spatial thinking

The National Research Council defines spatial thinking as: “A universal mode of thinking, one that is accessible to everyone to different degrees in different contexts. Spatial thinking is based on a constructive amalgam of three elements: concepts of space, tools of representation, and processes of reasoning. It depends on understanding the meaning of space and using the properties of space as a vehicle for structuring problems, for finding answers, and for expressing solutions. By visualizing relationships within spatial structures, we can perceive, remember, and analyze the static and, via transformations, the dynamic properties of objects and the relationships between objects. We can use representations in a variety of modes and media… to describe, explain, and communicate about the structure, operation, and function of those objects and their relationships."