: In Chapter 1, the committee defines spatial thinking as a constructive amalgam of three elements: concepts of space, tools of representation, and processes of reasoning. Space provides the conceptual and analytical framework within which data can be integrated, related, and structured into a whole. Representations—either internal and cognitive or external and graphic, linguistic, physical, and so forth—provide the forms within which structured information can be stored, analyzed, comprehended, and communicated to others. Reasoning processes provide the means of manipulating, interpreting, and explaining the structured information.


: It is the links among space, representation, and reasoning that give the process of spatial thinking its power, versatility, and applicability. Spatial thinking is multifaceted in its operation: just as there is no single recipe for how to think verbally or mathematically, there is no single way to think spatially. Instead, the process of spatial thinking comprises broad sets of interconnected competencies that can be taught and learned.