What is Spatial ability?
Spatial ability is the capacity to understand and remember the spatial relations among objects. This ability can be viewed as a unique type of intelligence distinguishable from other forms of intelligence, such as verbal ability, reasoning ability, and memory skills.
Spatial ability is a very important aspect of our lives and although we are all born with spatial ability we can improve our spatial skills. Smit (1998) suggested that it would be very difficult to exist in the world without spatial skills as it would make it quite difficult to communicate about things such as the relationships between objects and be aware of changes that take place in the size and position of objects. Freehand sketching is an essential tool which can help you observe spatial objects, their properties and representing them. It is essential for one to observe spatial objects and their properties, representing spatial objects in two dimensions by interpreting in there forms of interaction as identified by Human (1999) “Spatial ability is a critical cognitive ability for many technical discipline’s, but particularly engineering fields” (Mohler.J 2008 P. 19).
Spatial visualisation ability is key to many avenues in life such as Maths, engineering and architecture. Spatial visualisation can be critical for learning and problem solving. Sorby and Gorska (1998) found that “the largest spatial skills increase was associated with three courses that relied heavy upon sketching and hand drawing activities”. A study conducted by engineering students by Leopold, Gorska and Sorby 2001 found that “hand on problem solving and specifically, sketching, in the development of spatial abilities relative to engineering students”. Gardner (2003) view is that, spatialability and spatial cognition are the basic building blocks that a child needsin order to develop higher thinking skills.” - (Osberg, 1997)
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