Research in Science Education

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 357–368 | Cite as

Conceptualizing Magnification and Scale: The Roles of Spatial Visualization and Logical Thinking

  • M. Gail Jones
  • Grant Gardner
  • Amy R. Taylor
  • Eric Wiebe
  • Jennifer Forrester


This study explored factors that contribute to students’ concepts of magnification and scale. Spatial visualization, logical thinking, and concepts of magnification and scale were measured for 46 middle school students. Scores on the Zoom Assessment (an assessment of knowledge of magnification and scale) were correlated with the Test of Logical Thinking (TOLT) and a series of four spatial visualization tests. Results showed that the TOLT was significantly correlated with the Zoom Assessment. There was also a significant correlation between the TOLT and spatial visualization assessments MV1 (Shape Memory), MV2 (Building Memory), the Storage Test, and the Surface Development Test. The implications of this study for further research are discussed.


Magnification Biology Science education Middle school 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Gail Jones
    • 1
  • Grant Gardner
    • 1
  • Amy R. Taylor
    • 2
  • Eric Wiebe
    • 1
  • Jennifer Forrester
    • 1
  1. 1.NC State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.University of NC at WilmingtonWilmingtonUSA

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