 2005) suggested that the hidden detail

in the overlapped view questions might inhabit the visualization of figure in the

low spatial ability student, they could able to utilize the learnt topics (e.g.

sketching of the orthographic views of solid from its isometric view) that favour

mental rotation from the mathematics lesson and thus achieve higher score in the

post-test.

107

For the hard level questions, it is interesting that significant statistical interaction

effects between time and ability group could be found in the performance of the

overlapped view questions but not in the twisted view questions or

overlapped-twisted view questions. It could be explained by the facts that solving

twisted view questions demands multiple mental rotation abilities of 3D figures

while overlapped view questions involves the spatial visualization of the

overlapped cubes in the figures. Bottom ability students had a lot of practice on

visualizing the overlapped cubes in different sections of the 3D topic and hence

they were able to catch up with students in other ability groups in the performance

of overlapped view questions in post-test. This might be the reason why they

could obtain more significant change in the overlapped questions than other

ability group students. In contrast, the tasks that required multiple mental rotations

of the figures could rarely be found in the textbook or teachers instruction. This

might be the reason that no specific groups could outperform other groups in

handling the multiple mental rotation figures easily (twisted view questions) in the

post-test even they had learnt the topic More about 3D figures.

108

6.1. Summary of the study

Spatial abilities play an important role to be successful in mathematics learning,

especially appears in geometry that requires the strong requirement in spatial

visualization (Battista and Clements, 1996; Guzela & Sener, 2009). In this study,

the spatial sense development before and after learning the topic More about 3D

figures was studied and the spatial sense differences of junior secondary students

among genders and ability groups with similar social-economical background

were analyzed.

The paired t-test analyses on S3 students showed that (1) the mean difference of

overall spatial sense is statistically significantly improved at the 0.01 level, (2) the

mean difference of the performance in hard level questions has more significant

improvement than the easy and medium level questions statistically at the .001

level, and (3) the mean difference of the performance twisted view questions had

a statistically significant change than in overlapped view question at the .001 level.

By analysing the learning contents inside the textbook, it is believed that the

curriculum (topics in reflectional & rotational symmetry, net of the solid and 2D

representation of solid) and the use of manipulatives could favour the spatial sense

development in solid visualization on students with respect to the significant

changes in the spatial sense. Furthermore, the Pearson correlations further

confirmed the prior findings (Battista and Clements, 1996; Casey et al., 1997;

Reuhkala, 2001) that the overall mean in MRT (spatial sense) is positively

correlated to the academic achievement of mathematics.

109

mean) of male and female students in all junior forms were found at 0.001 level in

which support the literatures that male advantage in spatial tasks than female

(Hedges & Nowell, 1995; Voyer et al., 1995; Voyer, 1996). Most of the male

students showed better performance in twisted view questions than overlapped

view questions while female has relatively better performance in overlapped view

than twisted view. This agreed with the findings by Manger & Eikeland (1998)

that significant gender differences could be found in difficult tasks but not in the

easiest tasks.

The results about ability groups discovered that statistically significant differences

were found in S2 and S3 top ability students performance in medium level

questions at .05 level, and S3 top ability students performance in

twisted-overlapped view questions at .05 level. This confirmed moderate and

complicated mental rotation was more challenging for most of the students with

low-average ability but not top students. For the interaction study, significant

interaction effects between time and ability group in hard level questions and

overlapped view questions at .05 level were found. Also, it is observed that

statistically significant interaction effects between time and ability group could

also be found in the overlapped view questions but not in the twisted view

questions or overlapped-twisted view questions. This might indicate that More

about 3D figures could help low ability students to develop spatial visualization

(corresponding to overlapped view questions) more effectively but not the

multiple mental rotations (corresponding to twisted view questions).

110

The following implications can be made from this study:

1. This study can confirm the spatial sense on solid visualization can be achieved

by conducting the topic More about 3D figures mentioned by the junior

mathematics curriculum in Hong Kong (Curriculum Development Council,

1999). It is observed that average students can really have significant

improvement in hard level questions than in easy or medium level questions if

a suitable pedagogy of teaching can be provided for learners. This indicates

that all students are also able to access the mathematics problems if suitable

scaffolds can be provided in geometry learning. Spatial sense is not built in a

day. Students should sharpen their spatial sense by learning from schools or

daily life progressively. From the point of view of schooling, it is suggested

that not only can textbook be used by teachers in the instruction of the

geometry learning, but teachers can make use of manipulatives (virtual or real

3D models) to cultivate their spatial sense (Pedrosa, Barbero & Miguel, 2014;

Ferguson et al., 2008; Piburn et al., 2005).

