You are on page 1of 169

Title

Author(s)

The relationship between spatial sense and secondary three


students' learning of the solid visualization in 3D figures

Chow, Hung-keung;

Citation

Issued Date

URL

Rights

2015

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

Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License

The Relationship between Spatial Sense and Secondary


Three Students Learning of the Solid Visualization in
3D Figures

by

Chow Hung Keung

Dissertation presented a part fulfillment of the requirements of the


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

Chow Hung Keung


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.

Moreover, I wish to express my special thanks to Professor Michael Peters of the


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

strategies or manipulatives (scaffolds) in geometry learning in the existence of


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.

Literature Review ........................................................................................ 7


2.1. Spatial sense .................................................................................... 7
2.2. Spatial sense in mathematics learning ............................................... 9
2.3.
2.4.
2.5.

3.

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

Gender differences in spatial abilities .............................................. 11


Spatial ability tests and solid visualization .......................................14
The teaching of 3D figures in the Hong Kong curriculum................18

Research plan and methodology..................................................................26


3.1. Introduction ....................................................................................26
3.2. Participants .....................................................................................27
3.3. Research design ..............................................................................30
3.4. Instruments .....................................................................................33
3.5.

Data collection and procedures ........................................................37


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 collection by Mental Rotation Test ..............................42


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

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

vi

4.2.

Descriptive Statistical Analysis .......................................................46


4.2.1.
Comparison between S1, S2 and S3: Mean score and standard

deviation of MRT ................................................................46


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.

Pearson Correlations Analysis of MRT scores ......................64


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.

Gender and ability group differences in spatial abilities ................. 104


5.2.1.
Gender differences in spatial abilities................................. 104
5.2.2.
Ability group differences in spatial abilities ....................... 107

6.

Conclusion and recommendation .............................................................. 109


6.1. Summary of the study ...................................................................109
6.2. Educational implications ............................................................... 111
6.3. Limitation and future directions .................................................... 113

7.

Reference ................................................................................................. 115

8.

Appendices ............................................................................................... 123


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 B: Information letter for MRT usage approval ............... 126


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 G: Example of Mental Rotation Test Paper .................... 141


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

The learning targets of the section in measure, space and


space dimension

Table 2.2

The sub-sections and units in the section of measures, shape


and space dimension

Table 2.3

The sections and teaching objectives about More about 3D


figures

Table 3.1

The distribution of participants in different genders and


forms

Table 3.2

Grouping of participants in different forms and mathematics


abilities

Table 3.3

Percentile of academic achievement and corresponding


ability group

Table 3.4

Different topics about spatial geometry and figures in S1-S3

Table 3.5

Use of different instruments in different forms

Table 3.6

The framework of the difficulties on the MRT questions

Table 3.7

The procedures of data collection

Table 4.1

Mean and standard deviation, maximum, range and


skewness of academic achievement and MRT performance
in S1

Table 4.2

Mean and standard deviation, maximum, range and


skewness of academic achievement and MRT performance
in S2

Table 4.3

Mean and standard deviation, maximum, range and


skewness of academic achievement and MRT performance
in S3 pre-test

ix

Table 4.4

Mean and standard deviation, maximum, range and


skewness of academic achievement and MRT performance
in S3 post-test

Table 4.5

The comparison of the Mean and standard deviation of


academic achievement and MRT performance in different
forms

Table 4.6

Means, standard deviations, medians, ranges, interquartile


ranges and skewness of the overall scores in MRT by gender

Table 4.7

Means, standard deviations, medians, range, interquartile


ranges and skewness of the overall scores in MRT by ability
group

Table 4.8

Correlations among variables in MRT for S1

Table 4.9

Correlations among variables in MRT for S2

Table 4.10

Correlations among variables in MRT for S3 pre-test

Table 4.11

Correlations among variables in MRT for S3 post-test

Table 4.12

Paired mean difference between overall means, mean scores


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

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 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

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 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

Three selected section in More about 3D figures and their


teaching objectives

Table 5.2

The percentage changes of the mean score and standard


derivation of different level questions in S3 pre-post tests
among genders

xi

List of Figures
Figure 2.1

Sample figures from Mental Rotation Test (MRT)

Figure 2.2

Classwork of reflectional symmetry

Figure 2.3

Different nets (manipulatives) of solids

Figure 2.4

Class activity about the nets of polyhedra

Figure 2.5

The nets of different solids

Figure 3.1

Sample figures from Mental Rotation Test (MRT)

Figure 3.2

Easy Level mental rotations of 3D figures

Figure 3.3

Medium Level mental rotations of 3D figures

Figure 3.4

Multiple mental rotations of 3D figures (twisted view)

Figure 3.5

Complete overlapping of cubes in the figure (overlapped


view)

Figure 4.1

The histogram of the overall mean of S1

Figure 4.2

The histogram of the overall mean of S2

Figure 4.3

The histogram of the overall mean of S3 pre-test

Figure 4.4

The histogram of the overall mean of S3 post-test

Figure 4.5

The box-and-whisker diagrams of the overall mean variation


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

Figure 4.6

The box-and-whisker diagrams of the overall mean variation


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

Figure 4.7

The relationship between the overall mean of the S3 pre-test


and S3 post-test

Figure 4.8

The S3 performance on the overall means in MRT among


different genders

xii

Figure 4.9a-c

The S3 performance on various difficulties [Easy (a),


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

Figure 4.10 a-c

The S3 performance on various difficulties [twisted (a),


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

Figure 4.11

The number of attempted questions among different genders


in S2

Figure 4.12

The S3 performance on the overall means in MRT among


different ability groups

Figure 4.13

The S3 performance on the medium level questions in MRT


among different ability groups

Figure 4.14

The S3 performance on the twisted-overlapped view


questions in MRT among different ability groups

Figure 5.1

Reflectional symmetry of solid mentioned in textbook

Figure 5.2

Rotational symmetry of solid mentioned in textbook

Figure 5.3

Folding of a net into solid mentioned in textbook

Figure 5.4

Isometric view of the solid mentioned in textbook

Figure 5.5

Orthographic views of the solid mentioned in textbook

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.

1.2. The research questions


The purposes of this research are shown in the following:
1.

Are there any considerable differences in the spatial abilities of students


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.

Gender difference: It implies the difference between genders corresponding to


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.

Mathematics achievement: The mathematics achievement of students was


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).

Content in More about 3D figures: It is one of the topics in learning section


(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.

2.1. Spatial sense


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).

Furthermore, to investigate the factors in the spatial sense (ability), various


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.

Spatial sense development in geometry learning is one of the key components in


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.

2.2. Spatial sense in mathematics 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.

There was discussion on how to make use of manipulatives to develop spatial


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

2.3. Gender differences in spatial abilities


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).

Although gender differences in mathematics achievement were observed, various


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).

Some previous researches observed that male students performed better in


mathematics than female due to strong understanding in spatial ability,
problem-solving and reasoning while female students achieve better results in
11

writing, language, computational skills and memorizing of practical knowledge


(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

2.4. Spatial ability tests and solid visualization


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.

Furthermore, mental rotation testes were commonly used in various national


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).

