Problematizing spatial literacy within the school curriculum
Contemporary research is considering new forms of literacy that extend beyond the skills required to process alphanumeric data. The skills involved in visualising, reasoning, and communicating about 2D and 3D spatial information are commonly referred to as ‘Spatial Literacy’. Research has highlighted a positive relationship between Spatial Literacy and achievement across a diverse range of subject areas. Internationally, researchers have observed that students often have underdeveloped levels of Spatial Literacy on matriculation to third-level courses, particularly in the STEM area. In an attempt to better understand the potential reasons for this, this paper endeavours to unpack the complex nature of Spatial Literacy, its definition and associated metrics. Concerns are raised about the Spatial Literacy levels of Irish students based on international metrics and benchmarking against other jurisdictions. This paper seeks to problematize Spatial Literacy within the Irish educational context with a particular focus on dominant curriculum ideologies and education policy discourse.