Psychology has become an integral part of our life and science of great importance for humanity since a human being is a subject it studies. There are a lot of specialized, peer-reviewed periodicals that offer recent news from the sphere of psychology. However, it is possible to find connections with psychology in the sources that have no evident ties with this science. A lot of newspaper articles and magazine articles can be analyzed from a psychological point of view since psychology studies various spheres of human life and activity. In order not to make unsubstantiated statements, we will analyze an article from a magazine that does not specialize in psychology and will try to show that the article has many ties with the spheres that are studied by psychologists.
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Thus, the article under analysis is “Learning to Think: An American Third Grader Discovers Mathematics in Holland” by Torrence. The magazine that is the source of this article is a magazine for educators. Since there is a special branch of psychology that studies child development and learning abilities, it can be assumed that this article is related to child psychology. Educational psychologists have the main aim of improving and maximizing the process of learning in a classroom. The article under study deals with the same sphere of interest.
Eve Torrence, a mathematician presents her personal story where her son Robert is the main character. The author tells us about her trip to the Netherlands where she studied the methodology of Realistic Mathematics Education (Torrence 90). Since her son had to move to Holland with his mother, Torrence suspected that he could have problems with studying at a Dutch school because of language problems and different methodology used by teachers. It so happened that the mother was studying theory while her son was applying it to practice. Torrence states that due to language problems her son could not study all the subjects with his classmates and he used his American textbooks. Still, he studied mathematics with the rest of the class. It so happened that the boy rejected the method of algorithms used at American schools and started to use a realistic method of learning. Besides, he did not suspect that it was the Dutch method of teaching; he thought it was his own invention. This was his discovery of mathematics in Holland.
First of all, this article is about teaching and teaching methods but it is impossible to deny that it is an article that relates to psychology. It deals with cognitive psychology, an important branch of this science. This branch studies memory processes, the processes of perception, and learning new information. Torrence describes the way her son perceives mathematics under new conditions, she describes his intellectual processes, the way she did sums, and justified his point of view. The philosophy of Realistic Mathematics Education is based on psychological postulates as well. It is such successful teaching mythology due to the fact that it relies on a child’s mental processes, perception of information, and reaction to it. It states that children learn mathematical rules better “in the context of a carefully chosen problem that is realistic” (Torrence 90). Thus, the article relates to cognitive, developmental, and educational psychology.
Drawing a conclusion, it is necessary to state that psychology is very important for our life. The analyzed article shows that the study of psychological features can make the process of teaching and learning more effective. It shows that any specialist should be a psychologist to a certain extent. The knowledge of psychology can help in all spheres of life.
Torrence, Eve. “Learning to Think: An American Third Grader Discovers Mathematics in Holland.” Teaching Children Mathematics, 2003.