Research on learning problems associated with math
RESEARCH ON LEARNING PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH MAT H
RESEARCH ON LEARNING PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH MATH
Cognitive/Meta Cognitive Thinking Deficits
Low Level of Academic Achievement
What is learned helplessness
Learned helplessness in math is when students who
experience continuous failure in math expect to fail.
They lack confidence and that compels them to rely
on assistance from others. It is assistance that only
helps the student “get through” the current
assignment and does not re-teach the concept or
skill to the student.
HOW TO HELP STUDENTS WITH LEARNED HELPLESSNESS
This is a problem I have seen in the regular classroom. Student’s convince themselves
that they can not be good at math and that the assignment is just too hard for them.
Here are a few ideas to help students with learned helplessness:
Get to know the student’s strengths
Accentuate the positive
Use advance organizers or guided discovery
Students relate better to lessons that are linked to their own experiences. For
example: Have students calculate the sales tax when buying a new cd.
What is a passive learner?
Passive learners do not actively make connections
between what they already know and what they
are presently learning. Students who have learning
problems often are not “active” learners. For
example a passive learner may learn 8*4=32, but
when presented with 8*5=__ they do not actively
connect the process of multiplication to that of
HOW TO HELP STUDENTS BECOME ACTIVE LEARNERS
I have observed this type of learning problem. The student struggled with applying
what he already knew to what he was now learning.
Encourage students to use manipulatives and participate in hands on experience
Use cooperative activities
Encourage a “can do” attitude
Introduce lessons with an overview. Some students learn better from getting the “big
Memory problems are most evident when students
demonstrate difficulty remembering basic addition,
subtraction, multiplication, and division facts.
Memory deficits are often a result of an
information retrieval problem.
HOW TO HELP STUDENTS WITH MEMORY PROBLEMS
I have worked with a student who had memorization problems. We reviewed basic
multiplication facts three to four times a week. It seemed like each day the student
was learning most of these facts for the first time. Here are a few strategies:
Instruction should include teaching the student strategies for accessing and retrieving
the information they have stored.
Provide students with formulas or definitions for testing
Right brain memory tricks. Use songs to help students remember things
Allow calculators as needed
ATTENTION PROBLEMS AND MATH
Math requires a lot of attention, especially where
multiple steps are involved. Students often miss
important pieces of information during lectures. It is
not possible to implement the problem solving
process they just learned. They also may not be
able to focus on important features that make a
concept distinct. For example: Instead of counting
the number of sides to tell triangles from rectangles
the student may focus on size and color.
HOW TO HELP A STUDENT WITH ATTENTION PROBLEMS
I have seen several students who have trouble paying attention and even staying in
their seats. It is important to keep them engaged in learning. It is helpful to use visual,
tactile, auditory, and movement cues to highlight relevant features of a concept.
WHAT IS COGNITIVE/METACOGNITIVE THINKING
Metacognition has to do with students’ ability to
monitor their learning.
1. To evaluate whether they are learning
2. Employing strategies when needed
3. Knowing whether a strategy is successful
4. Making changes when they are needed
Math is problem solving and students who have
trouble with metacognitive abilities will have a hard
time being successful with mathematics.
HOW TO HELP STUDENTS WITH COGNITIVE/METACOGNITIVE DIFFICULTIES
Teach a problem solving procedure. Have students in your classroom answer these
1. What is the problem?
2. What do I already know about this topic?
The use concept maps and/or flow charts can help students with metacognitive
LOW LEVEL OF ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
These students often lack basic math skills. It takes
students with disabilities longer to process visual
and auditory data. The result is that they often
never have enough time or the opportunity to
master the basic concepts/skills that they need.
LOW LEVEL OF ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT STRATEGIES
These students need more opportunities and more time to respond to math tasks.
Students should also have a periodic review and practice of skills that the student has