Left: [Standard Graph]


Figure 2.1

Right: [Four options to choose]

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

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


Referring

to

Hong

Kong

junior

mathematics

curriculum

(Curriculum

Development Council, 1999), the mathematics curriculum is mainly divided into


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

To develop students an ever-improving capability to

understand the nature of measurement and be aware of the issues about


precision and accuracy;

apply a variety of techniques, tools and formulas for measurements and


solving mensuration problems;

explore and visualize geometric properties of 2-dimensional and


3-dimensional objects intuitively;

use inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning and analytic approach to


study the properties of 2-dimensional rectilinear shapes;

formulate and write simple geometric proofs involving 2-dimensional


rectilinear shapes with appropriate symbols, terminology and reasons;

inquire, describe and represent geometric knowledge in 2-dimensional


figures using numeric and algebraic relations;

inquire geometric knowledge in 2-dimensional space using trigonometric


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

The sub-sections and units in the section of measures, shape and


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

Learning sub-section

Learning unit
Estimation in Measurement

Measures in 2-D and 3-D


Simple Idea of Areas and Volumes
Figures
More about Areas and Volumes
Introduction to Geometry
Learning Geometry

Transformation and Symmetry

through an Intuitive

Congruence and Similarity

Approach

Angles related with Lines and Rectilinear Figures


More about 3-D Figures
Simple Introduction to Deductive Geometry

Learning Geometry through


Pythagoras Theorem
a Deductive Approach
Quadrilaterals
Learning Geometry through

Introduction to Coordinates

an Analytic Approach

Coordinate Geometry of Straight Lines

Trigonometry

Trigonometric Ratios and Using Trigonometry

Compared to the old secondary mathematics junior level curriculum in 1985, a


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.

In Hong Kong, mathematics textbook plays a significant role in mathematics


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

Understand the concepts of reflectional and


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.

3. 2-D Representations of Solids

Understand the limitations of a 2-D

A. Orthographic Views of Solids


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)

4. Points, Lines and Planes in

Understand the concept of the projection of

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

5. More about Solids


A. Eulers Formula

planes.
Solve practical problems involving lines
and planes in a solid.
Realize the Eulers formula.
Explore the duality of regular polyhedra.

B. 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

Classwork of reflectional symmetry

(Adapted from Man et al., 2009. p.5.6)

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

Different nets (manipulatives) of solids

(Adapted from Man et al., 2009. p.E.27)

Figure 2.4

Class activity about the nets of polyhedra

(Adapted from Man et al., 2009. p.5.16)

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

The nets of different solids

(Adapted from Man et al., 2009. p.E.29)

25

3. Research plan and methodology


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.

Two research questions are shown in the following:


1.

Are there any considerable differences in the spatial abilities of students


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.

Table 3.1 The distribution of participants in different genders and forms


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

Furthermore, to capture mathematics performance of participants in the ability


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).

Table 3.2 Grouping of participants in different forms and mathematics abilities


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

Table 3.3 Percentile of academic achievement and corresponding ability group


Ability Group

Percentile of academic achievement

Top

Rank 5%

High

5 % < Rank 35%

Middle

35 % < Rank 65%

Low

65 % < Rank 95%

Bottom

Rank > 95%

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

3.3. Research design


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

Teaching topics in different form

S1

Dec 2014

Introduction to Geometry

S1

Jan 2015

Area and volume (I)

S1

Feb 2015

Congruence and Similarity

S1

April 2015

Angles related to Lines

*Mental rotation test for S1


S2

Jan 2015

Angles related to Rectilinear Figures

S2

Feb 2015

Introduction to Deductive Geometry

* Mental rotation test for S2


S2

May 2015

Areas and Volumes (II)

S3

Nov 2015

Special Lines and Centres in a Triangle

S3

Dec 2015

Quadrilaterals

**Mental Rotation pre-test for S3


S3

Late Apr 2015

More about 3-D Figures

**Mental Rotation post-test for S3


S3

May 2015

Areas and Volumes (III)

* 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

Mental Rotation Test (MRT)


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

Left: [Standard Graph]


Figure 3.1

Right: [Four options to choose]

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.

Figure 3.2 Easy Level mental rotations of 3D figures


(adapted from Peters et al., 1995)

Figure 3.3 Medium Level mental rotations of 3D figures


(Adapted from Peters et al., 1995)

35

Figure 3.4 Multiple mental rotations of 3D figures (twisted view)


(Adapted from Peters et al., 1995)

Figure 3.5 Complete overlapping of cubes in the figure (overlapped view)


(Adapted from Peters et al., 1995)

Table 3.6 The framework of the difficulties on the MRT questions


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. Data collection and procedures


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.

Procedures of the Mental Rotation Test

In this study, an instruction menu (see appendix F) was provided to the


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

1. 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.
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.

Data collection by Mental Rotation Test

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

In addition, basic information of participants like name, gender, class, class


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

The procedures of data collection

Date
30 March 2015

Task
S1-S3:

Signed the consent form and performed Pilot test

S3:

Signed the consent form and performed pre-test

13 April 2015
(Mental Rotation pre-test)
16-27 April 2015

S3:

Learnt the topic More about 3D figure

S1-S2:

Signed the consent form and performed Mental

29 April 2015

Rotation Test
S3:

Performed post-test (Mental Rotation post-test)

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:

To answer the research question 1, descriptive statistic such as means,


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:

To answer the research questions 2, descriptive statistic such as means,


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.

Are there any considerable differences in the spatial abilities of students


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. Descriptive Statistical Analysis


4.2.1.

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


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

Mean and standard deviation, maximum, range and skewness


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

Mean and standard deviation, maximum, range and skewness


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

Mean and standard deviation, maximum, range and skewness of


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

Mean and standard deviation, maximum, range and skewness


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

The comparison of the Mean and standard deviation of


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.

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

To understand the distribution of the students performance in MRT, Figure 4.1,


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

Figure 4.1 The histogram of the overall mean of S1

55

Mean = 13.03
S.D. = 5.184
N = 120
Skewness = -.208

Figure 4.2 The histogram of the overall mean of S2

Mean = 12.51
S.D. = 6.163
N = 114
Skewness = .081

Figure 4.3 The histogram of the overall mean of S3 pre-test

56

Mean = 16.58
S.D. = 5.517
N = 114
Skewness = -.602

Figure 4.4 The histogram of the overall mean of S3 post-test

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

In answering the research question 2, the difference of the MRT performance by


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

Means, standard deviations, medians, ranges, interquartile


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

The box-and-whisker diagrams of the overall mean variation


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

60

4.2.4.

Comparison between ability groups

In answering the research question 2, the differences of the MRT performance by


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

Means, standard deviations, medians, range, interquartile


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

The box-and-whisker diagrams of the overall mean variation


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

63

4.3. Inferential Statistical Analysis


4.3.1.

