The University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) is a world leader in research and development of math education and STEM curriculum. CEHD’s experts study every aspect of how children learn math – from understanding the basic concepts of numbers to strategies for solving math word problems – providing teachers with the insights and information they need to create better lesson plans and classroom techniques for teaching math. The following are blogs that detail some of CEHD’s most notable efforts in the field of math education.
How We Learn: Understanding Math Patterns
Author: Sashank Varma
Date Posted: November 3, 2017
Math is interesting in that we routinely task young children with learning very sophisticated concepts. We now teach kids in third grade things that took mathematicians centuries to figure out. My research revolves around gaining better insight into how people understand abstract math patterns and concepts, and why some people are better at these skills than others. Hopefully, by better understanding math cognition, teachers will be able to develop better instruction and curricula.
Creating Better Strategies for Teaching Math Word Problems
Author: Asha Jitendra, Ph.D.
Date Posted: May 5, 2017
Many students – both in mainstream and special education – struggle with math word problems. It’s easy to get lost in the problem’s surface details, rather than understanding the mathematical language and concepts and applying the relevant operation to solve the problem. I’ve been studying how schema-based instruction, which teaches students to focus on the underlying structure of math word problems, improves learning for students of all levels.
How to Better Prepare Math Teachers for Success
Author: Erin Baldinger, Ph.D.
Date Posted: April 27, 2017
Many people think the primary qualification for being a teacher is knowledge and mastery of the subject matter. I’ve learned that math teachers must not only have a deep knowledge of math – they need to be able to effectively communicate math concepts so that students can engage in mathematics themselves. My research gives insight into some of the knowledge and skills secondary math teachers need – and how we can prepare them to implement classroom activities that will help them better communicate mathematical concepts to their students.
A Closer Look at Childhood Math Disability and Difficulty
Author: Michele M. Mazzocco
Date Posted: September 25, 2015
While studying learning disabilities, I was surprised to discover that a small percentage of the population experienced profound difficulties with basic math and numerical concepts, a condition called dyscalculia. Some adults have such severe dyscalculia that they have trouble performing even basic math, like elementary addition and subtraction problems. Like dyslexia, the condition is profound and appears to be biologically based.
Is Eighth Grade Algebra Closing the Achievement Gap for African American Students?
Author: Lesa Covington Clarkson, Ph.D.
Date Posted: February 14, 2014
How can we close the achievement gap in math education? I spent an entire year with an eighth-grade algebra class in North Minneapolis to find out. Success includes more than just helping students catch up. It’s not a matter of teaching algebra or basic skills; it’s a matter of teaching both. So what factors can help close the achievement gap for African American students in math education?
Math Success and the Power of Visualization
Author: Asha Jitendra, Ph.D.
Date Posted: May 24, 2013
Many students have difficulty solving math word problems. CEHD research suggests that using schema-based instruction is a more effective way teach math to children, improve their problem-solving performance and ability to visualize and apply the most appropriate solution to word problems.
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