Geometry is one of the highest achievements of our species, but its foundations are obscure. Consistent with longstanding suggestions that geometrical knowledge is rooted in processes guiding navigation, the present study examines potential sources of geomet- rical knowledge in the navigation processes by which young children establish their sense of orientation. Past research reveals that children reorient both by the shape of the surface layout and the shapes of distinctive landmarks, but it fails to clarify what shape properties children use. The present study explores 2-year-old children’s sensitivity to angle, length, distance and direction by testing disoriented children’s search in a variety of fragmented rhombic and rectangular environments. Children reoriented themselves in accord with sur- face distances and directions, but they failed to use surface lengths or corner angles either for directional reorientation or as local landmarks. Thus, navigating children navigate by some but not all of the abstract properties captured by formal Euclidean geometry. While navigation systems may contribute to children’s developing geometric understanding, they likely are not the sole source of abstract geometric intuitions.

Navigation as a source of geometric knowledge: Young children’s use of length, angle, distance, and direction in a reorientation task.

Lee, Sang Ah;Sovrano, Valeria Anna
2012-01-01

Abstract

Geometry is one of the highest achievements of our species, but its foundations are obscure. Consistent with longstanding suggestions that geometrical knowledge is rooted in processes guiding navigation, the present study examines potential sources of geomet- rical knowledge in the navigation processes by which young children establish their sense of orientation. Past research reveals that children reorient both by the shape of the surface layout and the shapes of distinctive landmarks, but it fails to clarify what shape properties children use. The present study explores 2-year-old children’s sensitivity to angle, length, distance and direction by testing disoriented children’s search in a variety of fragmented rhombic and rectangular environments. Children reoriented themselves in accord with sur- face distances and directions, but they failed to use surface lengths or corner angles either for directional reorientation or as local landmarks. Thus, navigating children navigate by some but not all of the abstract properties captured by formal Euclidean geometry. While navigation systems may contribute to children’s developing geometric understanding, they likely are not the sole source of abstract geometric intuitions.
2012
1
Lee, Sang Ah; Spelke, E. S.; Sovrano, Valeria Anna
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Navigation_Lee_Sovrano.pdf

Solo gestori archivio

Tipologia: Versione editoriale (Publisher’s layout)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 602.62 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
602.62 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/91633
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 25
  • Scopus 79
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 73
social impact