Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Learning Science - applied Evopsych

Improving the Mathematics and Science Achievement of American Children: Psychology's Role
Basic psychological research related to mathematics and science education includes studies of the brain mechanisms that underlie basic numerical and arithmetical competencies; studies of the apparently inherent numerical abilities of human infants and their relation to the numerical abilities of primates and other species of animal; the cognitive processes that govern problem solving in arithmetic, mathematics and our understanding of the biological and physical world; and people's naive understanding of biological and physical phenomena.

Research in these basic science areas, among others, has provided a solid foundation for a growing body of research on the teaching and learning of mathematics and science. Psychologists throughout the country, indeed the world, are currently studying such things as how the representation of scientific information can influence learning in the biological and physical sciences (See Psychological Science and the Teaching of Scientific Concepts section); the use of multi-media presentations for facilitating the solving of mathematical word problems; the teaching practices that facilitate the learning and long-term retention of mathematical and scientific concepts; the ways in which anxiety about mathematics can disrupt problem solving; the cognitive, environmental, and genetic factors that contribute to the development of arithmetical learning disabilities; the development of children's valuation and beliefs about the importance of academic competencies, including mathematics; and the wider cultural and even evolutionary factors that influence children's motivation in learn in school, among many other topics.

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