Handouts and Presentations

These handouts were designed for use in our teacher professional-development workshops. They describe different modes of spatial reasoning in different ways.

One of the most intriguing and controversial aspects of human neuroscience
is the role of spatial reasoning in the so-called “foundational” subjects
of reading and math.  Much of the research, unfortunately, is being done
in other countries, notably Australia, China, Italy, and, especially, France.
This research suggests that a beginning reader (whether child or adult)
starts by using a very large area across the back of the brain, including
areas known to be engaged when people study maps, graphs, and other
visual aids. Later, as learning progresses, the brain seems to “repurpose”
several relatively small areas on the lower side, behind/below the left ear.
This file an “idea-prompt” poster to support a discussion about ways
in which carefully constructed geography lessons could contribute
to developing (or at least reinforcing) an awareness and appreciation
for the idea of representation, as well as some of the shape, sequence,
direction, proximity, and pattern-recognition skills that could help
students on the path to fluent reading.