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!
If asked, most people will tell you they have a learning style – an expressed preference in learning by seeing images, hearing speech, seeing words, or being able to physically interact with the material. Some people even believe that it is the teacher’s job to present the information in accordance with that preference.
Actually, it turns out that the best scientific evidence available does not support learning styles. In other words, when an auditory learner receives instruction about content through a visual model, they do just as well as auditory learners who receive spoken information.
Students may have a preference for visuals or writing or sound, but sticking to their preference doesn't help them learn any better. Far more important is ensuring the student is engaged in an interactive learning activity and that the new information connects to the student’s prior knowledge. #mathmythbusted
Memorize the following rule: All quars are elos. Will you remember that rule tomorrow? Nope. Why not? Because it has no meaning. It isn’t connected to anything you know. What if we change the rule to: All squares are parallelograms. How about now? Can you remember that? Of course you can, because now it makes sense.
Learning does not take place in a vacuum. It must be connected to what you already know. Otherwise, arbitrary rules will be forgotten. #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!
Dr. Bob joined Carnegie Learning in 2009 as a Cognitive Scientist. He received his PhD in Cognitive Psychology in 2005 from the University of Pittsburgh under the direction of Dr. Michelene T.H. Chi, and he received additional training at the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center (PSLC) as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Kurt VanLehn and Dr. Timothy J. Nokes-Malach. In his spare time, Dr. Bob publishes a blog entitled Dr. Bob's Cog Blog, and is the author of the book 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. When he isn’t thinking about cognitive science, which is rare, Dr. Bob enjoys long-distance running, mountain biking, and traveling with his wife.Explore more related to this author
Amy Jones Lewis brings her classroom expertise and passion for high-quality math instruction together as Carnegie Learning’s Vice President of Instructional Design, Math (K-12). In this role, she oversees the content development of Carnegie Learning’s instructional resources to meet the needs of students and teachers. Prior to this, she was the math specialist for Intermediate Unit 1, receiving more than $2M in grant funds to provide intensive professional development to K-8 teachers in southwestern PA. As a national consultant, Amy has contributed to projects at WestEd, Discovery Education, and other local organizations. She is the former Director of Educational Services at Carnegie Learning, where she worked with teachers and coaches across the country to successfully implement the Carnegie Learning blended math solutions. She began her career teaching high school mathematics in Malawi, Africa, and Baltimore City, MD, and has a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University.Explore more related to this author