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Journal for Geometry and Graphics 15 (2011), No. 1, 101--112
Copyright Heldermann Verlag 2011

Change over Time in Spatial Ability of Students Entering University -- Impact of Revision of National Curriculum Guidelines up to High Schools

Yuji Sugai
Faculty of Industrial Technology, Nihon University, 1-2-1 Izumi Narashino-shi, Japan

Kenjiro Suzuki
National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation, 1-29-1 Gakuen-Nishimachi, Kodaira-shi, 187-8587 Tokyo, Japan

The impact of revision of the national curriculum guidelines of graphic science related contents up to high schools on learning retention of students entering university was investigated by a questionnaire survey at the University of Tokyo. The impact of the revision on spatial ability of students was also analyzed by a Mental Cutting Test (MCT) performed at the University of Tokyo and at Nihon University. The results of Nihon University were compared with those of Meisei University. The principal results are as follows:
1) Learning retention of graphic science related contents fell down sharply after the implementation of the current national curriculum guidelines.
2) The MCT scores at the University of Tokyo did not fall, while the scores at Nihon University fell significantly after the implementation. These results suggested that the implementation might cause a decrease of the spatial ability of students.
3) The MCT scores just before the implementation of the current guidelines were significantly lower than those in around 1990 at both universities. The decrease of the scores could be explained by the decreases of their university admission test deviation scores caused by the increase of university enrollment rate from 1990s to 2000s.

Keywords: Geometry and graphics education, spatial ability.

MSC: 51N05

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