2. The results of this study verify that statistically significant differences in the

spatial abilities exist among genders, as suggested by the previous researches

that male students have advantage in spatial tasks than female students

(Hedges & Nowell, 1995; Voyer et al., 1995; Voyer, 1996). To cater for the

gender difference, since male students have advantages in using spatial

reasoning (requires spatial sense) than female students, while female students

have stronger ability in computational and analytical skills in solving

mathematics questions than male students (Casey et al., 2011), teacher might

apply spatial and verbal-analytical reasoning in the problem solving

111

minimize the gender gap in geometry learning due to spatial sense difference.

teacher are suggested to modify their normal or remedial teaching such as

providing specific teaching strategies (utilize rotation of virtual or real 3D

figures) on teaching multiple mental rotation for students. To further enhance

the spatial sense development of junior secondary students, extra section about

mental rotation can be introduced earlier into the junior mathematics

curriculum so as to emphasize on developing the knowledge understanding

and application of spatial skills in students according to the gender/ ability

group difference.

and research scholars to study the gender difference. Spatial abilities analysis can

reflect difficulties of students in solving spatial problems, and hence relates to

their mathematics achievement. For scholars in studying spatial abilities, this

research can provide baseline information on recent group differences (gender and

mathematical achievement) and spatial abilities study at different ages and

academic levels.

112

To apply this study for the future exploration on spatial sense, some limitations of

this study are listed.

Firstly, one of the main limitations of this study is the absent of the control group.

Although the results indicated that statistically significant differences in the paired

t-test of the pre-post scores (at .001 level) after the intervention by the selected

topic more about 3D figures were recorded, it might possible that the minor

development of the spatial sense came from other factors such as normal growth

of the teenagers, other subjects in school and test-retest effect (Bruce & Hawes,

2015). However, it is believed that the results of this study are still useful as the

changes of the spatial sense in a short time (around one month) could not be

explained by natural growth of students, spatial elements in other subject or the

test-retest effect only, the influence of the lesson intervention is still a main factor

to explain the significant changes in the spatial sense of the learners. For the

further direction of a similar study, it is recommended that control group can be

included in the study so as to eliminate other factors but only the investigated

factor left.

113

Secondly, sampling size is also a limitation in this study. As a spatial sense study

was carried out in a single school, it is expected that the sample size is small

compared to some international literature. Indeed, to further enhance the size

effects of the findings in different variables (e.g. genders, ability groups), further

study on more schools with similar background (e.g. similar social-economical

states of students, gender ratio in school, and medium of instruction) in Hong

Kong can be examined so as to increase the significance of the study.

Finally, due to the limited time on designing the lesson intervention, only

traditional real 3D models were used in teaching the topic More about 3D figures

in this study. However, due to the supporting scheme for e-learning in school

provided by the Education Bureau in Hong Kong starting from 2015, around 900

schools will have funding to improve the schools Wi-Fi infrastructure (Wi-Fi 900)

to cater for the need of using e-textbook, e-learning resources and mobile devices

in the lessons (Education Bureau, 2014). Thus, another way to design a geometry

lesson with information technology in classroom tasks on students spatial sense

development might be a direction of further study. It is expected that this study

can be a baseline for the further research in geometry learning.

114

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122

8. Appendices

8.1. Appendix A: Email approval of using the MRT in this study

(a) Request to use MRT (provided by Professor Michael Peters) for study (Mr.

Chow Hung Keung, Tom)

To: mpeters@uoguelph.ca

Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 1:25:11 PM

Subject: About the use of Vandenberg & Kuse Mental Rotation Test

Dear Professor Michael Peters,

I am a current teacher in a secondary school who studies in a master research.

I would like to carry out a test that involves the use of Vandenberg & Kuse Mental

Rotation Test. Is it possible to send me the copy and use it in my research? I will

use it in the Hong Kong SAR secondary school.

Thank you!

Regards,

Tom

(b) Reply for condition in using the MRT

2014-05-22 23:01 GMT+08:00 Michael Peters <mpeters@uoguelph.ca>:

Hi,

I attach the conditions of use of the test. Once you AND your supervisor have

agreed to these conditions I can send the test as pdf. Simple statement of

agreement by each of you is sufficient.

Also: I have a Mandarin version of the test. Please let me know if you want the

Mandarin or the English version of the test. There is no cost.

Best wishes,

Michael Peters

*the condition of use of the test was shown in the appendix B

123

To: "Michael Peters" <mpeters@uoguelph.ca>

Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2014 2:19:36 AM

Subject: Re: About the use of Vandenberg & Kuse Mental Rotation Test

Dear Professor Michael Peters,

Hi! I am still contacting my supervisor. Here I just want to ask a question about

the academic use of the test. Can I show some of the test figures in my study

similar to your papers/Journal published? I will extract some figures (Not the

whole test) and discuss the results in my dissertation submit. As the thesis need to

go into my school Library and may be one to two figures may be exposed to the

public.

