An Arithmetic Touch: New Digital Approaches to Mathematics Learning
How would children’s learning mathematics change if they had unlimited fingers? What if schooling let young students stay ‘in touch’ with objects, operations and ideas, rather than quickly banish hands to their pockets and turn mathematics into an arid and abstract undertaking?
Dr. Sinclair discusses her design of touchscreen technologies that extend the mathematical reach of learners. This work draws on diverse bodies of knowledge ranging from neuroscience on the neurofunctional link between finger and number processing, to materialist and feminist philosophies refusing mind-body dualisms that undermine the role of fingers, hands and their gestures in thinking. These insights help us imagine new storylines about mathematical learning that break with the all-too-common trajectory leading from confident and curious children to mathematically anxious, benumbed and disempowered adults.