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Our goal is to better understand how children learn mathematics and why some students have difficulties with this learning. We have been focusing in particular on how children represent, process, and understand key aspects of mathematics, ranging from Arabic numerals to algebraic equations, and on the underlying cognitive systems (e.g., working memory) that support this learning. We are collaborating with colleagues at Stanford University School of Medicine to better understand the systems of brain regions involved in learning mathematics and colleagues at Vanderbilt University to assess the efficacy of interventions designed to address learning difficulties.

The first of two primary projects is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and involves a 10-year kindergarten to 9th grade study of mathematical development and learning disabilities.

The main data collection portion of the study has come to an end. However, we would like to maintain contact with participating families so that if future funding allows, we may do one final assessment at the end of high school. You can read more about the 10-year adolescent Math Study here.

The second project is funded by the National Science Foundation, and will involve the study of preschool children in Title 1, a program for children at risk for school failure. We will follow about 225 children through two years of preschool through the end of first grade. Our goal is to identify the early quantitative knowledge in three-year-olds that predicts their readiness to learn formal mathematics when they start elementary school.

Contact Us!

MU Math Study
Cognitive Development Laboratory
200 S. 7th Street
132 Psychology Building
Dept. of Psychological Sciences
University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO 65211-1350
phone: 573-882-8529
toll-free number: 1-866-593-0003