Can I get your permission to do so?

Reference papers by Prof. Michael Peters:

(1) A redrawn VKMRT different versions and factors that affect performance

(2) Applications of mental rotation figures of the Shepard and Metzler type and

description of a mental rotation stimulus library

(3) Sex differences and the factor of time in solving Vandenberg and Kuse mental

rotation problems

Kind regards

Tom

2014-05-29 20:53 GMT+08:00 Michael Peters <mpeters@uoguelph.ca>:

Hi,

Yes, it makes sense that you include a sample of the test for your dissertation and

you have my permission. However, I cannot send the test until I have your

supervisor's e-mail.

Best,

Michael Peters

124

From: Ida A. C. Mok

Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 1:51 PM

To: Chow Tom; Michael Peters

Subject: RE: About the use of Vandenberg & Kuse Mental Rotation Test

Dear Professor Michael Peters,

Tom Chow is currently a student of our Master of Education Programme, He

develop into an interest in using your instrument for the study of his dissertation

module that is under my supervision. I understand that he has got your generous

support in his earlier communication with you. Tom will surely follow your

attached condition if you grant him the permission to use the Vandenberg & Kuse

Mental Rotation Test.

We look forward to your kind support.

Best wishes

Ida

2014-09-24 22:04 GMT+08:00 Michael Peters <mpeters@uoguelph.ca>:

Dear Tom,

Attached is a Chinese and English version of the test and the instructions/answer

key. I trust you will abide by your agreement to keep good control of the test as

outlined in the information letter.

Best wishes,

Michael Peters

PS: I cannot guarantee the quality of the Chinese translation because I cannot read

it myself. It was generously provided by a colleague at our university who is

Chinese.

125

You (Mr. Chow Hung Keung, Tom) will have to agree to the following

conditions, which are meant to keep the test of use for some time to come:

I agree not to let copies of the tests get into general circulation. This would

invalidate the test for all researchers. Thus, subjects must never be allowed to

keep copies of the test after completing it.

I agree not to let copies of the tests get into general circulation. This would

invalidate the test for all researchers. Thus, subjects must never be allowed to

keep copies of the test after completing it.

I agree to keep control of the test at all times (i.e. when not using it for

research, please keep it safely out of the way). I agree to destroy the original

if I no longer have any use for it and I agree to shred the data sheets once the

information has been transferred to a computer.

If I get the test as .pdf, I agree to erase the file from my computer as soon as I

have printed out a copy of the test. It is absolutely essential that no electronic

copies float about on the net because that would invalidate the test.

These conditions are absolutely necessary to keep the MRT a useful tool; the only

alternative is for me to commercialize the test in which case each researcher

would have to pay for each single copy used for subject testing, as is the situation

for commercialized tests.

Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive Sciences

University of Guelph

126

Assent and Consent Form for School Principal

THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG

27th March 2015

Dear Ms. XXXXX (School Principal),

The relationship between solids visualization and

spatial sense of students in mathematics learning

I am a student study for Master of Education at the University of Hong Kong

and need to carry out the project The relationship between solids visualization

and spatial sense of students in mathematics learning under the supervision of

Dr. MOK, Ida A.C. (Associate Professor), as part of the program. The purpose of

this project is to understand the spatial abilities of junior secondary school

students in Hong Kong. By comparing students performance in Mental Rotation

Test (MRT) among different gender and mathematics achievement, the spatial

abilities of male and female students can be found. Also, to further evaluate the

spatial sense development in Hong Kong mathematics curriculum, differences in

the spatial abilities of students before and after learning the topic More about 3D

figure in Secondary 3 Mathematics will be studied.

For the research procedures, this research requires 2 mathematics teachers to

perform the paper-pencil test (MRT) checking (around 15 minutes) before the

pilot test on students, around 12 students in S1 - S3 students are then selected to

perform pilot test (around 15 minutes) in the classroom. In addition, a 15-minutes

paper-pencil test in classroom/ hall will be given to all S1 to S2 students so as to

access their spatial abilities. For S3 students, 15-minutes in classroom lesson

paper-pencil Pre-Test and Post-Test will be performed before and after the

teaching of the topic More about 3D figure respectively. S3 Mathematics

teachers will be invited to hold the Pre-test and Post-Test in this study. Also, the

mathematics academic performance of S1 - S3 students in school (1st Term Test

and Exam) will be collected and used in data analysis. Student name, class, class

number and gender will be used as personal identifiers in the project.

Individual report of spatial abilities will be given to participants after the test.

