How the Brain Learns Mathematics

How the Brain Learns Mathematics,David A. Sousa,Rachael RISLEY

How the Brain Learns Mathematics   (Citations: 2)
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How children learn mathematics has been the focus of research for many years. The research base has developed with theories from mathematics education, educational psychology and cognitive psychology (e.g. Geary, 1990; Ginsburg, 1997; Rousselle and Noel, 2007; Wright, 1994). Math educators have used this research to help guide instructional practices and to help them make sound instructional decisions. Recently, brain-imaging technology has brought the field of neuroscience into the study of teaching and learning mathematics. Imaging technologies have allowed scientists to determine which areas of the brain are active when the mind is engaged in mathematics. This technology has given researchers and educators a new piece of the learning puzzle. It is now possible to compare learning theories in mathematics to neurological analyses of how the brain physically functions while it is doing mathematics. In this book David Sousa links research and theory in mathematics teaching and learning to emerging research in neuropsychology. He reviews knowledge of the human brain's evolution and physiology, as well as current theories about teaching and learning and merges that knowledge with new information from brain imaging. In the first two chapters of How the Brain Learns Mathematics, Sousa traces a genetic history of number sense using research from cognitive science and psychology. He begins with the assertion that people have an innate number sense (p.9). He cites experiments, such as infant gaze studies that suggest a basic and innate sense of number. In these gaze studies, babies are shown images of sets of two objects and sets of three objects. The babies consistently look for longer periods of time at the sets of three objects. This finding indicates that babies can detect differences in quantity at very early ages. Mathematics may be viewed as a subject learned in school but this
Published in 2009.
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