Thursday, May 31, 2007

Interesting Math Article, from Harvard Study

It just keeps getting better from an unschooling/interest-led point of view!

Children Can Perform Approximate Math Without Arithmetic Instruction
Science Daily — Children are able to solve approximate addition or subtraction problems involving large numbers even before they have been taught arithmetic, according to a study conducted at Harvard University, by researchers from the University of Nottingham and Harvard.

The study, published in the journal Nature, suggests that children do not need to master either the logic of place value or the addition table in order to perform approximate addition and subtraction. Children's difficulty with learning school arithmetic may stem from the need to produce an exact number when solving problems. Elementary education in mathematics might be improved -- and children's interest in the subject enhanced -- if children's talent for approximate calculation could be built upon in the classroom, the authors suggest.
The news release from Harvard is here, too. (Via

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