I will make sure that the information school and students provide to me will be

treated with the utmost confidentiality and anonymity. Students participation is

voluntary. They have the right not to be included in the analysis, and if I find out

that a student does not wish to be included, I will act according to that wish and

not include the student. They can also choose to withdraw from the study at any

time without negative consequences. The information collected will only be used

for this project and will be destroyed 1 to 5 years after publication of first paper of

the study. All of the obtained information will be securely stored in a locked

cabinet at the researchers office.

127

If you understand the content described above and agree that your school will

participate in this research, please sign below. Your help is very much appreciated.

If you have any questions or concerns about the research, please contact Mr.

Chow Hung Keung, Tom (Teacher) at XXXXXXXX College (Tel: (852)

XXX-XXX; Email: XXXXXXXXX). If you have questions about your rights as

a research participant, please contact the Human Research Ethics Committee for

Non-Clinical Faculties, HKU (2241-5267).

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Chow Hung Keung, Tom

Teacher

XXXXXXX College

Reply Slip

Please tick

I agree to the procedures set out above to facilitate (Chow Hung Keung,

Tom) to conduct the educational research in my school.

I would not like the school to participate in the above project.

Signed by: ___________________

Date: ___________________________

Ms. XXXXXXX

(School Principal)

XXXXXX College

128

Assent and Consent Form for Secondary 1-2 students

THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG

The relationship between solids visualization and

spatial sense of students in mathematics learning

Dear Students,

I am a student study for Master of Education at the University of Hong

Kong and need to carry out the project The relationship between solids

visualization and spatial sense of students in mathematics learning under the

supervision of Dr. MOK, Ida A.C. (Associate Professor), as part of the program,

with the approval of your school principal. The purpose of this study is to

understand the spatial abilities of junior secondary school students in Hong Kong.

I would like to invite you to participate.

If you agree to join this project, you will be invited to complete one piece

of paper-pencil test (around 15 minutes) in the classroom. Also, your mathematics

academic performance in school (1st Term Test and Exam) will be collected and

used in data analysis. Your name, class, class number and gender will be used as

personal identifiers in the project.

Individual report of spatial abilities will be given to you after the test. Your

participation is voluntary and you can choose to stop at any time without negative

consequences. All information obtained will be kept strictly confidential and for

research purpose only. All of the obtained information will be securely stored in

a locked cabinet at the researchers office, and will be destroyed 1 to 5 years after

publication of first paper of the study.

If you have any questions or concerns about the research, please contact

Mr. Chow Hung Keung, Tom (Teacher) at XXXXXXXXX College (Tel: (852)

XXXX-XXXX; Email: XXXXXXXX). If you have questions about your rights

as a research participant, please contact the Human Research Ethics Committee

for Non-Clinical Faculties, HKU (2241-5267).

129

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Chow Hung Keung, Tom

Teacher

XXXXXXXXX College

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Student Reply Slip

If you agree to take part in this project, please put a tick in the following box and

sign your name besides it.

I agree to participate in this project and allow researcher to collect my

personal information mentioned in the Assent and Consent Form as academic

research purposes.

Signature: __________________

Student Name: ____________

Class: __________

130

Date: ___________

(

(852) XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXXXX)

(2241-5267)

XXXXXXXX

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

:_________________

____________ _______________________

131

THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG

The relationship between solids visualization and

spatial sense of students in mathematics learning

Dear Students,

I am a student study for Master of Education at the University of Hong

Kong and need to carry out the project The relationship between solids

visualization and spatial sense of students in mathematics learning under the

supervision of Dr. MOK, Ida A.C. (Associate Professor), as part of the program,

with the approval of your school principal. The purpose of this study is to

understand the spatial abilities of junior secondary school students in Hong Kong.

I would like to invite you to participate.

If you agree to join this project, you will be invited to complete one

paper-pencil test before and one paper-pencil test after the teaching of a

mathematics topic More about 3D figure (each of them around 15 minutes) in

the classroom. Also, your mathematics academic performance in school (1st Term

Test and Exam) will be collected and used in data analysis. Your name, class, class

number and gender will be used as personal identifiers in the project.

Individual report of spatial abilities will be given to you after the test. Your

participation is voluntary and you can choose to stop at any time without negative

consequences. All information obtained will be kept strictly confidential and for

research purpose only. All of the obtained information will be securely stored in

a locked cabinet at the researchers office, and will be destroyed 1 to 5 years after

publication of first paper of the study.

If you have any questions or concerns about the research, please contact

Mr. Chow Hung Keung, Tom (Teacher) at XXXXXXXXXX College (Tel: (852)

XXX-XXX; Email: XXXXXXXXXXXX). If you have questions about your

rights as a research participant, please contact the Human Research Ethics

Committee for Non-Clinical Faculties, HKU (2241-5267).

