Accelerate Math Learning with Neuroscience

If you haven't had a chance to join one of the webinars from The Science-Driven Approach to Learning Math series, or if you'd like to view them again, the on-demand recordings are now available!

MIND Research Institute partnered with edWeb, a professional online community for educators, to create this science-based webinar series. The series takes a three-pronged approach to demonstrate how PreK-8 math teachers, as well as school, district, and educational technology leaders alike, can accelerate their students' learning.

The Science-Driven Approach to Learning Math series takes a comprehensive look at how the neuroscience of math can have far-reaching effects in deepening student achievement when understood at the level of how the brain learns. The numerous and varied applications go a long way toward equipping all students to solve the world’s most challenging problems. 

Firing Up the Hippocampus to Accelerate Learning

In the first webinar of the Accelerated Math Learning series, Nigel Nisbet is joined by Ki Karou to explore the Hippocampus' role in how the brain learns. 

As Vice President of Content Creation at MIND, Nigel is passionate about the power of all students to learn mathematics conceptually. Ki Karou is MIND's Director of Product, ST Math Content. Previously serving as a game and learning designer, Ki leads a team of designers, artists, and mathematicians, building the next generation of ST Math. 

As Nigel and Ki dive deep into the innovative ways students can tap into their brain's full potential, you'll see that learning is far from a passive activity. We've come to understand learning in the past as a direct one-way flow of information—that if students simply paid enough attention to what they were taught, they'd magically absorb the information and retain everything they saw or heard. This couldn't be further from the truth.

Watch part one of this webinar series to experience how an application of neuroscience-driven insights can enable students to learn math in a new way. Discover how the brain learns through the perception-action cycle. Most importantly, see how this way of learning isn't just a superficial practice but one that builds deep conceptual understanding that allows students to create new knowledge while solving unfamiliar problems.

View the full webinar here


Confident Teachers Inspire Confident Students 

The second webinar of the Accelerated Math Learning series looks at how school administrators can empower students to take full ownership of their learning.

Nigel is joined by Dr. Kathleen L. Gallagher, an educator since 1986 who has taught all grades from kindergarten to grade 8. Dr. Gallagher's research focuses on student engagement and instructional quality. She was also awarded “The Most Outstanding Dissertation” from the American Educational Research Association. 

In this session, Nigel and Dr. Gallagher discuss how a science-driven approach can positively impact students' academic learning and achievement. The previous webinar focused on how neuroscience can play a significant role in designing mathematical content. Here, Nigel and Dr. Gallagher delve into how neuroscience can influence the classroom environment. Not only can neuroscience drive the classroom process and shape teaching practices in the right direction, but it can instill confidence in teachers and students. If teachers feel empowered and comfortable with what they want to achieve, it can create a thriving classroom atmosphere.

As Dr. Gallagher says, "Really high-quality instruction allows for students to process concepts with language as part of their learning experience…" Fostering communication about concepts that keeps learning relevant to students involves engaging them in a way that does not depend on language. This is where the classroom becomes a critical place for learning. Getting students to learn and speak about things for themselves is key to a successful learning environment.

View the full webinar here 


Equitable Opportunities for On-Grade-Level Learning  

In the third webinar of the Accelerated Math Learning series, Nigel is joined by Andrew Coulson to discuss how administrators can provide teachers with the necessary tools to meet all students' needs in learning and mathematics. 

Andrew is MIND's Chief Data Science Officer. He leads a team of data analysts to conduct evaluations of student and teacher usage and outcomes via ST Math. Previously, he led MIND's education division for 12 years, where he helped to execute strategies to scale the organization's reach to over one million students.

Nigel and Andrew discuss how the same neuroscientific approach delineated in the previous two webinars can support learning at grade-level while avoiding the below-grade-level method common among many teaching interventions. Andrew takes the lead in providing data that reveals the impact of ensuring equitable opportunities for on-grade-level learning.

Whether or not a student might be on-grade-level is not a question of looking at their current skill set and determining what's missing. Instead, the key is to examine their existing schema—the big ideas that underpin all their skills. As Andrew says, "All of us have built-in, innate, visual reasoning capabilities, but [they] go vastly untapped in many learning environments." In other words, all students have the potential for higher learning and growth.

View the full webinar here

Student Discussion 3

If you're interested in learning more about the Neuroscience of Math, we welcome you to join this free professional learning community. There, you can better understand how the brain learns and engage in discussions with other administrators and thought leaders on how to equip all students to solve the world's most challenging problems. 

Victor Nguyen

About the Author

Victor Nguyen is MIND’s Content and Community Specialist. Victor is a passionate storyteller with a penchant for creative writing. In his free time, you can find him engrossed in books, going on long hikes, or trying to meditate.


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