Research in Action 3: Estimation, equals and working memory with Iro Xenidou-Dervou


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Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast, with me Craig Barton.

This is an episode from the Research in Action mini series, where I interview a researcher from the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University about their chosen area of interest, and the implications for maths teaching and learning.

On today’s episode I was lucky enough to speak to Iro Xenidou-Dervou.

Iro completed her my undergraduate studies in Greece, before going on to do her masters and PhD in the Netherlands. Her PhD project, titled “Setting the Foundations for Math Achievement: Working memory, Nonsymbolic and Symbolic Numerosity Processing”, focused on the cognitive underpinnings of children’s mathematical skills. Iro is an expert on executive function and maths, and is one of the most fun guests I have ever had the pleasure of interviewing.

In this conversation we focussed on three main areas:

  • Why practising estimation might just be one of the most useful things we can do with our students
  • The use and misuse of the equals sign in algebra
  • Just how do you measure working memory

Iro’s Big 3
1. An Introduction to Mathematical Cognition by Camilla Gilmore, Silke M. Göbel, Matthew Inglis
2. The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics, Revised and Updated Edition: How the Mind Creates Mathematic by Stanislas Dehaene
3. Lumen website

Estimation 180
Meaningful math moments


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One thought on “Research in Action 3: Estimation, equals and working memory with Iro Xenidou-Dervou

  1. Teaching Arabic speaking refugee children highlighted for me loads of issues with reversal of digits too! And character formation 7 means a completely different number!

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