Vital4Brain im Mathematikunterricht
Eine Untersuchung der Wirkung des Programms Vital4Brain auf die mathematischen und kognitiven Fähigkeiten von Schülerinnen und Schülern
Over the past years, due to meaningful advances in brain research, a new understanding of learning has developed. Learning processes can now be explained neurobiologically. Due to imaging methods amongst others, it is possible to follow the structural changes in the brain during a learning process. Therefore, learning can be explained and understood in a new way: “Neurodidactics” (Friedrich, 2005, p. 240) combines didactics and neuroscience.
Learning is a complex process and it is closely related to the issues of attention and concentration. A certain attention span and level of concentration form the basis for successful learning. Nowadays there are many deficiencies in this regard among pupils, which can be explained by the way of life over the past decades and the changed living conditions (Heil, 2017, p. 4ff.).
Mathematics is known as a discipline in which a high degree of concentration is required. In order to counteract the deficiency in concentration and to support students in effective learning, the Vital4Brain exercise program was developed (Schwarz, 2012, p. 6). The program consists of coordinatively challenging exercises that can be used during the lessons to improve the ability to learn, think and concentrate. The effect of movement on cognitive abilities and learning has already been proven in numerous studies and is at least partially explained in neurodidactics (Walk, 2011).
Vital4Brain is designed for pupils of all Austrian school types and levels and can be implemented in the classroom in every lesson. The exercises can be instructed by the teachers, trained peer coaches or teacher coaches or they can be played back via beamer from the homepage www.simplystrong.at. All exercises can be practiced in everyday clothing.
In an empirical survey of a total of 176 pupils in the 5th, 7th and 11th grade of a grammar school (high school), the research question was investigated whether their ability to concentrate can be trained with the Vital4Brain exercise program and thereby improve their mathematical and cognitive performance. The Vital4Brain interventions that took place three times per week during a six-week intervention phase show (significant) increases in performance both in geometric tasks in the plane and for spatial imagination and in math-specific speed work. For this purpose, pre- and post-tests were carried out on intervention and control groups (Voit, 2020).