Joseph Lee

Tes talks to… Daniel Ansari

The academic is aiming to do for numeracy what phonics did for literacy by finding the key to unlocking the way numbers can be structured, understood and learned, he tells Joseph Lee

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Daniel Ansari pauses to think about our knowledge of the mental processes that underpin children’s learning to read, and he despairs. Not because he believes it to be lacking, but because it is so good. In fact, the head of the Numerical Cognition Lab at Western University in Ontario is perturbed because he knows that we are currently nowhere near having an equivalent understanding of maths.

“We always borrow from the reading field because they are so much further ahead than we are,” he laments. “Sometimes I say we are trying to look for the ‘phonological awareness’ equivalent or equivalents ...

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