Slowly but surely, the ideas and understanding about spatial thinking (cognition, intelligence, abilities, skills, literacy, habits of mind, etc.; You name it, it’s relevant and connected) are making their way out of the academic file cabinets and into circles of more common knowledge. Earlier this week a colleague of mine from Esri (Tom Baker, @trbaker) forwarded this around, a Psychology Today article about our undervaluing of spatial intelligence. It was written by Jonathan Wai (@JonathanLWai), a psychologist whose work I first became familiar with through a National Science Board publication (2010) on Preparing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators.
These documents identify the need to seek out under-recognized spatial talent in order to avoid missing the top fraction of those who would otherwise excel. But I firmly believe that it’s an overlooked component of all education, for all students.