Pearson Correlations Analysis of MRT scores

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

Table 4.8 Correlations among variables in MRT for S1 (N = 140)


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)

* p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.001


#Abbreviation for S1 MRT:
Academic achievement (AA1)

Overall (O1)

Easy level (EL1)


Hard Level (HL1)

Medium Level (ML1)


Twisted view (TV1)

Overlapped view (OV1)


Twisted-Overlapped View (TOV1)
Number of question attempted (NA1)

65

Table 4.9 Correlations among variables in MRT for S2 (N = 120)


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)

* p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.001


#Abbreviation for S2 MRT:
Academic achievement (AA2)

Overall (O2)

Easy level (EL2)


Medium Level (ML2)
Hard Level (HL2)
Twisted view (TV2)
Overlapped view (OV2)
Twisted-Overlapped View (TOV2)
Number of question attempted (NA2)

66

Table 4.10 Correlations among variables in MRT for S3 pre-test (N = 114)


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)

* p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.001


#Abbreviation for S3 MRT (pre-test):
Academic achievement (AA3a)

Overall (O3a)

Easy level (EL3a)


Medium Level (ML3a)
Hard Level (HL3a)
Twisted view (TV3a)
Overlapped view (OV3a)
Twisted-Overlapped View (TOV3a)
Number of question attempted (NA3a)

67

Table 4.11 Correlations among variables in MRT for S3 post-test (N = 114)


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)

* p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.001


#Abbreviation for S3 MRT (post-test):
Academic achievement (AA3b)

Overall (O3b)

Easy level (EL3b)


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

The relationship between the overall mean of the S3 pre-test


and S3 post-test

69

4.3.2.

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

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.

To investigate the 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?), three null hypotheses were identified before the paired t-test.

Null hypothesis (1): There is no significant difference in students overall mean


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

Null hypothesis (2): There is no significant difference in individual performance


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.

Null hypothesis (3): There is no significant difference in the number of attempted


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

Paired mean difference between overall means, mean


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

* p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.001

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.

ANOVA test among genders in MRT

Gender difference is one of the variables considered in the majority of


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.

Null hypothesis (4): There is no significant difference in students academic


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

Null hypothesis (5): There is no significant difference in students overall mean


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

Null hypothesis (6): There is no significant difference in individual performance


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

hard

level

questions,

twisted

view,

overlapped

view

and

twisted-overlapped view) between genders in all S1-S3 at the p = 0.05 level.

Null hypothesis (7): There is no significant difference in the number of attempted


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

73

Table 4.13

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 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

* p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.001

74

Table 4.14

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
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

* p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.001

75

Table 4.15

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
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

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


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

* p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.001

For the students academic achievement, there were no significant differences


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.

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


Figure 4.8

The S3 performance on the overall means in MRT among


different genders

78

According to the performance in the different levels of MRT questions mentioned


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)

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


Figure 4.9a-c

The S3 performance on various difficulties [Easy (a), Medium


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

80

(a)

(b)

(c)

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


Figure 4.10 a-c

The S3 performance on various difficulties [twisted (a),


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.

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


Figure 4.11

The number of attempted questions among different genders in S2

82

4.3.4.

ANOVA tests among different ability groups in MRT

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

Null hypothesis (8): There is no significant difference in students academic


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

Null hypothesis (9): There is no significant difference in students overall mean


between ability groups in S3 pre-post tests at the p = 0.05 level.

Null hypothesis (10): There is no significant difference in individual performance


on problems of medium level questions between ability groups in all S2 and S3 at
the p = 0.05 level.

Null hypothesis (11): There is no significant difference in individual performance


on problems with twisted-overlapped view between ability groups in all S3 at the
p = 0.05 level.

Null hypothesis (12): There is no significant difference in the number of


attempted questions between ability groups in S1pre-test at the p = 0.05 level.

84

Table 4.16

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 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

* p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.001

85

(0.48795)

3.12*

5>1,
2,3,4

Table 4.17

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
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

* p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.001

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

* p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.001

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

Nevertheless, the repeated-measures ANOVA on the ability group differences in


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.

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


Figure 4.12

The S3 performance on the overall means in MRT among


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.

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


Figure 4.13

The S3 performance on the medium level questions in MRT


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.

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


Figure 4.14

The S3 performance on the twisted-overlapped view questions


in MRT among different ability groups

91

Furthermore, a significant difference among ability groups in the number of


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

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

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

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

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.

Regression analysis on S3 pre-post tests

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.

The regression equation (Equation 1) is shown as follow:


[Post-tests score] = 7.824 + [pre-tests score] 0.62 + [gender = male] 1.428
Equation 1

Regression equation on predicting post-tests score

94

Table 4.21

Individual regression coefficients of the model on predicting


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

* p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.001

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?

As mentioned in Table 4.12, statistically significant improvement among all


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

Three selected section in More about 3D figures and their


teaching objectives

Section in
More about 3D figures

Teaching objective

Section 5.1
Symmetries of Solids
A. Reflectional
and
Rotational Symmetries of
Solids

Understand the concepts of


reflectional and rotational
symmetries of solids.
Recognize the reflectional
and rotational symmetries

B. Symmetries of Regular
Polyhedra
(Enrichment:
Other
Regular Polyhedra)

of cubes and regular


tetrahedra.
Explore the reflectional and
rotational symmetries of

Duration
160 mins
(4 lessons)

other regular polyhedra.


Section 5.2
Nets of Solids

Understand and learn to


design a net for a solid.
Realize the relationships
among the vertices and the

80 mins

faces of a solid formed by a


net.

Understand the limitations


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

(Enrichment: Drawing Solids


on Isometric Grid)

to its orthographic views.


Draw the solid on isometric
grid paper according to its
orthographic views.

Section 5.3
2-D Representations of Solids

160 mins

Taking the learning of the reflectional symmetry of solid as an example, students


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

Reflectional symmetry of solid mentioned in textbook


(Man et al., 2009, p.5.6)

100

Figure 5.2

Rotational symmetry of solid mentioned in textbook


(Man et al., 2009, p.5.7)

Figure 5.3

Folding of a net into solid mentioned in textbook


(Man et al, 2009, p.5.16)

Moreover, in learning the section of the 2D representation of solids, an isometric


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

Isometric view of the solid mentioned in textbook


(Man et al., 2009, p.5.24)

102

Figure 5.5

Orthographic views of the solid mentioned in textbook


(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

5.2. Gender and ability group differences in spatial abilities


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.

Gender differences in spatial abilities

Considering the gender difference, the performance of spatial ability tests of


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

In addition, although all mean performances on three different levels of questions


(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

The percentage changes of the mean score and standard


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.

Ability group differences in spatial abilities

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. Conclusion and recommendation


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

In addition, statistically considerable differences in the spatial abilities (overall


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

6.2. Educational implications


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

strategies (Ganley & Vasilyeva, 2011, p. 240) in lesson activities so that


minimize the gender gap in geometry learning due to spatial sense difference.

3. In order to improve the spatial sense development on multiple mental rotations,


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.

It is believed that this research would be helpful to current mathematics educators


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

6.3. Limitation and future directions


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

7. Reference
Arcavi, A. (2003). The role of visual representations in the learning of
mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 52(3), 215-241.
Battista, M. T., & Clements, D. H. (1996). Students' understanding of
three-dimensional rectangular arrays of cubes. Journal for Research in
Mathematics Education, 27(3), 258-292.
Battista, M. T., Clements, D. H., Sarama, J., & Swaminathan, S. (1997).
Development of students' spatial thinking in a unit on geometric
motions and area. The Elementary School Journal, 98(2), 171-186.
Benbow, C. P. (1988). Sex differences in mathematical reasoning ability in
intellectually talented preadolescents: Their nature, effects, and possible
causes. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 11, 169232.
Booth, R. D. L., & Thomas, M. O. J. (1999). Visualization in mathematics
learning: Arithmetic problem solving and student difficulties. Journal of
Mathematical Behavior, 18, 169-190.
Brown, D. L., & Wheatley, G. H. (1989). Relationship between spatial knowledge
and mathematics knowledge. In C. A. Maher, G. A. Goldin, & R. B.
Davis (Eds.), Proceedings of the eleventh annual meeting, North
American chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of
Mathematics Education. (pp. 143-148). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers
University.
Bruce, C. D., & Hawes, Z. (2015). The role of 2D and 3D mental rotation in
mathematics for young children: what is it? Why does it matter? And
what can we do about it?. ZDM Mathematics Education, 47(3),
331-343.

