At the Ghent university in Belgium, they are planning a rather interesting project. They will review the relationship of executive function and dyscalculia. Here is what they say about it:
Dyslexia and dyscalculia are learning disorders with a high prevelance. They correlate strongly. A possible explanation can be found in the hypothesis of deficits in executive functioning. Therefore, this research maps out the profiles of executive functions. This is done by use of a comparative study existing of four groups: dyslexia, dyscalculia, a comorbid and a control group.
Who would have thought that the food you eat will impact your focus and memory? My mom would always tell me to drink milk before a test as it would help my memory but here is a nutritionist from Harvard University with some foods to avoid so you’ll maintain your focus and memory.
In the last decade, educators have focused on boosting literacy skills among low-income kids in the hope that all children will read well by third grade. But the early-grade math skills of these same low-income children have not received equal attention. Researchers say many high-poverty kindergarten classrooms don’t teach enough math and the few lessons on the subject are often too basic. While instruction may challenge kids with no previous exposure to math, it is often not engaging enough for the growing number of kindergarteners with some math skills.
Krzysztof Cipora shares a new preprint alert: Together with @flavinska72 Karin Kucian, and Ann Dowker they are sharing some thoughts on Mathematics Anxiety: where are we with the current research? Where Mathematics Anxiety research should go?
Where many people believe that your IQ is pretty much set in stone, a new analysis shows that after a year of school, children’s IQ gets a boost.
A year of schooling leaves students with new knowledge, and it also equates with a small but noticeable increase to students’ IQ, according to a systematic meta-analysis published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
“Our analyses provide the strongest evidence yet that education raises intelligence test scores,” says psychological scientist Stuart J. Ritchie of the University of Edinburgh. “We looked at 42 datasets using several different research designs and found that, overall, adding an extra year of schooling in this way improved people’s IQ scores by between 1 and 5 points.”
Researchers seem to have found the place where to look for dyscalculia, here is their abstract:
Mathematical learning deficits are defined as a neurodevelopmental disorder (dyscalculia) in the International Classification of Diseases. It is not known, however, how such deficits emerge in the course of early brain development. Here, we conducted functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experiments in 3- to 6-year-old children without formal mathematical learning experience. We followed this sample until the age of 7 to 9 years, identified individuals who developed deficits, and matched them to a typically developing control group using comprehensive behavioral assessments. Multivariate pattern classification distinguished future cases from controls with up to 87% accuracy based on the regional functional activity of the right posterior parietal cortex (PPC), the network-level functional activity of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and the effective functional and structural connectivity of these regions. Our results indicate that mathematical learning deficits originate from atypical development of a frontoparietal network that is already detectable in early childhood.
Teaching is a two way street. You can be the best teacher ever but if your brilliant messages are not understood by your audience, you will not get the results you were aiming for.
simply asking ‘have you understood?’ This tells us almost nothing – as students rarely so no or could be wrong in saying yes. But, most importantly, there are always degrees of understanding. Instead of asking if, we should ask what student have understood. Rosenshine gives us a nice list of ways teachers can check for understanding.:
New research is presented on the page from Stanford by youcubed from Jo Boaler and it all shows how visual math can be.
our brain wants to think visually about maths. Building students’ mathematical understanding doesn’t just mean strengthening one area of the brain that is involved with abstract numbers, it means strengthening connections between areas of the brain and strengthening the visual pathways.
New research from the University of Sydney sheds light on how we perceive objects and know how many there are:
“Result shows that numerical information is intrinsically related to perception,” said Dr Elisa Castaldi from Florence University. “This could have important, practical implications. For example, this ability is compromised in dyscalculia which is a dysfunction in mathematical learning, so our experiment may be useful in early identification of this condition in very young children. It is very simple: subjects simply look at a screen without making any active response, and their pupillary response is measured remotely.”
‘Groupitizing’ refers to the observation that visually grouped arrays can be accurately enumerated much faster than can unstructured arrays. Previous research suggests that visual grouping allows participants to draw on arithmetic abilities and possibly use mental calculations to enumerate grouped arrays quickly and accurately. Here, we address how subitizing might be involved in finding the operands for mental calculations in grouped dot arrays. We investigated whether participants can use multiple subitizing processes to enumerate both the number of dots and the number of groups in a grouped array. We found that these multiple subitizing processes can take place within 150 ms and that dots and groups seem to be subitized in parallel and with equal priority. Implications for research on mechanisms of groupitizing are discussed.
See the wonderful explanation from Kelly Mix, here is a quote:
The thing about number is it’s fairly difficult to “see.” Think about trying to explain to a visitor from space what we mean by “two.” You might point to two mittens, two cookies, and two trees, saying “these are all two.” This is a good approach, but there is so much detail and information in each of these kinds of objects, that it’s hard to focus on the quantity. Partly that’s because the “two-ness” is held by the sets of things, rather than by the things themselves; each mitten by itself is not “two.”
