Remix: Elephant Learning Seeing Success Teaching Mathematics as a Language


Dr. Aditya Nagrath PhD has helped over 150,000 students over the last seven years.

According to a study by Heckman (2006), early age education has the highest return rate on investment1. Children in disadvantaged communities with investment in early age outcomes had higher rates of high school graduation, higher salaries, higher percentages of home ownership, lower rates of receipt of welfare assistance as adults, fewer out-of-wedlock births, and fewer arrests than control groups.

"Investment in early mathematics education leads to even higher returns on investment,” says Dr. Aditya Nagrath PhD, founder and CEO of Elephant Learning Mathematics Academy, “Preschool math scores predict achievement even into high school, and children that engage more in mathematics during preschool tend to be better readers, writers, and speakers.”2

Elephant Learning achieves results by teaching mathematics as a language. Students entering kindergarten with a lack of understanding of the numbers up to ten often face challenges catching up. On average, children in low-income neighborhoods are conceptually 3 years behind their funded peers.

Dr. Aditya Nagrath PhD is working to invest in early age education by developing a tool for parents, teachers, and schools to help students bridge this language gap. A recent study involving 56,000 students revealed that children using Elephant Learning progressed 1.67 years on average over a period of 13 weeks, with a time investment of just under 40 minutes per week3.

Elephant Learning covers content from counting through Algebra and accepts students of all ages. Students older than five years begin with a placement exam to identify their level of understanding. The curriculum is presented as a puzzle game, leveraging activities proven effective by early education researchers. Parents and teachers are provided dashboards to monitor student progress and coaching resources to extend learning beyond the platform.

“Students who use our platform often find mathematics more enjoyable in their regular classrooms,” observes Dr. Nagrath. “Our system addresses essential gaps in understanding, enabling students to perform at or beyond their grade level. Our goal is for students to comprehend their classroom teachers, leading to greater participation and enjoyment. It's not uncommon for parents to tell us that we make mathematics fun."

Dr. Nagrath earned his PhD in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Denver and collaborated with one of his former professors to create the Elephant Learning system. The organization’s mission is to empower children with mathematical skills, and it offers a coaching program for students who experience math anxiety.

“When the gap in understanding is bridged, anxiety diminishes. Students who can grasp classroom instruction and actively participate exhibit increased confidence,” Dr. Nagrath explains.