115

Byrnes, J. P., & Takahira, S. (1993). Explaining gender differences on SAT-math


items. Developmental Psychology, 29(5), 805810.
Carr, M., Steiner, H. H., Kyser, B. & Biddlecomb, B. (2008). A Comparison of
Predictors of Early Emerging Gender Differences in Mathematics
Competency. Learning and Individual Differences, 18(1), 6175.
Casey, B. M., Dearing, E., Vasilyeva, M., Ganley, C., & Tine, M. (2011). Spatial
and Numerical Predictors of Measurement Performance: The
Moderating Effects of Community Income and Gender. Journal of
Educational Psychology, 103(2), 296311.
Casey, M. B., Nuttall, R. L., & Pezaris, E. (1997).Mediators of gender differences
in mathematics college entrance test scores: A comparison of spatial
skills with internalized beliefs and anxieties. Developmental Psychology,
33(4), 669680.
Casey, M. B., Nuttall, R. L., & Pezaris, E. (1999). Evidence in support of a model
that predicts how biological and environmental factors interact to
influence spatial skills. Developmental Psychology, 35(5), 12371247.
Casey, M. B., Nuttall, R., Pezaris, E., & Benbow, C. (1995). The influence of
spatial ability on gender differences in mathematics college entrance
test scores across diverse samples. Developmental Psychology, 31(4),
697705.
Curriculum Development Council. (1999). Syllabuses for Secondary Schools
Mathematics Secondary 1 5. Hong Kong: Education Department.
Education Bureau.(2014). Support Scheme for e-Learning in Schools. Retrieved
10 July 2015, from http://www.edb.gov.hk/en/edu-system/
primary-secondary/applicable-to-primary-secondary/it-in-edu/supportsc
heme/index.html.

116

Ferguson, C., Ball, A., McDaniel, W., & Anderson, R. (2008). A comparison of
instructional methods for improving the spatial visualization ability of
freshman technology seminar students. Proceedings of the 2008
IAJC-IJME International Conference. Retrieved 10 July 2015, from
http://ijme.us/cd_08/PDF/37_IT305.pdf.
Gallagher, A. M., & Kaufman, J. C. (2005). Gender differences in mathematics:
What we know and what we need to know. New York, NY: Cambridge
University Press.
Ganley, C. M., & Vasilyeva, M. (2011). Sex differences in the relation between
math performance, spatial skills, and attitudes. Journal of Applied
Developmental Psychology, 32(4), 235242.
Geary, D. C. (1994). Childrens mathematical development: Research and
practical applications. Washington, DC: American Psychological
Association.
Geary, D. C. (1996). Sexual selection and sex differences in mathematical
abilities. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 19, 229284.
Geary, D. C., Saults, S. J., Liu, F., & Hoard, M. K. (2000). Sex differences in
spatial cognition, computational fluency, and arithmetical reasoning.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 77(4), 337353.
Geiser, C., Lehmann, W., & Eid, M. (2008). A note on sex differences in mental
rotation in different age groups. Intelligence, 36(6), 556563.
Grattoni, C. (2007). Spatial Skills and Mathematical Problem Solving Ability in
High School Students. Master's thesis, Northwestern University.
Retrieved from https://www.sesp.northwestern.edu/docs/
masters/1469752174482341f7902e2.pdf.

117

Guzela, N., & Sener, E. (2009). High school students spatial ability and creativity
in geometry. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1(1), 1763
1766.
Halpern, D. F. (2004). A cognitive-process taxonomy for sex differences in
cognitive abilities. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(4),
135139.
Halpern, D. F., Benbow, C. P., Geary, D. C., Gur, R. C., Hyde, J. S., &
Gernsbacher, M. A. (2007). The science of sex differences in science
and mathematics. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 8(1), 1
51.
Hedges, L. V., & Nowell, A. (1995). Sex differences in mental test scores,
variability, and numbers of high-scoring individuals. Science, 269,
41-45.
Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority. (2013). Territory-wide
system assessment, 2013: report on the basic competencies of students
in Chinese language, English language and mathematics: key stages
1-3. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority.
Hoyek, N., Collet, C., Fargier, P. & Guillot, A. (2012). The Use of the
Vandenberg and Kuse Mental Rotation Test in Children. Journal of
Individual Differences, 33(1), 6267.
Hyde, J. S., Fennema, E., & Lamon, S. J. (1990). Gender differences in
mathematics performance: A meta analysis. Psychological Bulletin,
107(2), 139155.
Kaur, B. (1990). Girls and mathematics in Singapore: The case of GCE O-level
mathematics. In L. Burton (Ed.), Gender and mathematics: An
international perspective. (pp.98112). London: Cassell.

118

Kimball, M. M. (1989). A new perspective on womens math achievement.


Psychological Bulletin, 105, 198214.
Kimura, D. (1999). Sex and Cognition. Cambridge, Mass: A Bradford Book.
Leder, G. C., Forgasz, H. J., & Taylor, P. J. (2006). Mathematics, Gender, and
Large Scale Data: New Directions or More of the Same? In
Proceedings of the 30th conference of the international group for the
psychology of mathematics education, 4, (pp.3340). Prague: PME.
Levine, S. C., Huttenlocher, J., Taylor, A., & Langrock, A. (1999). Early sex
differences in spatial skill. Developmental Psychology, 35(4), 940949.
Linn, M. C., & Petersen, A. C. (1985). Emergence and characterization of sex
differences in spatial ability: A meta-analysis. Child Development,
56(6), 14791498.
Lippa, R., Collaer, M., & Peters, M. (2010). Sex Differences in Mental Rotation
and Line Angle Judgments Are Positively Associated with Gender
Equality and Economic Development Across 53 Nations. Archives of
Sexual Behavior, 39(4), 990997.
Maccoby, E. E., & Jacklin, C. N. (1974). The psychology of sex differences.
Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Man, P. F., Yeung, C. M., Yeung, K. H., Kwok, Y. F. & Cheung, H. Y. (2009).
Mathematics in action (2nd Edition) 3A, Hong Kong: Longman Hong
Kong Education.
Manger, T., & Eikeland, O. J. (1998). The effects of spatial visualization and
students' sex on mathematical achievement. British Journal of
Psychology, 89(1), 1725.

