A Blog by Carnegie Learning
It's amazing how many math myths are out there these days. Believing these myths can lead students (not to mention adults) to believe that math is "too hard," "not for them," or just plain unattainable. That's nonsense!
Hollywood is in love with the idea that humans only use a small portion of their brains. This notion formed the basis of the movies Lucy (2014) and Limitless (2011). Both films ask the audience: Imagine what you could accomplish if you could use 100% of your brain?
Well, this isn’t Hollywood, and you’re stuck with an ordinary brain. The good news is that you do use 100% of your brain. As you look around the room, your visual cortex is busy assembling images, your motor cortex is busy moving your neck, and all of the associative areas recognize the objects that you see. Meanwhile, the corpus callosum, which is a thick band of neurons that connect the two hemispheres, ensures that all of this information is kept coordinated. Moreover, the brain does this automatically, which frees up space to ponder deep, abstract concepts...like mathematics! #mathmythbusted
Has this ever happened to you? Someone explains something, and it all makes sense at the time. You feel like you get it. But then, a day later when you try to do it on your own, you suddenly feel like something’s missing? If that feeling is familiar, don’t worry. It happens to us all. It’s called the illusion of explanatory depth, and it frequently happens after watching a video.
How do you break this illusion? The first step is to try to make the video interactive. Don’t treat it like a TV show. Instead, pause the video and try to explain it to yourself or to a friend. Alternatively, attempt the steps in the video on your own and rewatch it if you hit a wall. Remember, it’s easy to confuse familiarity with understanding. #mathmythbusted
Stay tuned for more myth-busting, and the next time you hear a Math Myth like this from a student, parent, or even a friend, make sure you bust it!
Bob Hausmann received his PhD in Cognitive Psychology in 2005 from the University of Pittsburgh, and received additional training as a post-doctoral fellow at the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center (PSLC). Bob publishes a blog entitled Dr. Bob's Cog Blog, and is the author of Cognitive Science for Educators: Practical suggestions for an evidence-based classroom. The unifying theme that runs throughout all of these activities is a drive toward helping every student become an expert in a domain of her or his choice.Explore more related to this author
Amy Jones Lewis taught in the Baltimore City Public Schools system, where she helped found a new innovation high school as part of a Gates Foundation Grant, taught with Carnegie Learning instructional materials, and increased student state test scores to twice the district average. Since then, she's spent 12 years deepening teachers’ content knowledge, assisting in the implementation of student-centered instructional strategies, and transitioning schools and teachers to the Standards for Mathematical Practice. As Senior Director Instructional Design, she incorporates her classroom expertise and mathematical content knowledge in the creation of innovative and student-centered instructional materials for teachers and students.Explore more related to this author