The importance of motor activity in mathematics education. Embodied cognition and development of mental representation of numbers in children
This paper presents the review of literature concerning the importance of relationship between motor and cognitive activity in mathematical skills development. Cognitive and motor processing seem not to be related as well as the use of motor activity in the processing of numbers is far from an intuitive approach in mathematical education. A great number of studies show, however, that cognitive processes are embodied and therefore the involvement of movement in tasks requiring the participation of cognitive processes gives extremely positive results. This applies to both mathematics education practice in the case of children with normal development and those with a cognitive deficit in this area, called developmental dyscalculia. It is not surprising, therefore, the growing popularity of modern technologies that involve movement, which are used for cognitive math skills training, such as motion sensors, dance mats or educational games with elements of movement and dance. The beneficial influence of motor activity in mathematical abilities development is related to the spatial organization of representations of numbers arranged on the so-called Mental Number Line. It has been confirmed that such motor training develops and strengthens this spatial-numerical association, which is a predictor of skills of children in arithmetic.