ABACUSAbacus is an ancient computing methodology developed in China, Japan, Babilonia etc. Wherein students learn to solve mathematical problems using a very simple instrument called ‘abacus’. Abacus is an apparatus used for counting and calculation.
The Chines Abacus is called Suanpan. The documentary evidence is said to lead to the use of Abacus in China to 2nd century BC. The Chinese Abacus has more than seven rods. In the upper deck, there are 2 beads on each rod and in the bottom, there are 5 beads each.
Japan used only the imported Abacus from China in the 14th century. In Japanese, the abacus is called SOROBON. Even in these days of electronic calculator, Abacus is in use in Japan and the Abacus is used in the primary schools of Japan to develop mental arithmetic skills.
Advantages Of Abacus
Dr. Toshio Hayashi, Director, Research Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (RIAST) is of the view that, starting abacus learning at a very young age, is useful in activating the brain of kids.
He also says, “We can activate the nerve cells by providing “stimuli” like moving fingers and talking aloud.”
When a child works on abacus it uses both its hand to move the beads. The finger movement of both hands activates the sensors of brain, the right hand coordinates with left brain and the left hand coordinates with right brain.
This facilitates the functioning of "The whole brain" and helps in added intellect, thereby creating 'child maths prodigy'.
Visualization: Ms. Kimiko Kawano, Researcher, Nippon Medical School, Center for Informatics and Sciences, is of the opinion that abacus users simply visualize an image of abacus in their head. They do not replace the image into words. This difference can be seen clearly in the EEGs.
What is important is that the ability to visualize can be put to use for other subjects.
Concentration: Decker Avenue School, California conducted a research on the effects of abacus training on children in the classroom. The study indicated that increased concentration of the abacus students was one of the pre-dominating effects of the training program.
Logical reasoning: Ms. Shizuko Amaiwa, Professor, Shinshu University, observed that advanced abacus learners were found to have received desirable effects in solving certain types of mathematical problems compared to non-abacus learners. In addition, a positive effect was seen, not only in mathematical problems with integers and decimals, but also in those with fractions, especially when higher level of logical thinking is required to solve them.
Photographic memory: Ms. Shizuko Amaiwa is also of the opinion that the beneficial effect of abacus training is the improvement in memory.As a result, abacus learners were found to score higher than non-abacus learners. It can be speculated that the training to obtain the abacus image visually had the effect of making students sensitive towards spatial arrangement or enhanced photographic memory.
Recall: Ms. Kimiko Kawano, Researcher, Nippon Medical School, has stated that, “some abacus experts use their ability for memorizing whole page of textbook or years in history. The ability developed by abacas can be used effectively in different ways” such as the capability to recall.
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