How students complete simple math helps explain test disparities

01/14/2013 | Education Week

The process by which students compute single-digit math problems may be indicative of how well they perform on college-readiness exams, according to recent research. In a study of 43 students, researchers found that low-performing students used an area of the brain associated with processing, indicating they were working through the problem. On the other hand, higher-performing students appeared to recall answers from memory. "Perhaps the building of those networks early in development go on to facilitate high-level learning, which in turn allows you to free up working memory," said study co-author and math disability and anxiety researcher Daniel Ansari.

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