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Skills underlying mathematics: the role of executive function in the development of mathematics proficiency
journal contributionposted on 30.10.2014 by Lucy Cragg, Camilla Gilmore
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
The successful learning and performance of mathematics relies on a range of individual, social and educational factors. Recent research suggests that executive function skills, which include monitoring and manipulating information in mind (working memory), suppressing distracting information and unwanted responses (inhibition) and flexible thinking (shifting), play a critical role in the development of mathematics proficiency. This paper reviews the literature to assess concurrent relationships between mathematics and executive function skills, the role of executive function skills in the performance of mathematical calculations, and how executive function skills support the acquisition of new mathematics knowledge. In doing so, we highlight key theoretical issues within the field and identify future avenues for research. © 2013 Elsevier GmbH.
This work was supported by the ESRC [grant number RES-062-23-3280]. CG is funded by a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship.
- Mathematics Education Centre