119

McGee, M. G. (1979). Human spatial abilities: Psychometric studies and


environmental, genetic, hormonal, and neurological influences.
Psychological Bulletin, 86(5), 889-918.
Mullis, I. V. S., Martin, M. O., Foy, P., & Arora, A. (2012). TIMSS 2011
International Mathematics Results in Mathematics. Chestnut Hill, MA:
TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College.
Pearson, J. L., & Ferguson, L. R. (1989). Gender differences in patterns of spatial
ability, environmental cognition, and math and English achievement in
late adolescence. Adolescence, 24, 421431.
Pedrosa, C. M., Barbero, B. R., & Miguel, A. R. (2014). Spatial Visualization
Learning in Engineering: Traditional Methods vs. a Web-Based Tool.
Educational Technology & Society, 17(2), 142157.
Peters, M., Laeng, B., Latham, K., Jackson, M., Zaiyouna, R. & Richardson, C.
(1995). A Redrawn Vandenberg & Kuse Mental Rotations Test:
Different Versions and Factors that affect Performance. Brain and
Cognition, 28(1), 39-58.
Peters, M., Laeng, B., Latham, K., Sayuri, T., Yoshiaki, T. & Kirsten, J. (2006).
Mental Rotation Test Performance in Four Cross-Cultural Samples (N =
3367): Overall Sex Differences and the Role of Academic Program in
Performance. Cortex, 42(7), 1005-1014.
Piaget, J. (1999). The Psychology of Intelligence. London: Routledge.
Piburn, M. D., Reynolds, S. J., McAuliffe, C., Leedy, D. E., & Birk, J. P. (2005).
The role of visualization from computer-based images. International
Journal of Science Education, 27(5), 513527.

120

Reuhkala, M. (2001). Mathematical skills in ninth-graders: Relationship with


visuospatial abilities and working memory. Journal of Educational
Psychology, 21(4), 387399.
Royer, J. M., Rath, K., Tronsky, L. N., & Marchant, H. (2002). Spatial cognition
and math-fact retrieval as the causes of gender differences in math test
performance. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American
Educational Research Association, New Orleans.
Scribner, S. A., & Anderson, M. A. (2005). Novice drafters spatial visualization
development: Influence of instructional methods and individual
learning styles. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, 42 (2), 3860.
Shepard, R. N., & Metzler, J. (1971). Mental rotation of three-dimensional objects.
Science, 171, 701703.
Sommers, C. H. (2000). The war against boys: How misguided feminism is
harming our young men. New York: Simon & Schuster.
van Garderen, D. (2006). Spatial visualization, visual imagery, and mathematical
problem solving of students with varying abilities. Journal of Learning
Disabilities, 39(6), 496-506.
Vandenberg, S. G., & Kuse, A. R. (1978). Mental rotations, a group test of
three-dimensional spatial visualization. Perceptual and Motor Skills,
47(2), 599604.
Velez, M. C., Silver, D., & Tremaine, T. (2005). Understanding visualization
through spatial ability differences. The Center for Advanced
Information Processing at The State University of New Jersey, 511-518.

121

Voyer, D., Voyer, S., & Bryden, M. P. (1995). Magnitude of sex differences in
spatial abilities: A meta-analysis and consideration of critical variables.
Psychological Bulletin, 117(2), 250270.
Voyer, D. (1996). The relation between mathematical achievement and gender
differences in spatial abilities: a suppression effect. Journal of
Educational Psychology, 88(3), 563571.
Wheatley, G. H., Brown, D. (1994). The Construction and representation of
images in mathematical activity. In J. P. Ponte & J. F. Matos (Eds.),
Proceedings of the 18th PME International Conference, 1, 81.
White, S. J., & Saldaa, D. (2011). Performance of children with autism on the
Embedded Figures Test: a closer look at a popular task. Journal of
Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41(11), 15651572.

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

(c) Request to include some sample of the test in the dissertation


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

(d) Reply from Professor Michael Peters on including figures in writing


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

(e) Email reply by the studys supervisor


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

(f) Reply from Michael Peters to get the MRT


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

8.2. Appendix B: Information letter for MRT usage approval

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.

Michael Peters, PhD, University Professor Emeritus


Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive Sciences
University of Guelph

126

8.3. Appendix C: Consent form to school principal


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

8.4. Appendix D: Assent and consent forms for students


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

Your help is very much appreciated.


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

Assent and Consent Form for Secondary 3 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
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

Your help is very much appreciated.


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

____________

8.5. Appendix E: Passive consent forms for parents


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:

develop a holistic picture of spatial abilities of junior secondary school


students in Hong Kong.

provide more insights of mathematics teaching and learning under Hong


Kong mathematics curriculum development, and

serve as reference to provide specific teaching strategies for teachers to


improve teaching and learning of spatial mathematics problem according to
the gender difference

In order to assess the effectiveness of this project, students are invited to


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

Consent form for Secondary 3 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:

develop a holistic picture of spatial abilities of junior secondary school


students in Hong Kong.

provide more insights of mathematics teaching and learning under Hong


Kong mathematics curriculum development, and

serve as reference to provide specific teaching strategies for teachers to


improve teaching and learning of spatial mathematics problem according to
the gender difference

In order to assess the effectiveness of this project, students are 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, 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

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

Mental Rotation Test (MRT)


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

8.7. Appendix G: Example of Mental Rotation Test Paper

(EXAMPLE)
MENTAL ROTATIONS TEST

Name:

________________

Class:
________________
Class No: ________________
Gender: _Male/ Female___

141

MENTAL ROTATIONS TEST


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:

Two of these four drawings show the same 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

Part B: Trial & practice


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:

2: second and third


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

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


S1 Part (1)
Students Gender

Ability
Ability
Mean Easy Med. Hard Students Gender
Mean Easy Med. Hard
group
group