Although deeper learning in current early-grade mathematics classrooms is rare, a research-based program called Number Worlds has been implemented and studied in pre-K through grade 2. The program is based on six guiding principles: § Expose children to the major ways numbers are represented and talked about. § Provide opportunities to link the “world of quantity” with the “world of counting numbers” and the “world of formal symbols.” § Provide visual and spatial analogs of number representations that children can actively explore in hands-on fashion. § Engage children and capture their imagination so that the knowledge constructed is embedded not only in their minds, but also in their hopes, fears, and passions. § Provide opportunities to acquire computational fluency as well as conceptual understanding. § Encourage the use of metacognitive processes—such as problem solving, communication, and reasoning—that will facilitate the construction of knowledge.
Michael McCloskey from Johns Hopkins University writes an article about the research into acquired dyscalculia. This is the form of Dyscalculia that you do not have from birth but that you acquire later in life through a trauma involving your brain. This could be a fall or an accident. It is not widely know this form of Dyscalculia so it is great to see this overview.
Recommendations from recent research in Nigeria are listed below. Please read the full report in our link for today:
Based on the discussions of the findings, the following recommendation were made:
Dyscalculia test should be adopted by parents, school administrators and counselors to assess students who may be having difficulty in mathematics or arithmetic for proper diagnosis
Assessment instruments used within the school system be it at primary, secondary or higher institutions should be subjected to the DIF analysis for bias item analysis as this would provide the necessary statistical evidence that a particular assessment instrument is not bias.
A, small, new research showed various causes of the problems with arithmetic:
Our results show that differences in performance between the two groups of children were significant for addition but not for multiplication. Moreover, concerning additions, children with dyscalculia presented more difficulties for non-tie (e.g., 3 + 4) than tie problems (e.g., 3 + 3). Altogether, our results support the fact that, in our sample, the difficulties encountered by children with dyscalculia in arithmetic were due to working memory limitations or, alternatively, to a deficit in the automatization of counting procedures.
The story is a bit more complex. Brand new, not even published, research shows that Mathematics-gender stereotype endorsement influences mathematics anxiety, self-concept, and performance differently in men and women. A very interesting find in a large study among university students. Read the pre-print abstract in our link for today.
Research shows that children who have trouble recognizing and working with Arabic numerals (our regular number system) most likely will have trouble with arithmetic later in their school career. This means that we could already recognize math learning difficulties in KG and thus be proactive with our interventions.
Honeybees count landmarks when navigating toward sources of nectar. Lionesses tally the number of roars they hear from an intruding pride before deciding whether to attack or retreat. Some ants keep track of their steps; some spiders keep track of how many prey are caught in their web. One species of frog bases its entire mating ritual on number: If a male calls out — a whining pew followed by a brief pulsing note called a chuck — his rival responds by placing two chucks at the end of his own call. The first frog then responds with three, the other with four, and so on up to around six, when they run out of breath.
The Dyscalculia Blog has a nice page with the latest research into dyscalculia. Great initiative. We need more research, so there will be more awareness, so there will be more interest, so there will be more options for teachers to become dyscalculia tutors.
Two hypotheses attempt to explain the main cause of dyscalculia. The first hypothesis suggests that a problem with the core mechanisms of perceiving (non-symbolic) quantities is the cause of dyscalculia (core deficit hypothesis), while the alternative hypothesis suggests that dyscalculics have problems only with the processing of numerical symbols (access deficit hypothesis).
There is still research necessary to find out exactly where Dyscalculia finds it’s origin:
Two hypotheses attempt to explain the main cause of dyscalculia. The first hypothesis suggests that a problem with the core mechanisms of perceiving (non-symbolic) quantities is the cause of dyscalculia (core deficit hypothesis), while the alternative hypothesis suggests that dyscalculics have problems only with the processing of numerical symbols (access deficit hypothesis). In the present study, the symbolic and non-symbolic numerosity processing of typically developing children and children with dyscalculia were examined with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Control (n=15, mean age: 11.26) and dyscalculia (n=12, mean age: 11.25) groups were determined using a wide-scale screening process.
The new research found two robust subtypes: A slightly impaired subtype and a strongly impaired subtype. Subtypes differed most strongly regarding mathematical abilities, but the analyses suggest that differences in attention could also be a key factor. Therefore, comorbid attention difficulties seem to be a relevant factor that needs to be considered when establishing subtypes. Substantial intelligence differences between dyscalculia subtypes could not be found. Differences in working memory and reading fluency were negligible. Overall, the results seemed to be robust regardless of the diagnostic test used for assessing dyscalculia. When planning interventions for children with Dyscalculia, the existence of a subtype with substantial attention problems should be kept in mind.
Not one, not two, or three studies show a direct relationship between the ability to understand and master mathematical concepts and future employment and socioeconomic success. This concept is not entirely new. Education by area has always been related to the socioeconomic factor of families. However, for the psychology professors Stuart J. Ritchie and Timothy C. Bates of the University of Edinburgh, they are mathematics the ones that take the lead in this relationship.
The purpose of this study was to examine how spatial abilities as measured on the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC) could be used to predict dyscalculia.
Spatial abilities were found to be most closely approximated on the Spatial Memory subtest in the ability battery. This subtest was examined in relationship to the Arithmetic subtest on the achievement battery, and a high correlation was demonstrated.
This is interesting because there was critisism about the traditional way of assessing Dyscalculia by comparing ability (IQ) with achievement and this was a great measure to serve as an alternative.
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