ERIC Number: EJ1047701
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Pre-University Tuition in Science and Technology Can Influence Executive Functions
Méndez, Marta; Arias, Natalia; Menéndez, José R.; Villar, José R.; Neira, Ángel; Romano, Pedro V.; Núñez, José Carlos; Arias, Jorge L.
Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, v12 n3 p747-761 Dec 2014
Introduction: Scientific and technological areas include tuition based on highly visuo-spatial specialization and problem solving. Spatial skills and problem solving are embedded in a curriculum that promotes understanding of Science and technical subjects. These abilities are related to the development of executive functions (EFs). We aim to assess whether students who have studied Science and Technology branches in the High School present improved EFs involved in spatial reasoning and problem solving. Method: We assessed six different EFs in two groups of students: Science and Technology students (ST group) and students enrolled in the first course of Psychology whose pre-university studies were not oriented towards science and technology (No-ST group). The EFs tests that we applied in the ST and No-ST groups assessed spatial working memory, planning, inhibition, mental flexibility, verbal and abstract reasoning. Results: The study revealed that spatial working memory and planning were significantly better in the ST group comparing with the No-ST group. The No-ST group presented more impulsivity. There were no differences between the groups in the rest of EFs assessed. Conclusion: Pre-university studies that include Science and Technology subjects can influence EFs by improving planning and spatial working memory, as well as leading to less impulsivity.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Executive Function, Spatial Ability, Problem Solving, STEM Education, Secondary Education, Undergraduate Students, Short Term Memory, Planning, Inhibition, Abstract Reasoning, Logical Thinking, Comparative Analysis, Conceptual Tempo
University of Almeria, Education & Psychology I+D+i. Faculty of Psychology Department of Educational and Developmental Psychology, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 LaCanada de San Urbano, Almeria, Spain. Tel: +34-950-015354; Fax: +34-950-015083; Web site: http://www.investigacion-psicopedagogica.org/revista/new/english/presentacion.php
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Differential Aptitude Test; Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices; Wisconsin Card Sorting Test