Utilizing Cognitive Neuroscience to Improve the Mathematical Performance of Elementary-aged Students in Texas

James Daniel Rethaber


The United States performance in mathematics is below average. According to the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United States ranks 32 out of 38 countries (https://data.oecd.org/united-states.htm). Between 2012 and 2015, the United States’ performance in math decreased, as well (OECD, 2016). The root causes of this decreased performance in mathematics are still being studied. Opinions such as the emphasis on standardized testing and teachers not utilizing research from other disciplines; i.e. cognitive and developmental psychology are discussed and researched (Davies et al, 2016). Integrating cognitive neuroscience research into instructional strategies may be the solution to this performance issue. The purpose of this research proposal was to explore the effectiveness of integrating cognitive neuroscience research into elementary schools as a method of predicting and improving the mathematical performance of students, as well as helping to identify students requiring additional assistance with mathematics.

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