The Telegraph is reporting that “Listening to music in maths lessons can dramatically improve children’s ability in the subject”, although the text of the article explains that the technique in question “uses music notation, clapping, drumming and chanting to introduce third-grade students to fractions”.
A paper which the Telegraph says is “due to be published” in Educational Studies in Mathematics apparently reports on a study involving 67 students at a California school, “half” of which used this technique and “scored significantly higher on math tests than their peers who received regular instruction”.
Susan Courey, assistant professor of special education at San Francisco State University and author of the proposed paper, is quoted saying:
If students don’t understand fractions early on, they often struggle with algebra and mathematical reasoning later in their schooling. We have designed a method that uses gestures and symbols to help children understand parts of a whole and learn the academic language of math.
Meanwhile, New Scientist highlights an article in Consciousness and Cognition in which 40 men were given either a vodka-based cranberry drink or a non-alcoholic one after which they took, according to the paper abstract, “a common creative problem solving task, the Remote Associates Test (RAT)”. The abstract for the paper says that the:
Intoxicated individuals solved more RAT items, in less time, and were more likely to perceive their solutions as the result of a sudden insight.
Telegraph: Music helps children learn maths.
New Scientist: Alcohol boosts ability to solve problems creatively.