Mohammad Tanweer


The present phenomenological study explores how school students see their childhood toys as facilitator or inhibitor of spatial ability in learning science in the school. Specifically, the aim was to elicit, describe, and analyze the background, perspectives and experiences of the students that contributed in developing their spatial ability. For this purpose, twenty-four students of Grade X who have compulsory science were selected. Upon identifying two groups of high spatial performers and low spatial performers, qualitative techniques were used to gather data. The tools and techniques included personal in-depth interviews, focus group discussion, observations, and think aloud task performances. Data was analyzed through the data explicitation processes suggested by Giorgi, providing textural and structural descriptions from every participant. Quality of engagement with childhood toys emerged as a major themes that marked out the differences between both the groups. This may help stakeholders such as educators, teachers, parents, students, and curriculum developers in understanding the lasting role of childhood toys on development of spatial abilities which influence the learning of school science.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



spatial ability, lived experiences, childhood experiences, phenomenological enquiry, childhood toys

Full Text:



Brosnan, M. J. (1998). Spatial ability in children's play with Lego blocks. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 87, 19-28.

Casey, M. B., Nuttall, R. L., & Pezaris, E. (1999). Evidence in support of a model that predicts how biological and environmental factors interact to influence spatial skills. Developmental Psychology, 35(5), 1237-1247.

Conner, J. M., Serbin, L. A., & Schackman, M. (1977). Sex differences in children’s response to training on a visual-spatial test. Developmental Psychology, 13(3), 293-294.

Fisher-Thompson, D. (1990). Adult sex typing of children’s toys. Sex Roles, 23(5/6), 291-303.

Giorgi, A. (1997). The theory, practice and evaluation of the phenomenological methods as a qualitative research procedure. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 28, 235-260.

Giorgi, A. (Ed.). (1985). Phenomenology and psychological research. Pittsburgh, PA:

Hall, J., & Kimura, D. (1995, August). Sexual orientation and performance on sexually dimorphic motor tasks. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 24(4), 395.

Harris, L. J. (1978). Sex differences in spatial ability: Possible environmental, genetic, and neurological factors. In M. Kinsbourne (Ed.), Asymmetrical function of the brain (pp. 405-521). London: Cambridge University.

Hegarty, M. (2007). The Role of Spatial Thinking in Undergraduate Science Education. Thinking, 1–34.

Hegarty, M., Keehner, M., Cohen, C., Montello, D. R., & Lippa, Y. (2007). The role of spatial cognition in medicine: Applications for selecting and training professionals. In Applied Spatial Cognition.

Mann, V. A., Sasanuma, S., Sakuma, S., & Masaki, S. (1990). Sex differences in cognitive abilities: A cross-cultural perspective. Neuropsychologia, 28(10), 1063-1077.

McGee, M. G. (1979a). Human spatial abilities: Psychometric studies and environmental, genetic, hormonal, and neurological influences. Psychological Bulletin, 86(5), 889-918.

Mohler, J. L. (2008). Examining the spatial ability phenomenon from the student’s perspective. Engineering Design Graphics Journal, 72(3), 1-15.

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Sanders, B., Cohen, M. R., & Soares, M. P. (1986). The sex difference in spatial ability: A rejoinder. American Psychologist, 41, 1015-1016.

Sorby, S. A. (1999). Developing 3-D spatial visualization skills. Engineering Design Graphics Journal, 63(2), 21-32.

Stumpf, H., & Klieme, E. (1989). Sex-related differences in spatial ability: More evidence for convergence. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 69, 915-921.

Tracy, D. M. (1990). Toy-playing behavior, sex-role orientation, spatial ability, and science achievement. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 27(7), 637-649.

Vandenberg, S. G. (1971). The Mental Rotations Test. Boulder: University of Colorado. Duquesne University Press.

Vandenberg, S. G. (1975). Sources of variance in performance on spatial tests. In J. Eliot & N. J. Salkind (Eds.), Children’s spatial development (pp. 57- 66). Springfield, MA: Thomas.

Vandenberg, S. G., Kuse, A. R., Vogler, G. P. (1985). Searching for correlates of spatial ability. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 60, 343-350.

Voyer, D., Voyer, S., & Bryden, M. P. (1995). Magnitude of sex differences in spatial abilities: A meta-analysis and consideration of critical variables. Psychological Bulletin, 117(2), 250-270.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Mohammad Tanweer

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015 - 2023. European Journal of Physical Education and Sport Science (ISSN 2501 - 1235) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).