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New Peer-Reviewed Journal Article Reveals How Students Can Use Their Bodies to Better Understand Math

Irvine, Calif., June 15, 2017 A new peer-reviewed journal article by MIND Research Institute, published by SpringerOpen, unpacks the relationship between embodied cognition and learning that has been evolving for decades. This article explores the ways new technologies can be used to deliver more of the benefits of embodied cognition to students growing their mathematical thinking.

“Support of mathematical thinking through embodied cognition: Nondigital and digital approaches,” was written by education researcher Cathy Tran, psychologist Martin Buschkuehl and mathematician Brandon Smith. MIND has also released a toolkit to accompany this document and provide educators with further resources. The toolkit unpacks key understandings from the journal article about how technologies can be used to:

  • Incorporate digital manipulatives in the classroom
  • Design embodied learning activities
  • Assess the learning results of embodied learning activities

“This journal article speaks to the creative approaches that MIND is pursuing to support the science of embodied cognition with technology in the field of mathematics,” noted Martin Buschkuehl. “There is a big difference in the experience of learners who watch a teacher draw a number line on the whiteboard and the experience provided by physically walking to different numbers on the number line drawn to the floor. Our article looks at the effects on learning of such whole-body movements, but also the effects of gestures, and manipulatives to help educators understand the importance of giving students tools to not only engage their minds, but their bodies as well.”

Download a free copy of the peer-reviewed journal article, “Support of mathematical thinking through embodied cognition: Nondigital and digital approaches” and explore the complementary toolkit.

About the Authors

Martin Buschkuehl, Ph.D., is Director, Education Research at MIND Research Institute. For more than a decade Dr. Buschkuehl’s research has been focused on improving cognitive abilities in children, as well as young and older adults. Brandon Smith is the Lead Mathematician at MIND. He is the resident expert on mathematics in the ST Math software and in additional organizational programming. Cathy Tran, Ph.D., is a former Design Researcher at MIND. She is now Learning Design Researcher and Product Manager at Osmo, a gaming accessory company, where she continues to champion student motivation and cognition efforts.

About MIND Research Institute

MIND Research Institute is a neuroscience and education social impact organization, dedicated to ensuring that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. MIND is the creator of ST Math®, a visual instructional program that builds a deep conceptual understanding of math through rigorous learning and creative problem solving to deeply engage, motivate, and challenge Pre-K-8 students toward higher achievement. ST Math incorporates the latest in learning and the brain, promoting mastery-based learning and mathematical understanding. Longitudinal and broad-based studies across diverse population groups continue to demonstrate ST Math’s efficacy in building life-long learners prepared for success in STEM fields. ST Math currently reaches more than one million students and 44,000 teachers at 3,200 schools in 45 states. For more information, visit

For more information contact:
Karin Wu
MIND Research Institute

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