How Learning Geometry Is Affected By Dyscalculia?

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REVIEWED BY NUMBERDYSLEXIA’S EXPERT PANEL ON MARCH 09, 2022

Being a crucial wing of math, geometry deals with the study and properties of points, lines, surfaces, and other multidimensional objects. Dealing with real-life objects, the concept can be enticing for some pupils, some students may find it taxing to visualize and discern complex queries. That being the case, the ability of special students in such skills is not perfectly discerned. For those with math learning compromise, is geometry a stumbling block?

Suitably, here we traverse through relevant insights to arrive at conclusions. To comprehend the effect of Dyscalculia on learning geometry, we evaluate applicable traits in such individuals so that befitting strategies can be set on later, finally finishing off with verdicts. 

Entailing traits for geometry learning- Evaluating these in dyscalculics

Geometry is one of the most crucial yet taxing notions for students as they may need to visualize. Skills like describing the picture, drawing and comprehending a figure may require a few attributes. Here we explore these in Dyscalculia to evaluate their status:

1. Creative and drawing skills- A clear Edge!

Stipulating the need to learn various symbols, geometry needs creativity. Being more than just creative, Dyscalculics can have clear benefits with this trait. They often like being trained creatively employing games, activities, and real-life learning. Thus, geometry can be an enticing concept. 

creative and drawing skills in geometry

Chapters like angles, triangles, and other shapes often precede geometry. Mastering these notions can make learning geometry facile. Accordingly, Nathalie Sinclair[1] studied how to forge ways of including drawing as part of the teaching and learning of geometry. He outlined that new ways of thinking and thereby ensuring creativity may nurture young learners with spatial geometric reasoning. These results imply the importance of drawing and creativity in such notions. 

2. Spatial Intelligence- The Need of Thrust

Comprise in comprehending what the notions are and thereby where these are actually applicable may be evident in few individuals, these can also reflect in notions like geometry as well. 

Also known as visuospatial ability, spatial intelligence can be grasped as the ability of the individual to retain, retrieve and make obligatory transformations of well-designed visual images. While concepts like geometry are all about two-dimensional figures, it often needs spatial abilities. Nova Riastuti[2] and the team made a research study to describe the students’ geometry skills in resolving geometry problems viewed from spatial intelligence. The results indicate that there was a correlation between students’ spatial intelligence with geometric skills. Students had different geometric skills in each category of spatial intelligence, although there were similarities in some geometry skill indicators.

Further Nova also found that students with low spatial intelligence had fewer geometry skills, thus needing special attention from teachers. Here, we can conclude that individuals with Dyscalculia who may need to work on spatial abilities, can be aided with specialized surveillance.  

3. Logical thinking- Can be Grasped

The ability to solve a problem with sensible notions needs logical thinking. While a few would learn the procedural aspects, pragmatic applications of the same may not be grasped. These factors may affect geometrical skills. 

Logical thinking, as we know, is the ability to analyze the situation and come up with a befitting and sensible solution. Learners of Geometry may design appropriate solutions by looking at the questions, implicitly requiring logical thinking abilities. Accordingly, Nazan Sezen[3] Studied logical thinking as a crucial cognitive ability and its effects on math. It concludes that the importance of visual perception and multidimensional thinking is undeniable in geometry. 

Kinga Morsanyi[4] studied the pattern of logical thinking in Developmental Dyscalculics and high math performing students. The results found that children with Developmental Dyscalculia had some noteworthy compromises in logical reasoning skills, especially in math notions. These inferences depict the need for special care to develop logical skills. 

