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Individual differences in kindergarten math achievement: the integrative roles of approximation skills and working memory

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posted on 19.01.2016 by Iro Xenidou-Dervou, Bert De Smedt, Menno van der Schoot, Ernest C.D.M. van Lieshout
Kindergarteners can conduct basic computations with large nonsymbolic (e.g. dots, objects) and symbolic (i.e. Arabic numbers) numerosities in an approximate manner. These abilities are related to individual differences in mathematics achievement. At the same time, these individual differences are also determined by Working Memory (WM). The interrelationship between approximation, WM and math achievement has been largely unexplored. Also, the differential role of nonsymbolic and symbolic approximation in explaining math competencies is yet unclear. We examined an integrative theoretical model on the association between approximation (addition and comparison) and WM in 444 kindergarteners. As expected, approximation entailed two distinct abilities (nonsymbolic and symbolic). Both abilities correlated with mathematics achievement (i.e. counting and exact arithmetic), even when WM was taken into account. The association between nonsymbolic approximation and math achievement was completely mediated by symbolic approximation skills. These findings add to our understanding of the cognitive architecture underlying kindergarten math achievement. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
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School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

Learning and Individual Differences

Volume

28

Pages

119 - 129

Citation

XENIDOU-DERVOU, I. ... et al, 2013. Individual differences in kindergarten math achievement: the integrative roles of approximation skills and working memory. Learning and Individual Differences, 28, pp.119-129

Publisher

© Elsevier Inc.

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2013

ISSN

1041-6080

eISSN

1744-7682

Language

en

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