'Number Sense' Predicts Math Success: Study

Ability to guess group size linked to algebra, calculus skill
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2008 6:09 AM CDT
'Number Sense' Predicts Math Success: Study
New research suggests innate number sense is linked with success in higher mathematics.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The skill of estimating group size at a glance is directly linked to success in higher forms of math like algebra and calculus, reports the Washington Post. A new study found that students with better “number sense”—the ability to quickly and accurately guess numbers in a group—do better at language-based types of math as well.

story continues below

Scientists were surprised to discover the link, which could help change math education to help students who struggle. "To me, it's mind-blowing," said one researcher. "While both abilities deal with numbers, they deal with numbers in two very different ways. Before this, all indications were they were separate systems." Number sense is a primitive cognitive skill, shared by humans and animals alike. (Read more mathematics stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.