FoE’s Lunch Talk #25 on Spatial Reasoning in Numeracy Learning

February 15, 2024

Contributor: Irkham Zamzuri | Editor: Supriyono

UIII, Depok – The UIII Faculty of Education (FoE), in a synergistic collaboration with SEAMEO CECCEP (Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Early Childhood Care Education and Parenting), hosted an enlightening Lunch Talk #25 on addressing spatial reasoning in numeracy learning.

The event shone a spotlight on the pioneering research conducted by Dr. Destina Wahyu Winarti of UIII and Assoc. Prof. Wanty Widjaja from Deakin University, Australia, focused on an innovative approach to enhancing early childhood education with the topic "Promoting Spatial Reasoning of Early Childhood Educators to Support Numeracy Learning."

This talk comes at a crucial time when the Indonesian Early Childhood Education Directorate General is emphasizing a holistic and integrative approach to early childhood education, with a particular focus on strengthening numeracy skills from an early age. Research has consistently highlighted spatial reasoning as a key predictor of numeracy success in later years, and this session shed light on how this can be effectively integrated into early childhood education.

Dr. Winarti and Assoc. Prof. Widjaja shared insights from their study, which proposes to integrate spatial reasoning within play-based activities, a method proven to be highly effective in early learning environments. The aim is to build the capacity of early childhood educators, enabling them to co-design spatially rich, play-based classroom activities. These activities, when implemented in their workplaces, are expected to offer valuable insights and experiences.

The session underscored the importance of engaging educators in the development of these activities, ensuring that they are not only practical but also resonate with the children's learning needs. By reflecting on their experiences, educators can further refine these practices, making them more impactful.

Dr. Winarti explained the result of the research, saying that the professional learning program supports Early Childhood Education (ECE) educators in designing play based-learning activities that support children's spatial reasoning.

"The research finding offers ECE a good understanding of spatial ability and spatial thinking, deepening ECE's understanding of some key numeracy concepts, including one-to-one correspondence and cardinality. Exposure to spatially rich play-based activities allowed ECE to design and adapt the activities for their ECE centers," Dr. Winarti elaborated.

The event was well-received by attendees, comprising students, faculty members, and professionals in the field of education, who gained valuable insights into the role of spatial reasoning in early numeracy development. The session also provided a platform for discussion and collaboration among educators and researchers, fostering a community dedicated to advancing early childhood education in Indonesia.