Max

---

---

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

1B03

High

0.57 0.44 0.13

1A01

High

13 0.71 0.78 0.13

1B04

Low

0.00 0.00 0.00

1A02

Middle 14 0.86 0.56 0.38

1B05

High

0.71 0.44 0.00

1A03

Low

0.43 0.22 0.25

1B06

Middle

0.14 0.33 0.13

1A04

High

0.43 0.22 0.38

1B07

Low

0.43 0.11 0.13

1A05

High

0.86 0.22 0.13

1B08

1A06

Low

18 1.00 0.67 0.63

1B09

High

13 1.00 0.44 0.25

1A07

Middle

0.29 0.22 0.13

1B10

High

12 1.00 0.44 0.13

1A08

High

14 1.00 0.56 0.25

1B11

Low

14 0.86 0.67 0.25

1A09

High

0.71 0.00 0.00

1B12

1A10

Top

18 1.00 0.89 0.38

1B13

1A11

Middle 11 0.71 0.56 0.13

1B14

1A12

High

17 1.00 0.78 0.38

1B15

High

0.43 0.33 0.00

1A13

High

13 0.86 0.56 0.25

1B16

High

0.57 0.22 0.00

1A14

High

21 1.00 0.89 0.75

1B17

Low

0.57 0.11 0.38

1A15

High

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

1B18

Low

16 0.86 0.78 0.38

1A16

Low

11 0.57 0.22 0.63

1B19

1A17

Middle 17 0.86 0.78 0.50

1B20

High

18 0.86 0.78 0.63

1A18

High

20 1.00 0.78 0.75

1B21

High

1A19

High

10 0.57 0.44 0.25

1B22

Middle 13 0.86 0.44 0.38

1A20

High

22 1.00 0.89 0.88

1B23

Middle 19 1.00 0.78 0.63

1A21

Top

13 1.00 0.44 0.25

1B24

1A22

High

11 0.29 0.56 0.50

1B25

1A23

Top

14 0.71 0.78 0.25

1B26

High

12 0.71 0.67 0.13

1A24

Middle 21 1.00 0.89 0.75

1B27

High

18 1.00 0.78 0.50

1A25

High

17 1.00 0.78 0.38

1B28

Top

21 1.00 0.78 0.88

1A26

Top

22 1.00 1.00 0.75

1C01

Middle

1A27

Low

0.43 0.11 0.13

1C02

Low

17 1.00 0.56 0.63

1A28

High

14 0.71 0.56 0.50

1C03

High

1B01

Low

15 0.86 0.78 0.25

1C04

1B02

Top

18 1.00 0.78 0.50

1C05

145

Middle 12 0.71 0.67 0.13

Middle 13 0.71 0.78 0.13


High

0.29 0.11 0.00

Middle 12 0.86 0.44 0.25

Middle 18 0.86 0.78 0.63

Low

0.43 0.33 0.25

14 1.00 0.44 0.38

Middle 21 1.00 0.78 0.88

0.14 0.11 0.25


0.57 0.33 0.13

Middle 15 0.86 0.67 0.38


Low

0.43 0.22 0.00

S1 Part (2)
Students Gender

Ability
group

Mean Easy Med. Hard Students Gender

Ability
group

Mean Easy Med. Hard

Max

---

---

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

1D09

Middle 15 0.86 0.56 0.50

1C06

High

11 1.00 0.33 0.13

1D10

Middle 13 0.86 0.44 0.38

1C07

High

22 0.86 0.89 1.00

1D11

Low

0.29 0.00 0.00

1C08

Middle

0.71 0.44 0.00

1D12

Middle

0.43 0.33 0.00

1C09

Middle

0.43 0.22 0.25

1D13

High

0.00 0.11 0.00

1C10

Low

11 0.71 0.56 0.13

1D14

1C11

High

11 0.57 0.67 0.13

1D15

1C12

Bottom

0.43 0.56 0.13

1D16

1C13

Low

0.00 0.00 0.00

1D17

High

1C14

Middle 11 0.57 0.67 0.13

1D18

Bottom

1C15

High

18 0.86 0.67 0.75

1D19

High

17 1.00 0.67 0.50

1C16

Low

21 1.00 0.89 0.75

1D20

High

1C17

High

11 0.86 0.44 0.13

1D21

Low

22 1.00 0.89 0.88

1C18

Middle 23 1.00 1.00 0.88

1D22

Low

15 1.00 0.56 0.38

1C19

Middle 12 0.71 0.56 0.25

1D23

Low

14 0.57 0.89 0.25

1C20

Low

0.71 0.33 0.13

1D24

Low

22 0.86 1.00 0.88

1C21

High

21 1.00 1.00 0.63

1D25

1C22

Middle 14 0.86 0.78 0.13

1D26

Low

1C23

Low

23 1.00 1.00 0.88

1D27

High

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

1C24

Low

11 0.71 0.44 0.25

1D28

Middle

1C25

Low

0.71 0.22 0.13

1E01

Middle 11 0.71 0.56 0.13

1C26

Middle 12 0.86 0.56 0.13

1E02

Low

15 0.86 0.89 0.13

1C27

Bottom 23 0.86 1.00 1.00

1E03

Low

0.57 0.44 0.13

1C28

Low

19 1.00 0.89 0.50

1E04

Bottom

0.14 0.22 0.13

1C29

Low

0.71 0.33 0.13

1E05

Middle

0.57 0.33 0.00

1D01

High

16 0.86 0.67 0.50

1E06

Low

0.00 0.00 0.00

1D02

Low

15 0.86 0.78 0.25

1E07

Middle

0.00 0.00 0.00

1D03

Middle

0.43 0.67 0.00

1E08

Low

0.71 0.00 0.13

1D04

Bottom

0.14 0.11 0.00

1E09

Low

12 0.71 0.33 0.50

1D05

Bottom 10 1.00 0.33 0.00

1E10

High

0.86 0.11 0.13

1D06

0.00 0.00 0.00

1E11

Middle

0.00 0.00 0.00

1D07

Middle 15 0.71 0.78 0.38

1E12

Middle

0.14 0.11 0.38

1D08

Middle

Low

0
6

0.29 0.33 0.13

146

Middle 20 0.86 0.89 0.75


Low

15 0.86 0.78 0.25

Middle 23 1.00 1.00 0.88


19 0.86 0.78 0.75
6

0.29 0.33 0.13


0.57 0.22 0.13

Middle 20 1.00 1.00 0.50

0.43 0.11 0.38


0.57 0.22 0.00

S1 Part (3)
Students Gender

Ability
group
---

Mean Easy Med. Hard

Max

---

24

1.00 1.00 1.00

1E13

Bottom 12

1.00 0.33 0.25

1E14

Low

11

0.71 0.44 0.25

1E15

Middle

0.57 0.11 0.25

1E16

Low

16

0.86 0.56 0.63

1E17

Low

11

0.57 0.44 0.38

1E18

Top

10

0.71 0.56 0.00

1E19

High

15

1.00 0.56 0.38

1E20

Middle 16

0.86 0.78 0.38

1E21

Middle

0.86 0.22 0.13

1E22

High

20

0.86 0.89 0.75

1E23

Middle 11

0.71 0.56 0.13

1E24

1E25

1E26

Low

11

0.71 0.44 0.25

1E27

Low

0.57 0.33 0.13

Low

20

1.00 0.89 0.63

Middle 16

1.00 0.67 0.38

147

S2 Part (1)
Students Gender

Ability
group

Mean Easy Med. Hard Students Gender

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

Mean Easy Med. Hard

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

2B09

Low

0.71 0.44 0.00

2B10

Middle

0.43 0.22 0.25

17 1.00 0.78 0.38

2B11

High

0.57 0.33 0.13

Middle 20 1.00 0.89 0.63

2B12

High

12 0.71 0.33 0.50

14 0.86 0.78 0.13

2B13

Middle 17 0.71 0.78 0.63

17 1.00 0.78 0.38

2B14

Middle 12 0.71 0.56 0.25

Middle 21 1.00 1.00 0.63

2B15

High

0.57 0.22 0.25

2B16

Top

