Research Papers – Cognitive Science

Share Cognitive Science Implications for Teaching Mathematics

My goal on this page is to provide provide some original sources and reports of research.  Available research is extensive.  I will make no attempt to be complete, in any sense, with this list.  I plan to share some which have helped me understand the subject.


Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14, 4– 58.  HERE


The article by Edwards and Ward summaries their findings in a number of studies and reported in a a number of papers.

Edwards, Barbara and Ward H. Ward (2001). The role of Mathematical Definitions in Mathematics and in Undergraduate Mathematics Courses.  HERE

The article by Riccominin, et. al. does an excellent job of establishing the need to teach vocabulary as part of mathematics instruction.  However, their suggested methods of performing such vocabulary instruction is completely ignorant of the present day knowledge about teaching and learning as provided by cognitive science.

Paul J. Riccomini, Gregory W. Smith, Elizabeth M. Hughes & Karen M. Fries (2015) The Language of Mathematics: The Importance of Teaching and Learning Mathematical Vocabulary, Reading & Writing Quarterly, 31:3, 235-252, DOI: 10.1080/10573569.2015.1030995  HERE

Memorization versus Understanding

Mayer, R.E. (2004). Should there be a three-strikes rule against pure discovery learning? The case for guided methods on instruction. American Psychologist, 59(1), 14-19.
Internet: HERE