132

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Chow Hung Keung, Tom

Teacher

XXXXXXXX College

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Student Reply Slip

If you agree to take part in this project, please put a tick in the following box and

sign your name besides it.

I agree to participate in this project and allow researcher to collect my personal

information mentioned in the Assent and Consent Form as academic research

purposes.

Signature: __________________

Student Name: _____________ Class: __________

133

Date: ___________

3D

(

(852) XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXXXX)

(2241-5267)

XXXXXXXXXX

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

:_________________

_____________ __________

134

____________

Consent form for Secondary 1-2 students parent / guardian

31st March, 2015

Dear Parent / Guardian,

I am a student study for Master of Education at the University of Hong Kong and

need to carry out the project The relationship between solids visualization and

spatial sense of students in mathematics learning under the supervision of Dr.

MOK, Ida A.C. (Associate Professor), as part of the program, with the approval

of your school principal. Your child is asked to take part in this educational

research and development project that aims to understand the spatial abilities of

junior secondary school students in Hong Kong.

This project will have the following benefits to the community:

students in Hong Kong.

Kong mathematics curriculum development, and

improve teaching and learning of spatial mathematics problem according to

the gender difference

complete one paper-pencil test (around 15 minutes) in the classroom. Also, the

mathematics academic performance of students in school (1st Term Test and

Exam) will be collected and used in data analysis. Student name, class, class

number and gender will be used as personal identifiers in the project.

Individual report of spatial abilities will be given to participants after the test.

The information collected will only be used for this project. Strict confidentiality

will be maintained. The collected information will be destroyed 1 to 5 years after

publication of first paper of the study. All of the obtained information will be

securely stored in a locked cabinet at the researchers office. Participation in this

project is voluntary and your child can withdraw from the project at any time. No

action on your part is required if you give consent for your child to participate in

the study; However, if you do NOT wish to give consent, you are requested to

make this known to the school. If you have any questions or concerns about the

research, please contact Mr. Chow Hung Keung, Tom (Teacher) at XXXXXXXX

College (Tel: (852) XXX-XXXX; Email: XXXXXXXXXXX). If you have

questions about your rights as a research participant, please contact the Human

Research Ethics Committee for Non-Clinical Faculties, HKU (2241-5267).

I would like to express our gratitude to your child for participating in this project.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Chow Hung Keung, Tom

Teacher

XXXXXXXX College

135

1 5

((852) XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX)

(2241-5267)

/

XXXXXXXXXX

((852) XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXXX)

136

31st March, 2015

Dear Parent / Guardian,

I am a student study for Master of Education at the University of Hong Kong and

need to carry out the project The relationship between solids visualization and

spatial sense of students in mathematics learning under the supervision of Dr.

MOK, Ida A.C. (Associate Professor), as part of the program, with the approval

of your school principal. Your child is asked to take part in this educational

research and development project that aims to understand the spatial abilities of

junior secondary school students in Hong Kong.

This project will have the following benefits to the community:

students in Hong Kong.

Kong mathematics curriculum development, and

improve teaching and learning of spatial mathematics problem according to

the gender difference

complete one paper-pencil test before and one paper-pencil test after the teaching

of a mathematics topic More about 3D figure (each of them around 15

minutes) in the classroom. Also, the mathematics academic performance of

students in school (1st Term Test and Exam) will be collected and used in data

analysis. Student name, class, class number and gender will be used as personal

identifiers in the project.

Individual report of spatial abilities will be given to participants after the test.

The information collected will only be used for this project. Strict confidentiality

will be maintained. The collected information will be destroyed 1 to 5 years after

publication of first paper of the study. All of the obtained information will be

securely stored in a locked cabinet at the researchers office. Participation in this

project is voluntary and your child can withdraw from the project at any time. No

action on your part is required if you give consent for your child to participate in

the study; however, if you do NOT wish to give consent, you are requested to

make this known to the school. If you have any questions or concerns about the

research, please contact Mr. Chow Hung Keung, Tom (Teacher) at

XXXXXXXXX College (Tel: (852) XXXX-XXXX; Email: XXXXXXXXXX ).

If you have questions about your rights as a research participant, please contact

the Human Research Ethics Committee for Non-Clinical Faculties, HKU

(2241-5267).

We would like to express our gratitude to your child for participating in this

project.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Chow Hung Keung, Tom (Teacher)

XXXXXXXX College

137

3D

1 5

((852) XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX)

(2241-5267)

/

XXXXXXXXXXX

((852) XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXXX)

138

Instruction

(A) Background

In this study, Revised Vandeberg & Kuse Mental Rotations Tests which are based

on the original Vandenberg & Kuse (1978) Mental Rotation Test figures and

Shepard (Shepard & Metzler, 1971) are provided by Michael Peters et. al. (1995).

