T Nation

Math Wiz Kids


Thought this shit was pretty cool. Figured a few others might be interested:


For those who don't feel like reading, it's basically a bunch of Japanese kids who can do crazy ass math in their heads.

That wasn't the part that interested me so much, however. Apparently, these kids have improved their learning in all other areas as well, because they are actively using the right side of the brain (the creative side; the left is commonly referred to as the analytical side) to visualise these imaginary abaci on which they do all of their work. How that translates to other subjects I have no idea, but I find it pretty fascinating.

I know this isn't exactly new age, cutting edge science. I'd read Betty Edwards' "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" years ago. This is, however, the first time I've ever seen the concept applied to learning. I'm always intrigued by kids who display accelerated methods of learning.


Learning is hard.

Heh, good post. I think you've given me an excuse to introduce John Taylor Gatto. http://www.johntaylorgatto.com
He graduated Harvard and proceeded to work in the worst schools in New York for 30 years. His ideas about education are revolutionary. In an interview he was asked what was a good assignment for children. He said the best way to learn is from exercises which test your physical and mental limits. Such as having a 12 year old go out to sea in a sailboat past the point where he can't see land, or put a 6 year old on a horse, or ride across America on a bicycle.

At the moment I'm uploading a CSPAN special with him to google. I'll let you guys know when it's done uploading. Trust me, you don't want to miss it.


Hello! Did you ever upload the video on Google?


It's a 300mb video. I finished the upload transmission, Google says video is now being "verified." Don't know how long the process takes.


About 15-20 years ago there was a guy winning the annual abacus competition in China (speed and accuracy) for 5 or so years in a row. He used the same method, never physically using an abacus during the contest, but doing it all mentally. If I remember correctly, he could multiply two 5-digit numbers in his head in less than 5 seconds.


Here you go
John Taylor Gatto - A Different Kind of Teacher CSPAN 2001