Embodied learning of numerosities and its use in school contexts
October 2010 - September 2012
German Research Foundation (DFG) within the scope of the research group "Analyse und Förderung effektiver Lehr-Lern-Prozesse“ (FOR 738/2)
In recent years basic research on numerical cognition revealed important influences of visuo-spatial perceptual representations of numbers as well as embodied representations of numbers on complex numerical operations. Moreover, there is also accumulating evidence suggesting that the development of basic numerical competencies is influenced particularly by spatial as well as senso-motoric representations in terms of so-called embodied cognition. However, the latter embodied representations have not yet been employed systematically in training and intervention studies even though there seems to be sound theoretical background to do so. The present project aims at closing this gap. Additionally, it is not only planned to investigate the benefit of embodied cognitions in individual training settings but also to take a first step towards a transfer towards formal educational settings.
Basically, it is intended to train the mental representation of number magnitude by means of a digital interface (i.e., a digital dance mat). Employing a digital dance mat allows for our training to incorporate embodied cognitions as it supports and measures whole body movements. In a cascaded proceeding it is planned to first evaluate the influences of external visuo-perceptual and internal embodied spatial representations on the SNARC effect in a laboratory setting to identify and isolate the specific modes of action on both the level of visuo-perceptual as well as embodied representations. Building up on this, we intend to conduct an intervention study to employ and evaluate the effects of these modes of actions on numerosity learning by means of the digital dance mat, which might even be suitable for school settings. With this direct connection from basic research to the application of the observed results the current project not only allows for a better insight into the development of embodied numerical representations. Rather, the results of the laboratory studies are essentially incorporated into the development of a multi-media intervention program.
Nevertheless, in this context, the present project can only be a first step. It is intended to generally establish that embodied cognitions can be employed beneficially in a computer-supported training of numerical competencies. Thereby, this project may serve as the building block for future improvements and diversifications due to the fast development of entertainment media.
For general aspects of embodied represenation of numerosities in calculating classes please the the project "Media-support for arithmetic learning" For futher aspects in diagnostics and intervention please see the project "Diagnostic and web-based intervention in mathematics impairments after elementary school".
- Prof. Dr. Hans-Christoph Nürk, University of Tuebingen, Psychological Institute, Section Diagnostics and Cognitive Neuropsychology
- Cress, U., Fischer, U., Moeller, K., Sauter, C., & Nuerk H. C. (2010). The use of a digital dance mat for training kindergarten children in a
magnitude comparison task. In K. Gomez, L. Lyons, & J. Radinsky (Eds.), Learning in the Disciplines: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2010) (Vol. 1, Full Papers, pp. 105-112). Chicago, IL: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
- Fischer, U., Moeller, K., Bientzle, M., Cress, U., & Nuerk, H.-C. (2011). Sensori-motor spatial training of number magnitude representation. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18, 177-183.
- Moeller, K., Fischer, U., Cress, U., & Nuerk, H.-C. (in press). Diagnostics and intervention in dyscalculia: Current issues and novel
perspectives. In O. Rubinsten & Z. Breznitz (Eds.), Brain-based intervention: Language and numbers. Heidelberg: Springer.
- Moeller, K., Martignon L., Wessolowski S., Engel, J. & Nuerk, H.-C. (2011). Effects of finger counting on numerical development: A review
of neuro-cognitive arguments and those from mathematics education. Frontiers in Cognition, 2: 328.
- Moeller, K., Pixner, S., Zuber, J., Kaufmann, L., & Nuerk, H.-C. (2011). Early place-value understanding as a precursor for later arithmetic performance – a longitudinal study on numerical development. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32, 1837-1851.