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Cognitive Skills and Math


As the foundation for learning, cognitive skills are essential across the curriculum, including math and other STEM fields, explains Betsy Hill, BrainWare Learning’s president in an article recently published by Ed Circuit. However, math comprises so many different topics and levels of complexity that it is a challenge to address comprehensively, and indeed there is much that continues to elude scientific consensus in characterizing how math works in the brain. It may seem like a stretch to say that the same mental processes are involved in basic math concepts like counting, and more advanced topics like algebra and calculus. In fact, most of us can’t remember learning to count, but most of us will remember learning long division, or geometry, or algebra or calculus. But the evidence continues to accumulate on thecognitive skills required for math and how they operate, including working memory, visual-spatial processing, and visualization. This article is the third in a series on cognitive skills and education developed exclusively for EdCircuit.

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