Cognition and mathematics education: Processing speed and word problem solving performance in children
Navitha S Nair, Sudhakar Venukapalli
Learning mathematics is a complex progressive process and a wide range of cognitive skills influences one’s success. The present work aims to study the relationship between processing speed and mathematical word problem solving performance in primary school children. The researchers evaluated the performance of 40 children with a mean age of 12.5 years in mathematics word problem solving and their processing speed. This work is theoretically underpinned in Atkinson and Shiffrin’s (1968) information processing model and used a quantitative approach. Correlation analysis showed that total processing speed is associated with learners’ performance in mathematics word problems. However, out of the two aspects of processing speed like perceptual speed and number facility, it is observed that number facility is significantly correlated with performance in solving word problems. The result of independent t-test indicated that gender does not have any effect on participants’ performance in processing speed and mathematics word problem solving. The researcher suggests that educators should design suitable problem-solving strategies with the integration of cognitive tasks to enhance learners’ mathematical knowledge.