In the literature review on mental rotation based on Vandenberg & Kuse test, one

with 20 and one with 24 problem sets. The tests that used are the 24 problem set.

(B) Introduction

This test is composed of the figures provided by Shepard and Metzler (1971), and

is, essentially, an AutoCAD redrawn version of the Vandenberg & Kuse MRT

test. Michael Peters, PhD, July 1995

This test is relatively sensitive to prior exposure and thus participants should be

given no more information on prior to starting the test.

1. Participants are required to read on Page 1-2. The experimenter should figure

out that the first five figures are the same figure, but rotated around the

vertical axis. If necessary, experimenter can make use of rotating the vertically

extended hand in order to illustrate the idea of rotation axis.

2. Participants are asked to determine that these are all versions come from the

same figure.

3. Next, two identical but different orientation figures on the first page are

shown. Participants are then asked to figure out two figures are different from

the first five set of five figures.

4. Continue to the four problem trial sets.

(C) Verbal instructions

5. Experimenter: "One target figure is shown on the left, and four stimulus

figures on the right. In the following problems sets, there are two figures on

the right which are rotated versions of the target figure, and two figures which

cannot be made to match the target figure. In Problem set number 1, try to see

which of the two figures are corrected. The answer is given below. The first

and the third figures match the target figures. You have to find both of the

correct answers to get a point for a problem. A single correct answer or a

correct and an incorrect answer do not count."

139

6. Experimenter: "Now try the three problems on page 3. The correct answers are

given below"

7. (Sufficient time should be given to participants work through these problems,

at least 3 minutes for the three problems on page 3.)

8. Experimenter: "Please turn over your test booklet with face down"

(D) The Test: Instructions

13. Experimenter: We are ready to start when I say 'begin'. In each problem,

remember, there are two and only two correct solutions, and you have to mark

these by putting an X across the correct figure.

14. (Experimenter illustrates the answering method)

15. Experimenter: We do pages 4 and 5 and then we take a little break. You have

4 minutes for the pages 4 and 5. When I say 'stop', turn the test face down

immediately, even if you are in the middle of a problem.

16. Experimenter: "Begin"

17. (4 minutes)

18. Experimenter: Stop, please turn your test booklet face down".

19. (2 minutes rest)

20. Experimenter: Now we begin. Once again, you have 4 minutes for the pages

6 and 7. Please, open the test booklet at page 6 and begin the second half".

21. Experimenter: Begin"

22. (4 minutes)

23. "Stop, please turn your test booklet face down".

24. (Collect the question and answer booklet)

(E) Reference

Peters, M., Laeng, B., Latham, K., Jackson, M., Zaiyouna, R. and Richardson, C.

(1995). A Redrawn Vandenberg & Kuse Mental Rotations Test: Different Versions

and Factors that affect Performance. Brain and Cognition, 28, 39-58.

140

(EXAMPLE)

MENTAL ROTATIONS TEST

Name:

________________

Class:

________________

Class No: ________________

Gender: _Male/ Female___

141

Part A: Instruction

Please read the following paragraph:

Please look at these five figures

(examples)

Note that these are all pictures of the same object which is shown from different

angles. Try to imagine moving the object (or yourself with respect to the object),

as you look from one drawing to the next.

(examples)

Here are two drawings of a new figure that is different from the one shown in the

first 5 drawings. Satisfy yourself that these two drawings show an object that is

different and cannot be "rotated" to be identical with the object shown in the first

five drawings.

Now look at

this object:

Can you find those two? Put a big X across them.

1.a

(examples)

If you marked the first and third drawings, you made the correct choice.

142

Here are three more problems. Again, the target object is shown twice in each set

of four alternatives from which you choose the correct ones.

2.a

(examples)

3.a

(examples)

4.a

(examples)

Correct Choice:

3: first and fourth

4: first and third

When you do the test, please remember that for each problem set there are two

and only two figures that match the target figure.

You will only be given a point if you mark off both correct matching figures,

marking off only one of these will result in no marks.

143

1.a

(examples)

2.a

3.a

4.a

24.a

** As all figures in this study were used under the limited condition, general

circulation would not be allowed as it would invalidate the test for all research.

For further details, please contact Professor Michael Peters, Neuroscience and

Applied Cognitive Sciences, University of Guelph.

Reference

Peters, M., Laeng, B., Latham, K., Jackson, M., Zaiyouna, R. and Richardson, C.

(1995). A Redrawn Vandenberg & Kuse Mental Rotations Test: Different Versions

and Factors that affect Performance. Brain and Cognition, 28, 39-58.

