Learning mathematics without a suggested solution method: durable effects on performance and brain activity
2015 (English)In: Trends in Neuroscience and Education, ISSN 2211-9493, Vol. 4, no 1-2, 6-14 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A dominant mathematics teaching method is to present a solution method and let pupils repeatedly practice it. An alternative method is to let pupils create a solution method themselves. The current study compared these two approaches in terms of lasting effects on performance and brain activity. Seventythree participants practiced mathematics according to one of the two approaches. One week later, participants underwent fMRI while being tested on the practice tasks. Participants who had created the solution method themselves performed better at the test questions. In both conditions, participants engaged a fronto-parietal network more when solving test questions compared to a baseline task. Importantly, participants who had created the solution method themselves showed relatively lower brain activity in angular gyrus, possibly reflecting reduced demands on verbal memory. These results indicate that there might be advantages to creating the solution method oneself, and thus have implications for the design of teaching methods.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 4, no 1-2, 6-14 p.
Mathematics, Learning, fMRI, Parietal cortex, Angular gyrus, Education
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109088DOI: 10.1016/j.tine.2015.03.002ISI: 000363545300002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-109088DiVA: diva2:854762