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Predicting Mathematical Ability?

Posted by C Moon on December 7, 2007

According to Keith Devlin in his post Predicting Mathematical Ability, it seems that the psychologist Daniela O’Neill recently proposed that we can predict the mathematical ability of a 3- or 4-year-old pre-schooler.

The interesting aspect of this research is not that we can predict the mathematical ability of a toddler, but the way in which we can predict it. O’Neill says that while the arithmetic skill may reflect child’s future mathematical ability to some extent, it is the narrative skill that actually help people to predict child’s future mathematical ability. For a long time, people thought that math/science and literature/art were relatively exclusive (e.g., Many friends of mine oftentimes say that they are not math persons but literature persons.). This finding seems to propose a thread to the connection between math and literature, logic and emotion, and experiment and imagination.

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Photo Credits: “The Number Eight” by Lab2112 on Flickr

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