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The Learning Success Blog

Do Girls Really Have More Maths Anxiety than Boys?

Posted by Tilly Stevens on April 18, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Tilly Stevens

A recent study of 15-year-old students in 60 countries found girls tend to experience higher ‘maths anxiety’ than boys.

This seems to support the clichéd belief – boys are good at mathematics and sciences and girls are good at the more artistic subjects.

The study found the sexes are equal in mathematical capability. But girls have a negative emotional association with STEM subjects. And this holds females back, the study revealed. This results in fewer females than males taking maths programs at university. (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).  

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Topics: Maths

6 Maths Myths & 6 Ways You Can Build a Positive Maths Attitude

Posted by David Stanley on March 31, 2016 at 5:14 PM

David Stanley

Learning_to_love_Math.jpgFor many students, maths is no fun. And it may not have been a pleasant experience at school for their parents either.

Do you have students or a child who doesn’t like maths?

According to Dr Judy Willis, author of “Learning to Love Maths, there are ways you can help make maths fun for your child. And you don’t need to be a maths “wiz” to help your son or daughter.

Dr Willis has written a great article for Psychology Today about our attitudes towards maths - maths negativity and maths positivity. In it she listed some common myths about maths:

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Topics: Maths

Can You Have a Maths Brain? Dr Martha Burns explains.

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 18, 2015 at 10:12 AM

Peter Barnes

Maths is not fun......

Most of us easily and naturally use language, but when it comes to maths many people struggle, and find it is not so “natural” to work in numbers or maths concepts. Why is that?

Do we have brains that are wired for language from birth, but not for maths? Or is there such a thing as a “maths brain”? Do some of us have it while some don't, and if we don’t, how do we activate it?

Dr Martha Burns, expert in the neuroscience of learning, author of over 100 journal articles and three books, and Director of Neuroscience Education at Scientific Learning Corporation answered these questions in a conversation on The Learning Capacity Podcast.

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She explains: “One way to think of it is that maths is a different language. It involves a different symbol system.

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Topics: Brain Science, Maths, Podcasts

Should NAPLAN Test the 4C's as well as Literacy & Numeracy? 

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 16, 2015 at 2:28 PM

Peter Barnes

Emeritus Professor Patrick Griffin, from the University of Melbourne says that NAPLAN should test more than just literacy & numeracy.

Speaking on The Learning Capacity Podcast, Professor Griffin commented on the NAPLAN 2015 results and said that the 4C's (communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity), as well as collaborative problem solving, are essential skills that our students need to participate in the knowledge economy. And these should be tested by NAPLAN.

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With NAPLAN testing scheduled to go partly online in 2017, that would create an opportunity to widen the testing to the 4Cs, he suggested.

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Topics: School, Learning, Literacy, Maths, Podcasts, NAPLAN, For Principals

Grattan Institute’s Pete Goss talks NAPLAN 2015 and targeted teaching

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 4, 2015 at 12:53 PM

Peter Barnes

What is targeted teaching?  Does it produce better student outcomes? How do you implement it in your school?

The answers to these questions are included in a new report titled "Targeted Teaching: How Better Use of Data Can Improve Student Learning", from the independent think tank, the Grattan Institute.

Dr Pete Goss, Director of the Institute's School Education Program, spoke to The Learning Capacity Podcast about the report.

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Topics: Learning Capacity, Literacy, Maths, Podcasts, NAPLAN

Improving NAPLAN Results: Learning Capacity vs Accelerated Learning

Posted by Peter Barnes on August 19, 2015 at 2:24 PM

Peter Barnes

"When we build a student's Learning Capacity by using appropriate, validated neuroscience-based brain training exercises, is this the same as accelerated learning?"

An educator, who had read our blog, NAPLAN 2015: How Fast is it Possible to Improve Literacy & Numeracy?  asked this question recently. She was concerned about possible negative consequences for students who are pushed too hard to accelerate their learning, and wondered if improving the students' ability to learn could 'backfire'.

She said,"Unfortunately people consider ‘accelerated’ learning to be the answer to poor student performance. But this is counterproductive in the long term. I have seen too many students suffer from ‘burnout’ by they time finish high school, because they have been subjected to high performance syndrome and have lost motivation to continue learnng. They have been stretched prematurely".

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Topics: Brain Science, Reading, Learning Capacity, Learning, Literacy, Maths, NAPLAN

The New Science of Learning. Teachers Build Brains with Neuroscience

Posted by Peter Barnes on August 11, 2015 at 10:23 AM

Peter Barnes

Teachers do much more than just teach - they build student brains. 

This is the message from Dr Martha Burns, professor of communication sciences and disorders at Northwestern University, in a podcast episode on The Learning Capacity Podcast.

Dr Burns discusses the new science of learning, and how it involves educational neuroscience and understanding individual differences in children. 

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Brain Science, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity, Maths, Podcasts

NAPLAN 2015: How Fast is it Possible to Improve Literacy & Numeracy?

Posted by Peter Barnes on August 7, 2015 at 5:50 PM

Peter Barnes

The publication of Australia’s 2015 NAPLAN results has sparked a multi-sided debate about how we improve student outcomes, particularly in literacy and numeracy.

Robert Randall, head of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) said this year's NAPLAN results showed "that at a national level we are seeing little change in student achievement in these important areas of learning*" (*literacy & numeracy).

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Topics: Brain Science, Reading, Learning Capacity, Learning, Literacy, Maths, NAPLAN, For Principals

Students’ Achievement: Encouragement, Maths Tables & Learning Capacity

Posted by Peter Barnes on July 20, 2015 at 5:26 PM

Peter Barnes

“The single biggest thing that a parent can give their child is the encouragement to do better, and not give them limiting beliefs about their ability or what they could achieve”.

This is an opinion expressed by David Stanley, former math teacher and now Director of Learning Ecosystems Growth at Learn Fast Australia, in a wide ranging two part interview on the Learning Capacity Podcast.

 In the first part David discussed rote learning of maths tables, how this can improve a student’s learning capacity, the role of parents in helping students set goals, and the educational power of celebrating success.

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Learning Capacity, Maths, Podcasts

Memorising Maths Tables: old rote learning, or valuable neuroscience?

Posted by David Stanley on July 20, 2015 at 5:22 PM

David Stanley

Recently, educator Colin Klupiec recorded our conversation where he teased out my understanding of how memorising maths tables can help students build learning capacity and the importance of the role played by parents. It is recorded in two parts on the Learning Capacity Podcast with the key points summarised below.

We discussed some findings from the neuroscientists around brain plasticity - the cognitive neuroscience and how it relates to what some people may think is a bit old-fashioned – rote learning, or learning by repetition.

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Learning Capacity, Maths, Podcasts

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