23 1.00 0.89 1.00

10 0.71 0.33 0.25

2B17

Top

14 0.71 0.78 0.25

Middle 15 0.86 0.67 0.38

2B18

0.57 0.22 0.13

2B19

0.57 0.22 0.13

2B20

0.57 0.11 0.13

2B21

High

High

14 0.86 0.44 0.50

2B22

High

16 0.86 0.56 0.63

Low

20 1.00 1.00 0.50

2B23

Low

22 1.00 1.00 0.75

2A15

High

17 1.00 0.78 0.38

2B24

High

17 1.00 0.56 0.63

2A16

Top

20 0.71 1.00 0.75

2B25

2A17

High

0.57 0.33 0.13

2C01

Low

2A18

High

13 0.43 0.67 0.50

2C02

Bottom

2A19

High

0.43 0.33 0.13

2C03

Middle 10 0.57 0.56 0.13

2A20

High

0.71 0.22 0.13

2C04

Middle 19 1.00 0.78 0.63

2A21

High

11 0.86 0.44 0.13

2C05

Middle

2A22

High

16 1.00 0.44 0.63

2C06

Bottom 13 1.00 0.56 0.13

2A23

High

12 1.00 0.33 0.25

2C07

High

2A24

High

13 1.00 0.56 0.13

2C08

Bottom

2B01

Top

18 0.86 0.78 0.63

2C09

Low

17 0.86 0.89 0.38

2B02

High

12 0.71 0.44 0.38

2C10

High

19 1.00 0.89 0.50

2B03

Low

11 0.86 0.44 0.13

2C11

2B04

High

21 1.00 1.00 0.63

2C12

High

14 0.86 0.78 0.13

2B05

Middle 17 0.86 0.89 0.38

2C13

Low

16 1.00 0.78 0.25

2B06

Middle

0.00 0.00 0.13

2C14

Low

20 0.86 1.00 0.63

2B07

High

0.71 0.11 0.25

2C15

Low

15 1.00 0.67 0.25

2B08

Middle 12 0.43 0.78 0.25

148

12 0.71 0.56 0.25

0.00 0.00 0.00

Middle 20 1.00 0.78 0.75


High

0.86 0.11 0.13

Middle 15 0.71 0.78 0.38


0.71 0.11 0.38

Middle 19 1.00 0.78 0.63


11 0.57 0.44 0.38
8

0.71 0.22 0.13

0.43 0.33 0.13

12 1.00 0.56 0.00


8

0.43 0.22 0.38

Middle 16 0.86 0.67 0.50

S2 Part (2)
Students Gender

Ability
group

Mean Easy Med. Hard Students Gender

Ability
group

Mean Easy Med. Hard

Max

---

---

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

2D25

Low

2C16

Low

10 0.57 0.22 0.50

2E01

High

13 0.71 0.56 0.38

2C17

Middle

0.29 0.11 0.50

2E02

2C18

Middle 15 0.57 0.78 0.50

2E03

Low

0.43 0.00 0.00

2C19

High

14 0.57 0.67 0.50

2E04

High

0.29 0.11 0.00

2C20

Low

15 1.00 0.44 0.50

2E05

Low

12 0.86 0.44 0.25

2C21

Middle 19 0.86 0.89 0.63

2E06

Low

2C22

Low

19 0.86 0.78 0.75

2E07

High

21 1.00 0.78 0.88

2C23

High

16 0.71 0.89 0.38

2E08

2C24

Middle 15 0.86 0.44 0.63

2E09

Low

14 1.00 0.44 0.38

2D01

0.71 0.33 0.13

2E10

Low

2D02

Bottom 10 0.71 0.33 0.25

2E11

2D03

Low

12 0.86 0.44 0.25

2E12

High

13 1.00 0.33 0.38

2D04

Low

0.00 0.00 0.00

2E13

Low

2D05

Middle 10 0.57 0.67 0.00

2E14

2D06

Low

0.71 0.11 0.13

2E15

Low

17 1.00 0.78 0.38

2D07

Low

0.57 0.44 0.13

2E16

High

19 0.86 0.78 0.75

2D08

Middle 19 1.00 0.89 0.50

2E17

2D09

Middle 11 0.57 0.67 0.13

2E18

2D10

Low

11 1.00 0.44 0.00

2E19

Middle 13 1.00 0.44 0.25

2D11

Low

0.29 0.44 0.13

2E20

Middle 12 0.57 0.56 0.38

2D12

Low

0.43 0.11 0.13

2E21

High

22 1.00 0.89 0.88

2D13

Low

22 1.00 1.00 0.75

2E22

Low

2D14

2D15

2D16

Middle 19 0.86 0.89 0.63

2D17

Middle 18 0.86 0.78 0.63

2D18

Low

23 1.00 0.89 1.00

2D19

Low

12 0.57 0.67 0.25

2D20

2D21

Low

2D22

High

18 1.00 0.78 0.50

2D23

2D24

Low

Middle 14 0.71 0.89 0.13


High

12 1.00 0.33 0.25

Middle 17 0.71 0.78 0.63


0.71 0.33 0.00

Bottom 11 0.71 0.56 0.13


Low

19 0.71 0.89 0.75

149

0.86 0.22 0.00

Middle 16 1.00 0.67 0.38

0.43 0.33 0.38

Bottom 13 0.86 0.56 0.25


0.14 0.22 0.25

Middle 12 0.71 0.67 0.13


0.86 0.33 0.00

Middle 16 0.71 0.78 0.50

Middle 18 0.57 0.89 0.75


High

13 1.00 0.44 0.25

0.00 0.11 0.38

S3 Part (1)
Students Gender

Pre-test

Ability

Post-test

group Mean Easy Med. Hard Mean Easy Med. Hard

3A01

Low

0.43 0.20 0.14

13 0.57 0.56 0.50

3A02

Low

11 0.57 0.50 0.29

18 0.86 0.78 0.63

3A03

Middle 14 0.57 0.70 0.43

21 0.86 1.00 0.75

3A04

High

18 0.86 0.80 0.57

17 0.71 0.78 0.63

3A05

High

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

3A06

Low

20 0.71 0.80 1.00

13 1.00 0.44 0.25

3A07

High

16 0.71 0.70 0.57

18 1.00 0.56 0.75

3A08

High

18 1.00 0.70 0.57

20 1.00 1.00 0.50

3A09

High

3A10

Top

22 1.00 0.80 1.00

21 1.00 1.00 0.63

3A11

Low

0.29 0.10 0.14

15 1.00 0.44 0.50

3A12

High

13 0.86 0.40 0.43

16 0.86 0.78 0.38

3A13

Top

21 1.00 0.90 0.71

23 0.86 1.00 1.00

3A14

Low

14 0.71 0.60 0.43

19 0.86 0.89 0.63

3A15

High

3A16

High

20 0.86 1.00 0.57

16 0.86 0.44 0.75

3A17

Middle 23 1.00 0.90 1.00

22 0.86 1.00 0.88

3A18

Low

0.57 0.40 0.00

18 0.86 0.78 0.63

3A19

Low

0.00 0.30 0.00

3A20

Top

23 1.00 0.90 1.00

23 1.00 1.00 0.88

3A21

Top

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

23 1.00 1.00 0.88

3A22

Middle 24 1.00 1.00 1.00

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

3A23

High

21 1.00 0.90 0.71

19 1.00 0.56 0.88

3A24

High

18 1.00 0.80 0.43

21 1.00 0.78 0.88

3A25

High

13 0.86 0.60 0.14

21 1.00 1.00 0.63

3B01

Low

0.57 0.50 0.00

15 1.00 0.56 0.38

3B02

Middle

0.29 0.00 0.00

3B03

Middle

0.86 0.20 0.00

12 0.86 0.56 0.13

3B04

Middle

0.57 0.20 0.00

3B05

High

15 0.71 0.90 0.14

19 1.00 0.78 0.63

3B06

Top

0.29 0.20 0.00

0.29 0.00 0.29

0.57 0.30 0.00

150

0.71 0.22 0.00

0.29 0.22 0.25

0.14 0.33 0.13

0.57 0.00 0.25


0.71 0.00 0.00
0.57 0.22 0.25

S3 Part (2)
Students Gender

Pre-test

Ability

Post-test

group Mean Easy Med. Hard Mean Easy Med. Hard

3B07

High

10 0.71 0.50 0.00

16 1.00 0.78 0.25

3B08