144

S1 Part (1)

Students Gender

Ability

Ability

Mean Easy Med. Hard Students Gender

Mean Easy Med. Hard

group

group

Max

---

---

1B03

High

1A01

High

1B04

Low

1A02

1B05

High

1A03

Low

1B06

Middle

1A04

High

1B07

Low

1A05

High

1B08

1A06

Low

1B09

High

1A07

Middle

1B10

High

1A08

High

1B11

Low

1A09

High

1B12

1A10

Top

1B13

1A11

1B14

1A12

High

1B15

High

1A13

High

1B16

High

1A14

High

1B17

Low

1A15

High

1B18

Low

1A16

Low

1B19

1A17

1B20

High

1A18

High

1B21

High

1A19

High

1B22

1A20

High

1B23

1A21

Top

1B24

1A22

High

1B25

1A23

Top

1B26

High

1A24

1B27

High

1A25

High

1B28

Top

1A26

Top

1C01

Middle

1A27

Low

1C02

Low

1A28

High

1C03

High

1B01

Low

1C04

1B02

Top

1C05

145

High

Low

0.57 0.33 0.13

Low

S1 Part (2)

Students Gender

Ability

group

Ability

group

Max

---

---

1D09

1C06

High

1D10

1C07

High

1D11

Low

1C08

Middle

1D12

Middle

1C09

Middle

1D13

High

1C10

Low

1D14

1C11

High

1D15

1C12

Bottom

1D16

1C13

Low

1D17

High

1C14

1D18

Bottom

1C15

High

1D19

High

1C16

Low

1D20

High

1C17

High

1D21

Low

1C18

1D22

Low

1C19

1D23

Low

1C20

Low

1D24

Low

1C21

High

1D25

1C22

1D26

Low

1C23

Low

1D27

High

1C24

Low

1D28

Middle

1C25

Low

1E01

1C26

1E02

Low

1C27

1E03

Low

1C28

Low

1E04

Bottom

1C29

Low

1E05

Middle

1D01

High

1E06

Low

1D02

Low

1E07

Middle

1D03

Middle

1E08

Low

1D04

Bottom

1E09

Low

1D05

1E10

High

1D06

1E11

Middle

1D07

1E12

Middle

1D08

Middle

Low

0

6

146

Low

19 0.86 0.78 0.75

6

0.57 0.22 0.13

0.57 0.22 0.00

S1 Part (3)

Students Gender

Ability

group

---

Max

---

24

1E13

Bottom 12

1E14

Low

11

1E15

Middle

1E16

Low

16

1E17

Low

11

1E18

Top

10

1E19

High

15

1E20

Middle 16

1E21

Middle

1E22

High

20

1E23

Middle 11

1E24

1E25

1E26

Low

11

1E27

Low

Low

20

Middle 16

147

S2 Part (1)

Students Gender

Ability

group

Max

---

---

2A01

Middle

2A02

Top

2A03

2A04

Low

2A05

High

2A06

2A07

High

2A08

Top

2A09

2A10

Low

2A11

Middle

2A12

Middle

2A13

2A14

Ability

group

2B09

Low

2B10

Middle

2B11

High

2B12

High

2B13

2B14

2B15

High

2B16

Top

2B17

Top

2B18

2B19

2B20

2B21

High

High

2B22

High

Low

2B23

Low

2A15

High

2B24

High

2A16

Top

2B25

2A17

High

2C01

Low

2A18

High

2C02

Bottom

2A19

High

2C03

2A20

High

2C04

2A21

High

2C05

Middle

2A22

High

2C06

2A23

High

2C07

High

2A24

High

2C08

Bottom

2B01

Top

2C09

Low

2B02

High

2C10

High

2B03

Low

2C11

2B04

High

2C12

High

2B05

2C13

Low

2B06

Middle

2C14

Low

2B07

High

2C15

Low

2B08

148

High

0.71 0.11 0.38

11 0.57 0.44 0.38

8

8

S2 Part (2)

Students Gender

Ability

group

Ability

group

Max

---

---

2D25

Low

2C16

Low

2E01

High

2C17

Middle

2E02

2C18

2E03

Low

2C19

High

2E04

High

2C20

Low

2E05

Low

2C21

2E06

Low

2C22

Low

2E07

High

2C23

High

2E08

2C24

2E09

Low

2D01

2E10

Low

2D02

2E11

2D03

Low

2E12

High

2D04

Low

2E13

Low

2D05

2E14

2D06

Low

2E15

Low

2D07

Low

2E16

High

2D08

2E17

2D09

2E18

2D10

Low

2E19

2D11

Low

2E20

2D12

Low

2E21

High

2D13

Low

2E22

Low

2D14

2D15

2D16

2D17

2D18

Low

2D19

Low

2D20

2D21

Low

2D22

High

2D23

2D24

Low

High

0.71 0.33 0.00

Low

149

0.14 0.22 0.25

0.86 0.33 0.00

High

S3 Part (1)

