Software promotes a new way to learn math

This fall, researchers at the University of California-Irvine will implement an experimental program at 50 elementary schools in Orange County, Calif., that uses spatial reasoning to help teach math, reports the Daily Pilot. UCI professor Michael Martinez will join with the Orange County Department of Education and the nonprofit MIND Research Institute in Santa Ana, Calif., to use alternative methods to teach math to second- through fifth-graders at underperforming elementary schools. The experimental technique will use MIND’s game-like computer software programs to promote the use of visual reasoning skills in math. "This approach offers the potential for transforming the way mathematics is taught by emphasizing intuitive, visual understanding of concepts and by, at least initially, minimizing technical symbols and terminology," Martinez said in a news release. The researchers will use a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to track the progress of the trial students compared with their classmates…

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