High

0.57 0.20 0.14

12 0.86 0.22 0.50

3B09

Low

0.71 0.40 0.00

15 1.00 0.56 0.38

3B10

High

0.57 0.50 0.00

12 0.86 0.44 0.25

3B11

Bottom

0.57 0.40 0.14

19 1.00 0.78 0.63

3B12

High

19 0.57 1.00 0.71

20 1.00 0.67 0.88

3B13

Bottom

0.29 0.00 0.00

3B14

High

0.71 0.30 0.00

17 1.00 0.78 0.38

3B15

Bottom 17 0.71 1.00 0.29

22 1.00 0.89 0.88

3B16

Middle

0.57 0.30 0.00

20 1.00 0.89 0.63

3B17

High

12 0.86 0.50 0.14

20 1.00 0.89 0.63

3B18

High

23 1.00 1.00 0.86

22 1.00 0.89 0.88

3B19

Low

0.29 0.10 0.14

10 0.86 0.22 0.25

3B20

High

22 1.00 0.90 0.86

23 0.86 1.00 1.00

3B21

Middle 22 1.00 0.80 1.00

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

3C01

Low

0.29 0.30 0.43

13 0.71 0.56 0.38

3C02

High

0.29 0.30 0.00

3C03

3C04

High

0.43 0.20 0.00

14 0.86 0.56 0.38

3C05

Middle

0.43 0.10 0.00

15 0.86 0.44 0.63

3C06

Middle

0.29 0.60 0.00

11 0.71 0.33 0.38

3C07

Low

12 0.71 0.40 0.43

20 1.00 0.67 0.88

3C08

Low

11 0.57 0.60 0.14

10 0.57 0.44 0.25

3C09

High

17 1.00 0.70 0.43

23 1.00 1.00 0.88

3C10

Low

0.00 0.00 0.00

12 0.86 0.33 0.38

3C11

Middle

0.71 0.20 0.00

3C12

Middle

0.43 0.40 0.29

10 0.43 0.44 0.38

3C13

High

14 0.86 0.70 0.14

23 0.86 1.00 1.00

3C14

Low

14 0.71 0.50 0.57

18 0.86 1.00 0.38

3C15

Middle 18 0.86 0.80 0.57

22 1.00 0.78 1.00

3C16

Middle 10 0.86 0.40 0.00

16 1.00 0.67 0.38

3C17

Bottom

0.57 0.20 0.00

12 0.71 0.67 0.13

3C18

Middle 15 0.57 0.70 0.57

22 1.00 1.00 0.75

Middle 10 0.71 0.50 0.00

151

0.29 0.11 0.38

0.71 0.22 0.13

21 1.00 0.89 0.75

0.14 0.11 0.00

S3 Part (3)
Students Gender

Pre-test

Ability

Post-test

group Mean Easy Med. Hard Mean Easy Med. Hard

3C19

Middle

0.14 0.30 0.00

16 0.57 0.67 0.75

3C20

Middle 14 1.00 0.50 0.29

21 0.86 1.00 0.75

3C21

Low

20 1.00 0.70 0.86

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

3C22

Low

16 1.00 0.80 0.14

22 1.00 1.00 0.75

3C23

High

23 1.00 1.00 0.86

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

3C24

High

15 0.86 0.60 0.43

23 1.00 1.00 0.88

3C25

Middle

3D01

Low

10 0.86 0.40 0.00

13 0.71 0.56 0.38

3D02

Low

0.14 0.50 0.29

13 0.71 0.56 0.38

3D03

Low

0.29 0.00 0.00

3D04

Low

10 0.71 0.30 0.29

11 1.00 0.44 0.00

3D05

Middle 17 0.86 0.80 0.43

20 1.00 0.67 0.88

3D06

Top

16 0.71 0.80 0.43

16 1.00 0.78 0.25

3D07

Low

17 1.00 0.60 0.57

21 1.00 1.00 0.63

3D08

Low

0.57 0.40 0.14

12 0.71 0.56 0.25

3D09

Middle 12 0.71 0.50 0.29

22 1.00 1.00 0.75

3D10

Middle 13 0.86 0.30 0.57

21 0.86 1.00 0.75

3D11

Low

0.86 0.30 0.00

15 0.86 0.33 0.75

3D12

Low

15 0.86 0.60 0.43

21 1.00 1.00 0.63

3D13

Middle 22 1.00 1.00 0.71

22 1.00 1.00 0.75

3D14

Middle 10 0.57 0.50 0.14

19 1.00 0.78 0.63

3D15

Middle 14 0.71 0.70 0.29

19 0.86 0.89 0.63

3D16

Low

14 1.00 0.50 0.29

16 1.00 0.44 0.63

3D17

High

17 1.00 0.60 0.57

22 1.00 1.00 0.75

3D18

Low

19 0.86 0.80 0.71

21 1.00 0.89 0.75

3D19

Middle 19 1.00 0.90 0.43

23 1.00 1.00 0.88

3D20

Low

0.71 0.30 0.14

0.43 0.11 0.13

3D21

Bottom

0.29 0.40 0.14

0.57 0.11 0.25

3D22

High

0.57 0.50 0.00

20 1.00 0.89 0.63

3D23

High

10 0.86 0.40 0.00

13 0.71 0.67 0.25

3E01

High

0.14 0.20 0.14

12 0.71 0.44 0.38

3E02

High

0.14 0.20 0.00

11 0.57 0.44 0.38

0.43 0.40 0.00

152

0.71 0.22 0.13

0.43 0.22 0.38

S3 Part (4)
Students Gender

Pre-test

Ability

Post-test

group Mean Easy Med. Hard Mean Easy Med. Hard

3E03

Middle 10 0.57 0.60 0.00

3E04

Low

15 0.86 0.50 0.57

15 0.86 0.56 0.50

3E05

Low

0.00 0.00 0.00

20 0.86 0.78 0.88

3E06

Middle

0.71 0.40 0.00

14 1.00 0.67 0.13

3E07

High

23 1.00 0.90 1.00

23 1.00 1.00 0.88

3E08

Low

14 1.00 0.30 0.57

11 0.86 0.33 0.25

3E09

Low

21 0.86 1.00 0.71

22 1.00 1.00 0.75

3E10

Middle 11 0.71 0.60 0.00

12 0.57 0.56 0.38

3E11

Middle 17 0.86 0.70 0.57

18 0.86 0.78 0.63

3E12

Middle 17 0.86 0.80 0.43

24 1.00 1.00 1.00

3E13

High

0.57 0.30 0.14

19 0.86 0.89 0.63

3E14

Low

16 0.71 0.70 0.57

21 1.00 0.89 0.75

3E15

Middle 15 0.86 0.80 0.14

21 1.00 0.89 0.75

3E16

Bottom 13 0.86 0.40 0.43

17 1.00 0.44 0.75

3E17

3E18

High

0.71 0.22 0.00

18 1.00 0.70 0.57

19 1.00 0.89 0.50

Middle 13 1.00 0.50 0.14

16 0.86 0.67 0.50

3E19

Middle 13 0.86 0.60 0.14

18 1.00 0.78 0.50

3E20

Low

13 0.71 0.60 0.29

153

14 1.00 0.67 0.13

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

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

More about 3-D Figures


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

cubes and regular


tetrahedra.
Explore the reflectional
and rotational

(Enrichment: symmetries of other


Other Regular regular polyhedra.
Polyhedra)
(Enrichment topic)
15/4 32

5.2
Nets of Solids

Understand and learn to Activity:


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)

21/4- 33-34 5.4


28/4

29/4 34

30/4

Points, Lines and


Planes in Solids
A. Relationships

Understand the concept of the


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

between a line and a plane.


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

Realize the Eulers formula. Activity: Further


Explore the duality of regular 5.3
Practice:
polyhedra.
p. 5.42

B. Duality of
Regular Polyhedra

155