Drawing on an enactivist perspective in order to gain insight into how spatial reasoning develops and can be fostered, this article describes a study of how children engaged in spatial reasoning as they learned to program LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots. Digital technologies afforded multiple opportunities for accumulating experiences for developing spatial reasoning that are difficult to come by in other contexts. Our video-recorded observations of children (aged 9 to 10) suggest that Bruner’s enactive–iconic–symbolic typology of representations develop simultaneously rather than sequentially – the commonly held assumption. Furthermore, these same video observations provided insight into children’s development of spatial reasoning through computer programming. Our findings have implications for how curriculum is designed and implemented in classrooms.
This research was funded by the Imperial Oil Science Engineering and Technology
(IOSTEM) Education Initiative.