Direct quote from a paper co-written by my friend Gordon Schimmel, my recent observations concure on this: The Need for “Spatial Intelligence” Before delving into the details, we wish to confess bias, one that becomes a major part of the rationale for a workshop program. Children today are growing up in a high-tech world, a fact that makes them enormously sophisticated consumers of devices and programs that permit communication with each other in real time, making it possible for them to instantly download volumes of information previously available only to scholars and researchers as well as analyze data with power usually reserved for trained mathematicians. When time devoted to social applications and television viewing is added, young people spend much of their waking hours living in a virtual world. They may hold the power of the ages in their hands, but many are flat-screen junkies who are losing an understanding of the 3-D world around them. Sadly, this means that many children have lost what we would call “spatial intelligence” – the ability to use common household tools effectively, to take mechanical things apart and successfully reassemble them, to understand how things work – most of what we take for granted in our everyday world.
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