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Nonsymbolic and symbolic magnitude comparison skills as longitudinal predictors of mathematical achievement

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journal contribution
posted on 08.11.2016 by Iro Xenidou-Dervou, Dylan Molenaar, Daniel Ansari, Menno van der Schoot, Ernest C.D.M. van Lieshout
What developmental roles do nonsymbolic (e.g., dot arrays) and symbolic (i.e., Arabic numerals) magnitude comparison skills play in children’s mathematics? In the literature, one notices several gaps and contradictory findings. We assessed a large sample in kindergarten, grade 1 and 2 on two well-known nonsymbolic and symbolic magnitude comparison measures. We also assessed children’s initial IQ and developing Working Memory (WM) capacities. Results demonstrated that symbolic and nonsymbolic comparison had different developmental trajectories; the first underwent larger developmental improvements. Both skills were important longitudinal predictors of children’s future mathematical achievement above and beyond IQ and WM. Nonsymbolic comparison was predictive in kindergarten. Symbolic comparison, however, was consistently a stronger predictor of future mathematics compared to nonsymbolic, and its predictive power at the early stages was even comparable to that of IQ. Furthermore, results bring forth methodological implications regarding the role of different types of magnitude comparison measures.

Funding

This research was conducted as part of a broader NWO (National Dutch Organization for Scientific Research) funded project [grant number: PROO 411-07-111].

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

Learning and Instruction

Citation

XENIDOU-DERVOU, I. ... et al, 2017. Nonsymbolic and symbolic magnitude comparison skills as longitudinal predictors of mathematical achievement. Learning and Instruction, 50, pp.1-13.

Publisher

© Elsevier

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/

Acceptance date

06/11/2016

Publication date

2017

Notes

This paper was published in the journal Learning and Instruction and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2016.11.001.

ISSN

0959-4752

Language

en

Exports