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Publication - Dr Alf Coles

    Ordinality, neuro-science and the early learning of number.


    Coles, AT, 2014, ‘Ordinality, neuro-science and the early learning of number.’.


    Throughout the twentieth century there was debate as to the primacy of ordinality or cardinality in the development of the concept of number. Psychological experiments have largely given way to neuro-science in deciding this issue. There are results suggesting students’ awareness of symbol-symbol relations is the best predictor of future mathematical attainment, which could be interpreted as meaning ordinality is the key awareness. This report draws on evidence from a recent project in primary schools in the UK that took an ordinal approach to learning number. One suggestion arising from this work is the potential educational power of a pedagogy based on developing an awareness of mathematical structure.

    Full details in the University publications repository