This was an evaluation of materials/programs to help educators teach spatial relations and geometry through the use of storytelling, and its benefits for girls and boys.
Erkut and her colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of new supplemental materials developed for early elementary grades by Beth Casey and colleagues at the Boston College’s Lynch School of Education, with funding from the National Science Foundation.
In these materials spatial relations and geometry are taught through oral story telling of multicultural adventure stories in which students help story characters solve problems. The WCW evaluation team, which included Ineke Ceder, Sabrina Gonzalez, and Helen Kwon, developed a new assessment of spatial skills and adapted an existing measure. They evaluated the supplementary materials by conducting a field experiment in 16 kindergarten classrooms in urban and suburban school systems with large minority populations.
The results showed that both girls and boys benefited from the oral story telling method and girls benefited more than the boys on some measures. The multicultural approach to developing these materials had evolved from a gender equity in math and science study group based at WCW when Casey was a visiting research scholar.
Additional information about the books developed under this NSF grant can be found at http://www2.bc.edu/~caseyb/oview.html.
Evaluator: Sumru Erkut, Ph.D.