Research Articles

Boaler, J., Chen, L., Williams, C. & Cordero, M. (2016). Seeing as Understanding: The Importance of Visual Mathematics for our Brain and Learning. J Appl Computat Math 5: 325. Boaler, J. (2013). Ability and Mathematics: the mindset revolution that is reshaping education. FORUM, 55, 1, 143-152. Plenary Talk, ICME 12, July 2012, COEX, Seoul, Korea. […]

Anyone Can Learn to High Levels

Many people think that some students can work to high levels and some cannot because of the brains they are born with, but this idea has been resoundingly disproved. Study after study has shown the incredible capacity of brains to grow and change within a remarkably short period of time. Some of the amazing evidence […]

Mistakes Grow Your Brain

Psychologist Jason Moser studied the neural mechanisms that operate in people’s brains when they make mistakes (Moser et al., 2011). Moser and his group found something fascinating. When we make a mistake, synapses fire. A synapse is an electrical signal that moves between parts of the brain when learning occurs. Moser found that when people […]

When You Believe In Yourself Your Brain Operates Differently

Carol Dweck and her colleagues have shown that everyone has a mindset, a core belief about how they learn (Dweck, 2006). People with a growth mindset are those who believe that smartness increases with hard work, whereas those with a fixed mindset believe that you can learn things but you can’t change your basic level […]

Parents’ Beliefs about Math Change Their Children’s Achievement

We now know that the messages we give students can change their performance dramatically, and that students need to know that the adults in their lives believe in them. Researchers are learning that students’ ideas about their ability and potential are extremely important, much more than previously understood. As well as the messages we give […]

When You Believe In Your Students They Do Better

It may seem obvious that students achieve at higher levels when teachers believe in them, but few would have predicted how much a simple message from teachers can change students’ whole trajectories and achievement. A study many years ago that probably would not be allowed today, showed something remarkable about teacher beliefs. Researchers told teachers […]

Aligning Assessment to Brain Science

Introduction The complex ways that children understand mathematics is fascinating to me. Students ask questions, see ideas, draw representations, connect methods, justify, and reason in all sorts of different ways. But recent years have seen all of these different nuanced complexities of student understanding reduced to single numbers and letters that are used to judge […]

Visual Math Improves Performance

Mathematics educators have long known that engaging students in visual representations of mathematics is extremely helpful for their learning. When youcubed offered “How Close to 100” as an activity for learning math facts with visual representations, teachers across the world were thrilled and responded with thousands of tweets showing students learning by playing the game. […]