Abacus is a method used by Chinese, Japanese and Koreans to improve mathematical skills.The improvement in mathematical skills is said to be due to a coordinated functioning of both right and left hemisphere. As learning and memory in any field is achieved by coordinating and analyzing the different sensory inputs, whether an abacus trainee would also improve the short-term memory as a whole was evaluated in our study. 50 children of average IQ between 5 and 12 years from 2 regular schools and 50 from an abacus institute were evaluated for short-term memory before and after a period of one and two years.
Abacus Learners and the Training of Intelligence
Professors in Osaka Education University, studied abacus users and found that abacus training can help to cultivate and to improve their intelligence. Professor of Japan Medical University did some research and made a report to the 68th Conference of Japan Physiology Association in Kyoto.
Associate professor of University of Chicago, Dr.James Stigler, wrote his Doctoral Dissertation about abacus study. He stayed in Taiwan for two years and did research to the students. He gave a test to the students before and after taking abacus lessons.
Dr. Flanagan in University of Maryland and Dr.Biga, a professor in Liuqiu University cooperated to study the achievements of Japanese and American students in mathematics. The result shows that Japanese children’s arithmetic scores are higher than American students are; above all, abacus learners are top in every grade.
Decker Avenue School in California did a research for CONCENTRATION after introducing abacus to the children. The study indicated a very good result.
The Particular Teaching Tool
Children like to work with something concretely instead of seating and listening to lectures. Abacus method is good for active attitude toward learning.
Author: Mr. Kouzi Suzuki, President of English Mental Arithmetic Education Association of Japan
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