Why Math is so hard for many?

Math can be described as one of the most challenging subjects in school for children.  In a recent article in “Current Directions in Psychological Science,” David Geary (2013) reviews evidence that one cause of the problem may be a fundamental deficit in the representation of numerosity.

It is first important to understand that all children are born with the ability to appreciate numerosity which making number comparisons without counting.

In Geary’s article he explains 3 possible sources of a problem in children appreciating numbers

The first possible explanations is if the number system does not develop at a typical pace this will leave the child slow to develop cognitive representations in mathematics.  Second, associating symbols to the number properties may be a problem.  Last children may appreciate the cardinal value of numbers and not understand the logic of numbers, therefore they cannot appreciate the structure as a whole.

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Picture by Steven Leith

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