The Ripple Effects and the Future Prospects of Abacus Learning.
Ms. Shizuko Amaiwa Professor, Shinshu University, Faculty of Education )
(The Ripple Effects of Abacus Learning The first effect is improvement of numerical memory. The second is improvement of memory in spatial arrangement. The third is progress in solving general mathematical problems taught in elementary school, including the four fundamental arithmetic calculations and word problems.)
Merits of abacus study To acquire the ability to calculate rapidly and accurately and to calculate mentally The advantages of abacus study is that learners can calculate simple mathematical problems rapidly and accurately. In addition, they acquire the ability to do mental calculation utilizing the abacus image, which allows quick calculation without actually using the abacus.)
Humans have the highly developed cerebral neocortex that can create nerve cells (some say there are 14 billion nerve cells!). This cerebral neocortex does not fully function at the time of birth. In the following years, suitable stimuli start to activate (to connect motor nerves and sensory nerves) the nerve cells in the neocortex.
The importance lies in how many sets of nerve cells we can activate in our lives. We can activate the nerve cells by providing stimuli. Moving fingers and talking aloud lead to activation by providing appropriate stimuli in the large part of sensory to motor domains in the cerebral neocortex. In this sense, starting abacus learning as young as possible is useful in activating the brains of young children
The human brain consists of the right brain and the left brain. The shapes of these two parts are similar, but differences have been gradually found in their functions. The left brain is also referred to as the digital brain. It controls reading and writing, calculation, and logical thinking. The right brain is referred to as the analog brain. It controls three-dimensional sense, creativity, and artistic senses. These are two works together to allow us to function as human.
In addition, it is also found that if replica watches one trains the right brain, it is less likely to get dementia. Here, I would like to introduce the abacus method of mental calculation. In the abacus method of mental calculation, the learners manipulate abacus beads in their head to carry out a calculation. This had led us to speculate that this operation was effective in training the right brain or the analog brain. Thanks to the development of cerebral physiology and machines that can accurately measure the amount of blood flow in the brain, recent studies have proven that the abacus method of mental calculation is extremely effective in activating the right brain. This validated the speculation we had before. Therefore, I would like to ask all the abacus teachers to teach all learners the abacus method of mental calculation, no matter how briefly it may be. I consider the completion of abacus learning the mastery of the mental calculation.)
Image thinking of abacus users in higher Dan (ranks) by a study on brain waves Ms.Kimiko Kawano Researcher, Nippon Medical School, Center for Informatics and Sciences)
When we measured the champion, a middle school student, during the replica watches uk mental calculation, the result was unexpected. Usually the left temporal region is used for calculation, but here, it was almost entirely unused. Instead, the b waves appeared on the right occipital region. In other words, the student carried out calculation using the right brain. I was not quite convinced from only one person's result, because there are always exceptions and some individual differences in brain waves. However, we conducted the same investigation with another expert only to find the result almost identical to the previous case. We than asked more abacus users with high 'dan' (ranks) to let us measure their EEGs, and found almost the same results with only little individual variances. We inquired how they were calculating, and most of them gave the same reply that the image of the abacus beads in their head moved rapidly.
Usually, ordinary people calculate in their mind using inner voice, as in one hundred minus 7 is 93. They put mathematical notions into words. On the other hand, abacus users simply visualize an image of abacus in their head. They do not replace the image into words. This difference can be seen clearly in the EEGs. These tendencies in the brain uses can also be replica watches sale observed in professional players of Shogi, (Japanese chess,) while they are playing the games or solving Shogi problems. However, when they calculate, they use their left-brains just as ordinary people do. This is the same with the abacus users. They do not use their right brains in all cases.
Not only for the experts but also for the beginners, abacus learning is useful to easily grasp images in addition and subtraction problems, because the beads are moving in front of their eyes. It also allows rolex replica understanding the decimal system and the concept of digit positions. Once children understand numbers, they will probably become fond of mathematics. They will be more confident there may be many positive impacts in other subjects at school. The contemporary education focuses on theory and its rote memorization. Theory of course is important but many students cannot get an actual feeling of comprehension only through it. I believe an effective application of image thinking induces human creativity and inspiration.
11th Pama International Competition will be held on 29 August 2010 at Pahang, Malaysia.
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