Boaler: Dangers of memorization approaches in maths

From Jo Boaler on

I am excited to share with you today the release of a Scientific American Mind article I wrote with Pablo Zoido on the dangers of memorization approaches in maths. Pablo was an analyst for the OECD / PISA and together we analyzed data from 13 million students worldwide. We found that students who take a memorization approach are the lowest achieving students in the world. The article also shares brain science showing that adults who were taught maths facts through memorization did not learn as well as those taught through learning number strategies. Math facts are important, but they do not have to be learned through ‘blind memorization’. When students develop number sense and number flexibility they build the most important foundation for all higher levels of mathematics. We also made this 3-minute illustration of number sense, that is available in English and in Spanish, that we thought might be useful for teachers, parents and students, we hope you like it. Read more:

Last week the OECD released a longer report on the finding from PISA which can be seen here:

We were thrilled with the uptake of our Week of Inspirational Maths materials again this year, our website reached record numbers of visitors – with almost 3 million pageviews in one month. If you haven’t tried the lessons or watched the new super hero videos, you can check them out