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What do Attention, Memory, and Language Learning have to do with Problem Solving?

Paul Goldenberg
Keynote address at MassMATE, the Massachusetts Mathematics Association of Teacher Educators
June 11, 2008
Roger Williams University

The way young children learn their own language can tell us a lot about how they — and perhaps the rest of us — learn mathematics. Through examples of activities and children’s thinking, this talk will show some of the roles that attention, memory, and language processing play in problem-solving, and how to develop and take advantage of these “non-mathematical” strengths of children. Examples will include some ways that young children learn to use algebraic language, and one way to help solve the “word-problem” dilemma. Notes accompanying each slide help put the “speaker” back into the presentation.