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Enhancement in Mathematical Abilities: A System Approach

  • Mascia M
  • Agus M
  • Fastame M
  • et al.
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A body of literature evidences the importance of enhancement in the development of mathematical abilities. The most recent researches showed that infants are capable of discriminating different sets of numbers, so it is important to understand the role of the environment and educational system in the promotion and development of this potential. The main role in the enhancement in mathematical abilities is played by the interventions which support the development of these abilities in concomitance with their emergence. The present study has taken into consideration a number of variables in order to promote the best development of emerging skills and to prevent some difficulties related to the development of mathematical abilities. In this regard, the enhancement is the result of the combination of cognitive and metacognitive factors. Among the cognitive factors, as the literature shows, the visuo-spatial component has a very important role in the development of mathematical abilities. Also, the introduction of technological tools is useful to create a systemic approach in the development and enhancement of mathematical abilities. The main goal of the current study was to investigate the impact of a systemic intervention on the improvement of mathematical skills in 144 third graders of several schools located in Italy. Participants were subjected to the training (paper and/or multimedia) for enhancing numerical abilities and/or visuo-spatial abilities. Our findings evidence the positive effect of the different types of training for the empowerment of numerical abilities. In particular, the combination of computerized and pencil-and-paper versions of visuo-spatial and mathematical training are more effective than the single execution of the software or of the pencil-and-paper treatment. Our results show that, when properly stimulated, the subject’s cognitive and metacognitive processes can support the improvement of individual skills. The enhancement tools are essential for school and families (they can use the same trainings). The design and the implementation of educational interventions with a systemic vision aimed at producing a cognitive enhancement that can be effective in the course of time.




Mascia, M. L., Agus, M., Fastame, M. C., & Addis, A. (2016). Enhancement in Mathematical Abilities: A System Approach (pp. 243–249).

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