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An investigation of the effect of origami-based instruction on elementary students’ spatial ability in mathematics

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2009
Çakmak, Sedanur
The main purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of origami-based instruction on fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students’ spatial ability in mathematics. More specifically, how origami-based instruction affected students’ spatial visualization and spatial orientation ability was examined. In addition, elementary students’ self-reported perceptions related to origami-based instruction was investigated. In other words, students’ attitude towards origami-based instruction, their views about the benefits of origami-based instruction and its connection to mathematics, and the difficulties that students encountered while making origami as well as by whom they overcame these difficulties were investigated. The data was collected from 38 fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students in a private school in Eryaman neighborhood in Ankara. The participants were given a Spatial Ability Test (SAT) as pretest and posttest in order to assess the effect of origami-based instruction on their spatial ability in terms of spatial visualization and spatial orientation. In addition, the participants were asked to write reflection papers related to origami-based instruction in order to examine their perceptions. The results indicated that there was a significant positive effect of origami-based instruction on elementary students’ both spatial visualization and spatial orientation ability. Moreover, the findings showed that students had positive attitude toward origami-based instruction where they wanted to continue origami-based instruction. Students also thought that origami-based instruction was beneficial for them especially in geometry topics in mathematics, and they have common views that origami-based instruction was directly related with mathematics. Furthermore, results revealed that students were generally encountered with folding and assembling difficulties, and they overcame these difficulties by themselves, by the help of the teacher, and by the help of their friends.