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Math games boost intuitive math skills in Delhi preschoolers, finds global study

Children who play “math games” for four months gain math assessments skills similar to primary school levels, with the effect of the informal learning last for up to one year. The games, however, do not boost their comprehension of formal mathematics.

health Updated: Jul 14, 2017 21:39 IST
math,preschool,Harvard University
Children playing mathematical games with an instructor in a Delhi playschool(Vrinda Kapur, J-PAL SA)

Informal learning using games can boost children’s intuitive learning skills for the subject, found an international study done in under-resource preschools in Delhi.

Children who play “math games” for four months develop skilled at math assessments similar to those they’d see in primary school, found a study of preschoolers from 200 schools in India.

While activities involving numbers exercised the cognitive abilities of toddlers and fuelled their intuitive math skills, it did not boost the children’s comprehension of formal mathematics, found the study of 1,500 children in 214 preschools in poor neighbourhoods in Delhi.

The study, done by M.R. Dillon at Harvard University in Cambridge in Delhi, found the effect of the leanings at play lasted for up to a year.

For the study, some children were taught math using games, while others received social training, or no training at all. Children who played math games improved in areas like knowledge of number words and symbols, the researchers report, while their peers (with social or no training) showed no noticeable improvement.

First Published: Jul 07, 2017 10:12 IST