Students Gender

Pre-test

Ability

Post-test

3A01

Low

3A02

Low

3A03

3A04

High

3A05

High

3A06

Low

3A07

High

3A08

High

3A09

High

3A10

Top

3A11

Low

3A12

High

3A13

Top

3A14

Low

3A15

High

3A16

High

3A17

3A18

Low

3A19

Low

3A20

Top

3A21

Top

3A22

3A23

High

3A24

High

3A25

High

3B01

Low

3B02

Middle

3B03

Middle

3B04

Middle

3B05

High

3B06

Top

150

0.71 0.00 0.00

0.57 0.22 0.25

S3 Part (2)

Students Gender

Pre-test

Ability

Post-test

3B07

High

3B08

High

3B09

Low

3B10

High

3B11

Bottom

3B12

High

3B13

Bottom

3B14

High

3B15

3B16

Middle

3B17

High

3B18

High

3B19

Low

3B20

High

3B21

3C01

Low

3C02

High

3C03

3C04

High

3C05

Middle

3C06

Middle

3C07

Low

3C08

Low

3C09

High

3C10

Low

3C11

Middle

3C12

Middle

3C13

High

3C14

Low

3C15

3C16

3C17

Bottom

3C18

151

S3 Part (3)

Students Gender

Pre-test

Ability

Post-test

3C19

Middle

3C20

3C21

Low

3C22

Low

3C23

High

3C24

High

3C25

Middle

3D01

Low

3D02

Low

3D03

Low

3D04

Low

3D05

3D06

Top

3D07

Low

3D08

Low

3D09

3D10

3D11

Low

3D12

Low

3D13

3D14

3D15

3D16

Low

3D17

High

3D18

Low

3D19

3D20

Low

3D21

Bottom

3D22

High

3D23

High

3E01

High

3E02

High

152

S3 Part (4)

Students Gender

Pre-test

Ability

Post-test

3E03

3E04

Low

3E05

Low

3E06

Middle

3E07

High

3E08

Low

3E09

Low

3E10

3E11

3E12

3E13

High

3E14

Low

3E15

3E16

3E17

3E18

High

3E19

3E20

Low

153

XXXXX College

S. 3 Mathematics Scheme of Work (2nd term 2014-15)

Course Book: Mathematics in Action by Longman

Lessons per week: 6

Chapter 5

Date Week

13/4- 32

14/4

Section

Teaching

Objective

Activity /

Classwork /

Lets

Further

Discuss

Practice

5.1

Symmetries of

Understand the

concepts of reflectional

Classwork:

p. 5.6

Solids

A. Reflectional

and

Rotational

Symmetries

and rotational

symmetries of solids.

Recognize the

reflectional and

rotational symmetries of

p. 5.8

of Solids

B. Symmetries

of Regular

Polyhedra

tetrahedra.

Explore the reflectional

and rotational

Other Regular regular polyhedra.

Polyhedra)

(Enrichment topic)

15/4 32

5.2

Nets of Solids

design a net for a solid. 5.1

Classwork:

p. 5.17

Realize the

Lets

relationships among the Discuss:

vertices and the faces of p. 5.20

a solid formed by a net.

Further

Practice:

p. 5.19

154

Date Week

16/4- 32

17/4

Section

Teaching

Objective

Activity / Classwork

Lets

/ Further

Discuss

Practice

5.3

Understand the limitations of Activity: Further

2-D Representations a 2-D representation.

5.2

Practice:

of Solids

Learn to draw the

p. 5.27

A. Orthographic

orthographic views of a solid

Views of Solids

and understand the related

B. Identifying Solids concepts.

from their

Sketch the solid according to

Orthographic

its orthographic views.

Views

Draw the solid on isometric

(Enrichment:

grid paper according to its

Drawing Solids

orthographic views.

on Isometric Grid) (Enrichment topic)

28/4

29/4 34

30/4

Planes in Solids

A. Relationships

projection of a point or a line

segment on a plane.

Learn to identify the angle

Further

Practice:

p. 5.38

between Lines

and Planes

B. Relationships

between Two

Planes

Learn to identify the angle

between two planes.

Solve practical problems

involving lines and planes in

a solid.

5.5

More about Solids

A. Eulers Formula

Explore the duality of regular 5.3

Practice:

polyhedra.

p. 5.42

B. Duality of

Regular Polyhedra

155

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