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Teachers' understanding of the role of executive functions in mathematics learning

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journal contribution
posted on 30.10.2014, 14:23 by Camilla GilmoreCamilla Gilmore, Lucy Cragg
Cognitive psychology research has suggested an important role for executive functions, the set of skills that monitor and control thought and action, in learning mathematics. However, there is currently little evidence about whether teachers are aware of the importance of these skills and, if so, how they come by this information. We conducted an online survey of teachers' views on the importance of a range of skills for mathematics learning. Teachers rated executive function skills, and in particular inhibition and shifting, to be important for mathematics. The value placed on executive function skills increased with increasing teaching experience. Most teachers reported that they were aware of these skills, although few knew the term “executive functions.” This awareness had come about through their teaching experience rather than from formal instruction. Researchers and teacher educators could do more to highlight the importance of these skills to trainee or new teachers.

Funding

This work was supported by ESRC grant [grant number RES-062-23-3280]. C.G. is funded by a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

MIND BRAIN AND EDUCATION

Volume

8

Issue

3

Pages

132 - 136 (5)

Citation

GILMORE, C.K. and CRAGG, L., 2014. Teachers' understanding of the role of executive functions in mathematics learning. Mind Brain and Education, 8 (3), pp. 132 - 136.

Publisher

International Mind, Brain, and Education Society and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. / © The Authors

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

Publication date

2014

Notes

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

ISSN

1751-2271

Language

en

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