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The role of numerical and non-numerical ordering abilities in mathematics and reading in middle childhood

journal contribution
posted on 10.08.2020, 09:13 by Kinga Morsanyi, BMCW van Bers, PA O'Connor, T McCormack
© 2020 Elsevier Inc. This study investigated whether different types of ordering skills were related to mathematics achievement in children (n = 100) in middle childhood, after the effects of age, socio-economic status, IQ, and processing speed were taken into account. The relations between ordering skills and magnitude processing were also investigated, as well as the possibility that some of the shared variance between math and reading is explained by ordering abilities. The ordering tasks included the ordering of familiar numerical and non-numerical sequences, a parental report of children's everyday ordering skills, and an order working memory task. Three magnitude processing tasks (symbolic and non-symbolic comparison and number line estimation), were also administered, as well as measures of inhibition and spatial working memory. From this set of measures, number ordering, order working memory and number line estimation emerged as the most important predictors of mathematics skills. We found that number ordering mediated the effect of both symbolic and non-symbolic comparison skills on mathematics, further confirming that this task captures some essential skills related to mathematics. Additionally, order working memory mediated the effect of both number comparison and reading skills on math. Finally, whereas non-symbolic comparison and number line estimation are considered important indicators of magnitude processing skills, there was no relationship between these abilities, but there was a correlation between each of these abilities and reading skills, with number line estimation also mediating the effect of reading skills on math. These novel findings could contribute to a better understanding of the basic processes underlying math ability, and why math and reading are strongly related in typical populations and in children with learning difficulties.

Funding

Nuffield Foundation Research and Innovation grant (grant reference number: EDU/42027)

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

Contemporary Educational Psychology

Volume

62

Pages

101895

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Dalton Transactions and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2020.101895

Publication date

2020-07-07

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

0361-476X

eISSN

1090-2384

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Kinga Morsanyi . Deposit date: 6 August 2020

Article number

101895

Exports