Us common folks think part of kids learning math is memorizing the multiplication tables (and addition and some subtraction an division). The progressive math educators favor “discovery math,” which is telling the kids to find methods of, say, multiplying. Explore those methods and choose the one that works for them.
We say: Memorizing the “times” tables works.
Now neuroscientists say we are right. The memorization helps the brain in its development. Neuroscientists in Korea and the US did a study using brain scans and reported the journal Nature Neuroscience.
The development sequence is from counting to memorizing to high use of the skills. And memorizing moves the work from active use of the prefrontal cortex to the more passive memory recall from the hippocamus. That makes sense: At first you have to think about doing X, then with practice you do X without thinking.
Read more at National Post of Canada