The Ripple Effects of Abacus Training

Abacus is a technique used by Chinese, Japanese and Koreans to enhance arithmetical skills. This program has now made a way into our nation. The enhancement in arithmetical abilities is said to be due to a synchronized performance of both right and left brain. As learning and memory in any area is achieved by managing and analyzing the different sensory inputs, whether an abacus student would also enhance the short-term memory as a whole was analyzed in our study.


Here we talk about the ripple effects in the improvement of numerical memory. This can be demonstrated by asking students to remember three to nine digits and to recite them on the basis of memory items orally. Abacus students are found to be excellent in the accuracy of their mind and the variety of numbers they are able to remember in comparison of non-abacus students of the same age. This is because abacus students place figures on the abacus image and calculate the same mentally through imagination. Using the visualization skill of the abacus enables students to even memorize numbers backwards.


If we talk about progress in solving general arithmetic problems which are taught in elementary school, it was proved during a research with third grade students that a year of study at an abacus school enabled the learners to score higher than non-abacus learners on certain arithmetical problems. Let’s move forward with higher level or advanced abacus learners, they were found to have received even more desirable effects in arithmetic problems which contain comparison of size of numbers, calculation with multiple choices, word problems along with fractions.


In research, both the groups were evaluated in various aspects such as audio memory, image memory, memory retention and many other skills. Research suggests that abacus learners will perform better in their surroundings or in their studies other than mathematics, which requires concentration of audio and visual inputs.


In such ways and considering the above points, we can say that the introduction of Abacus education is very important for children to enhance the performance and mental stamina.