CDL Previous Studies

Toddler Count Study: In this study, we were interested in how kids learned to assign number words to individual numbers.  For example, how do kids know that "two" refers to a pair of objects?  We wanted to see if we could teach kids within a short visit to learn a new number.  We played the "duck game" in which kids would place a requested number of ducks in the pond.  We found that we were unable to teach kids new numbers in a brief testing session.  This is likely something that requires many more repetitions and experience.  (March 2013 - August 2013)  Ages:  3 - 5 year olds

Negative Numbers Study:  This study addressed how children store negative numbers in their mind.  This study was conducted in Kansas City and the results are going to be published soon.  Check back often for the published article.  (Fall 2011)

Recess Study:  We are finishing a study that was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Virgil Sheets at ISU on how recess affects' students' performance in the classroom.  We collected several measures of cognitive skills such as attention and creativity before and after children went to recess.  We are currently analyzing this data and hope to have some results to share soon, so keep checking back! Ages:  3rd - 5th grades  


Music and Math Study:  In collaboration with the ISU Community School of The Arts (, we are conducting a study looking at how music education impacts cognitive and spatial skills.  Plenty of evidence exists that shows that children who take music lessons have improved cognitive skills such as math and spatial skills, but we don't really know why this is.  This study is a first step at understanding why this relationship exists.  Ages:  6th - 8th grades

Adult Math Study:  In collaboration with one of Dr. Brez's Research Methods classes, we conducted a survey of adults in Vigo and surrounding counties to begin to assess views, attitudes, and expectations regarding math education.  Although most of the CDL's research involves children and how they learn about math, we felt it was important to get an understanding of adults' and specifically parents' view on how, what, and when we should be teaching math.  We are currently analyzing this data and hope to have some new findings to report shortly.  Ages:  18 years and older  

Department of Psychology