One-on-one tutoring helps children overcome numerical learning disabilities.
Tutoring Changes the Brain in Kids With Math Learning Disabilities by Erin Digitale discusses Stanford's research on one-on-one tutoring. They found that cognitive tutoring:
- Improves math performance in children.
- Helps children with numerical problem solving.
Tutoring increases brain stimulation
In the study, two groups of children were separated.
- 30 children in third grade received eight weeks of one-on-one tutoring in basic arithmetic skills.
- One group had math learning difficulties, the other did not.
- The control group was subjected to MRI brain scans.
- Certain areas of the brain are stimulated when working with a tutor as opposed to the traditional classroom setting.
- The children who had math learning difficulties showed more improvement after they received one-on-one tutoring.
Math learning disabilities can be overlooked.
Everyone has heard of dyslexia. But not as many know about its numerical equivalent, dyscalculia. Math learning disabilities can interfere with a child's ability to gain basic life skills. These include, managing time and money. They can also prevent children from growing up to pursue math and science related careers.
The tutoring did not give certain students an advantage, it brought them up to speed with their peers.
The areas of the brain showing abnormalities have the ability to be developed and improved. These findings suggest that tutoring can improve the root of math learning disabilities. Researchers hope to learn whether the normalization of brain activity is a permanent or a temporary fix. The study by the Stanford research group also showed a reduction in math related anxiety.
As a teacher and parent, I have tried this at home. I have three kids--two in elementary and one in junior high. They are all scholastically different. When I work with them collectively on math it becomes overwhelming for all of us and homework time takes twice as long! I would suggest take 20 minutes and focus on one child and one task. Give the child you complete attention and guide them through their homework or learning task! I started setting up home work time as one-on-one and my children's homework is competed with less performance anxiety and stress! Give it a try!
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