4. Reasoning skills- Not merely a Catch!

Evaluating, analyzing, and then synthesizing are indeed needed for notions like geometry while coming into sensible inferences. For that reason, Berna Canturk Gunhan[5] investigated reasoning skills in geometry. Geometry problems given to 6 random 8th-grade students showed differences in their reasoning skills. These inferences outline that the reasoning skills are related to conceptualization which plays a noteworthy role in geometry practice.  

reasoning skills in geometry

Some individuals may feel it taxing to analyze the query and evaluate it.  Despite being creative, compromise in spatial inferences may make comprehending the problem further arduous. Accordingly, practicing or solving the geometry sums may be taxing for Dyscalculics.  In the book Reasoning Skills in Individuals with Mathematics Difficulties, Kinga Morsanyi studied the reasoning skill in individuals with math difficulties and found that cognitive abilities and resources might be affected in dyscalculia, as reasoning skills rely heavily on cognitive resources. Thereby, these individuals should focus on refining reasoning skills. 

5. Applied Skills

Some individuals may feel it is taxing to manage and interact in the classroom to brainstorm about various notions. This may retain some doubts. Interaction, collaboration, and managing may be learned in the classroom over time. These learning attributes turn handy in various notions like Geometry. Subsequently, Nova Riastuti also mentioned the need for applied skills to reinforce students with geometry along with other attributes like spatial intelligence. Relative pedagogies and techniques can aid Dyscalculics to grasp applied skills. Consequently, applied skills can be learned and often are not a snag.

Geometry skills in dyscalculia- Schemes to refine productively

Going through various traits that need to be thrusted to master geometry, here are a few simple yet working strategies to comeover geometry hitches:

  • Draw to learn: Having a clear edge with creative and drawing abilities, students can draw the notions to learn.  For instance, if the pupil needs to learn triangles, they may draw a rough figure on paper and then look into its attribute to derive a sensible solution.
  • Learn Formulas: Formulae are often crucial to learning chapters of geometry. Learning these can make solving questions facile. Flashcards can be befitting manipulative to assist in grasping these rules, as they ensure repeated learning.
  • Make use of tools and Hacks: Geometry is often all about implementation of employing tools like protractor and compass. Apprehending to use them perfectly can ameliorate geometry skills.  Further, knowing rules and a few hacks can save on time on solving. For instance, if the student identifies that two angles add up to become 180 degrees, they can use supplementary angles regulation to prove effortlessly. 
  • Practice More : Applied skills are crucial; woefully, the value is lesser-known.Ensuring frequent Practice  can improve coordination and thus cognition. By this, the learner can improve their abilities with time.
  • Transpire out of Assumptions : Being creative can bring about some assumptions; nonetheless, cross-checking whether they are valid can bring the learner out of complications—geometry deals with diagrams and shapes, where assumptions can turn crucial. To prove the same, a valid rule or regulation is crucial.  

Can dyscalculics master geometry? 

As a first impression, math compromises may have an effect on any math-related notion, including geometry. Nevertheless, evaluating various traits needed for geometry, the inferences may be midway. Getting indulged in activities like puzzles, legos, and other three-dimensional activities can boost spatial intelligence. Ensuring the same may moderately assist in ameliorating logical, reasoning, applied skills as well. 

While being creative is a clear edge, other attributes like reasoning, logical thinking, and applied skills can be grasped with some additional thrust. For that reason, it is not fair to derive generalized manifestations; geometry may be managed with additional efforts.

Concluding thoughts

Challenges in discerning numbers are evident in some kids, aversion to geometry may not be the case with all of them. While a few may feel it arduous, the world has witnessed successful mathematicians who have math compromise. Subsequently, emanating from general and baseless assumptions, it is crucial to evaluate at a personal level to determine which strategy and trait need attention. Traverse through the above-mentioned insights and strategies to make be-fitting decisions. 

References:

  1. Learning Through and from Drawing in Early Years Geometry. (2018). Nathalie Sinclai.
  2. Analysis of students geometry skills viewed from spatial intelligence. (2017, December). Nova Riastuti.
  3. A scale on logical thinking abilities. (2011). Nazan Sezen. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.04.131
  4. The link between logic, mathematics and imagination: evidence from children with developmental dyscalculia and mathematically gifted children. (2013, March). Kinga Morsanyi. https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12048
  5. Gunhan, B. C. (2014). A case study on the investigation of reasoning skills in geometry. South African Journal of Education, 34(2), 1-19.

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