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Discussion: Research Area
Topic: Mathematical maturity and lower-order knowledge & skills

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Subject:   Math maturity versus Math Content
Author: moursund
Date: Aug 3 2004
I have been working on the topic of math maturity and talking to quite a few
people about it.

It is now clear to me that math maturity and math content knowledge are related,
but surely not the same thing. For a given amount of math content that a group
of students have "covered" in courses, the students' math maturities may vary
considerably. Some may have math maturity way beyond their years of age and
coursework, while others have math maturity far less than their years of age and
coursework (whatever this sentence might mean).

Currently, I am thinking in terms of math oriented fluid intelligence (gF) and
math oriented crystallized intelligence (gC). gF increases with age, up until a
person is in the low 20s. gC increases with age up perhaps age 50 or, if a
person is in an appropraitely "cognitively rich" environment.

It seems useful to me to oidentify components of math maturity and then see what
we can do to specifically sructure teaching and learning environments that will
help to increase math maturity more effectively than we are currently doing.

As an example, suppose that we decide that math problem posing and asking math
questoins are important aspects of math maturity. Then, we have known for quite
awhile how to teach such prolbem posing and question answering. Presumably, by
doing so we increase math maturity.

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