Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

May 1985


The problem of this study was to determine if spatial perception could be a predictor of success in higher mathematics. This study first showed correlations of the results of three spatial perception tests taken by high-school students with their final geometry grades. Structure of the Intellect-Learning Ability subtests CFS (cognition of figural systems) and CFT (cognition of figural transformations), as well as Differential Aptitude Tests-Space Relations subtest, were used. Correlations were then computed for high-school geometery grades with calculus I grades. Geometry thus was used as a bridge between spatial perception and calculus performance. Secondly, the investigator explored any difference in performance by the sexes in all of the variables. Of the 10 hypotheses tested, the first four suspected similarities. Pearson product-moment was utilized to test these. The remaining six hypotheses tested for differences between the sexes through use of t-tests for independent groups. Multiple regression analysis was employed to determine the combination of variables which correlated significantly with final geometry grades, then with calculus. The five intact geometry classes at Tennessee High School, Bristol, Tennessee, were given the CFS and CFT tests, consisting of 26 problems each. Differential Aptitude Tests-Space Relations results were obtained from the student's permanent records. Out of an enrollment of 135, 112 students were present for testing. Of the 112, there were 51 males and 61 females. The testing date was April 26, 1984. The college data were obtained entirely from the permanent records at King College. All students who had taken calculus I over the last five years comprised a population of 179. Of this number 104 were male and 75 were female. Analysis of each predictor variable with high-school geometry grades showed a significant correlation (at (alpha) = .05) for CFS, CFT and Differential Aptitude Tests. CFS and Differential Aptitude Tests had strong correlations. Pearson product-moment showed a low, but significant correlation between CFT and the geometry grades. The Spearman Rho test, however concluded that this correlation was not significant. Analysis showed a strong positive correlation between high-school geometry grades and performance in calculus I. The combination of these two analyses would indicate that the two-dimensional spatial perception test is a good predictor of success in calculus I. There was no significant difference between the scores of males and females in any of the areas tested (CFS, CFT, Differential Aptitude Tests, geometry, calculus). However, the calculus I grades of those students who had had no previous college math courses were significantly better than those who had had one, two, or three courses.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted