Davis Math Mastery® provides tools to correct problems learning math. This problem is sometimes called dyscalculia, and often accompanies dyslexia and ADD symptoms.
The Davis approach goes to the root of why some people have problems understanding and learning math with traditional teaching methods. Dyscalculia typically occur in thinkers who need to learn through meaning and hands-on explanations and who have failed to grasp the meanings behind some or all of the mathematical symbols and 'words' they have encountered. For these problems to be resolved, a medium has to be found through which these meanings can be mastered. In the Davis program, a multi-sensory medium in the form of modeling clay is preferred. But first: mathematical symbols and processes all rest on a series of foundation concepts or universal laws which have to be fully understood before math can be mastered. For example, one such concept is sequence, the principle that one thing such as a number or quantity follows another. The starting point for dyscalculia correction needs therefore to be mastery of these concepts.
Modeling clay or plasticine rarely makes an appearance in the learning process beyond the age of pre-school. The Davis approach advocates its use as a powerful learning medium at all levels of the learning process. In particular, it looks at how confusion can arise in the learning process as a result of symbols, terms, concepts and processes that are not understood; and how these confusions can be “clayed out” through the plasticine medium, often with dramatic results. The multisensory nature of the program, including the use of plasticine clay, provides a basis for the student to experience the steps within a mathematical process. Once the meaning is established, the student can move intuitively from the concrete to the abstract. Rote learning depends largely on auditory memory and is unlikely to be a natural learning strategy for a dyscalculic child. The exploratory nature of the program is a more powerful learning tool. The student is also given ‘tools’ to rediscover their visual and kinaesthetic learning, which will assist in remembering formulae and telephone numbers.
The Davis approach acknowledges the dyscalculic person’s preferred learning style, namely to learn through meaning and hands-on explanation, rather than by rote or repetition, and uses multi-sensory teaching strategies before moving to the traditional paper and pencil medium.
The Davis Math Mastery Program is an individualised one-to-one program, typically done over 30 - 45 hours.
For a multi-sensory learner, multiplication tables are easy to "see" when 'clayed out' and represented as shown above: 7 groups of 4 balls (top left hand part of grid which depicts the tables up to 10).
Like Davis Dyslexia Correction®, the first step in Davis Math Mastery is to enable children and adults to control disorientation and develop their focusing skills. Once students can be sure that their perceptions are accurate, they can resolve any confusions about math with methods that build upon their creative and imaginative strengths. Studies have shown that students with dyscalculia become confused and experience an inability to concentrate as they become overwhelmed by their difficulties. Reducing and managing anxiety is a key component of the Davis program. The student is shown how to self-manage their stress and energy levels using kinaesthetic tools. They are also given strategies to help monitor and maintain concentration.
The Davis Math Mastery Program is provided to individuals, age eight and up, who are primarily motivated to resolve difficulties with mathematics. It can usually be completed in five days, but in some instances may require additional days. For clients with other learning problems, such as with reading or attention focus, the Davis Math Mastery program may be recommended after first completing a basic five-day Davis Dyslexia Correction Program. An initial consultation and interview would determine the ideal strategy.