And Educational Value of Zhusuan Education
1. The Historical Development
of ' Zhusuan'
The calculation tool called Zhusuan has a very old history in
itself until now.
From around BC 3,000 ~ BC 2,000 in the Mesopotamia Area (now Iraq),
it was said that lines were marked on sand and little rocks were
used for calculation. Subsequently a calculation tool that is
known as the 'line Zhusuan' was made in ancient Greek, and the
Romans also made 'Groove Zhusuan' which they used for calculation.
It is said that these tools were introduced in China but there
are many different theories on how calculation tools spread through
the world. From around BC 770 ~ BC 476, China used 'Suanchou'
for calculation. And, the oldest record of a calculation instrument
similar to the Zhusuan can be seen in document dated AD 200. Principles
of Algorithm, is the first bead-calculation book in China, written
by Wang Wensu, an expert in bead calculation of the Ming Dynasty.
According to the document, the first Zhusuan introduced to Japan
from China was in the 16th century.
While studying the tool for 400 years, Japan has improved and
revolutionized the Soroban (Abacus) to what we use today. In the
recent years, the modernized Zhusuan has been introduced back
to China where it is actively in use. Not to mention, Zhusuan
is also commonly used in other countries such as Korea, Taiwan,
United States and Brazil. Zhusuan is practical, useful in solving
mathematical problems and especially is very handy in teaching
the concept of number to children in lower grades.
2. The Importance of Zhusuan Education
The children all across the world have a tendency of disliking
or fearing math. The basics of life are made from calculation.
Children who dislike calculation may not necessarily become the
failure of life, but they do tend to have difficulties in life
and might result in a delay in the development of the brain functions
relative to calculation. It may fairly be said that an improvement
of calculation skills 'Zhusuan etc…' are the basic of human
A) The Improvement of The Mathematics
By teaching Zhusuan to children, especially at the age of 4 ~
12, they improve their use of the four arithmetic rules by twice
in speed once they obtain this ability.
The most remarkable quality of having Zhusuan Education is that
one can calculate simple numbers by Mental Arithmetic 'calculating
without using any tools'. Currently in China, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia
and Japan people can calculate up to 10 digits all in their head.
At the present, we are living in the so called 'computer era'.
Of course, computers are faster than Zhusuan if it is simple calculation
of numbers, that is, only if the computer is programmed properly.
But the fact is that people are the one that operate computers,
in Japan there has been results that people without a mathematical
sense are more likely to make input mistakes. People who operate
computers need the ability to catch numbers and words accurately
and with speed. The best way to improve that ability would come
from Zhusuan Education.
B) The Education Value of Zhusuan Education
At this moment, the Zhusuan bailey tests are divided into 20
different ranks. The one with the ability higher than 15th rank
'counting from the bottom' have constantly maintained grades in
the upper most class in Japanese high schools. These results are
due to the fact that Zhusuan Education has deeply effected the
activation and development of the human brain. Still it is unclear
to whether the human brain has developed only after the Zhusuan
Education or a hereditary 'good brain' has improved due to Zhusuan
Education. Schools presently involved in psychology, cerebral
studies, and education Zhusuan studies have been doing researches
related to this topic. Occasionally, reports have been made from
these researches at an academy, and in the future new answers
to this question should come about.
C) Effects of the Zhusuan Education
on the Human Brain
The cerebral studies have made remarkable progress in the recent
years. Professor Toshiro Hayashi of Kyoto University, who is a
representative scholar in this study, has reported the following
issue titled 'The Human Brain and the Zhusuan'
The nerve tissue of the sense nerve, which controls the movement
of the fingers, has been found to be very abundant, which means
the movements of fingers when using Zhusuan requires many nerve
tissues to move simultaneously. Furthermore, these movements of
fingers especially the thumb and index finger required greater
skills compared to playing a piano.
With regard to the above, it can be said that Zhusuan education
is a necessary step in the basic human education. Its educational
value to the children is vital to the human brain formation.