Mathematics and Thinking
Keywords:Problem solving, Inquiry
Traditional textbook-centered, teacher-led instruction is based heavily on research about how students best learn mathematics, at what stages ideas can be introduced, and of what kinds of thinking students are capable. Application of student knowledge to tasks not explicitly taught enters a new domain relying on the emotional circuitry of the brain, as well as the cortex where reasoning and problem solving predominate. Cognitive science and neural science provide fascinating insights into non-content related considerations that govern how much of their intellectual resources students will commit to a task and how long they will persist before their knowledge is accessed. Information about how the brain works and how students address mathematics is complementary to more familiar mathematics education research.
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