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ERIC Number: EJ1045414
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0007-0998
The Contribution of General Cognitive Abilities and Approximate Number System to Early Mathematics
Passolunghi, Maria Chiara; Cargnelutti, Elisa; Pastore, Massimiliano
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v84 n4 p631-649 Dec 2014
Background: Math learning is a complex process that entails a wide range of cognitive abilities to be fulfilled. There is sufficient evidence that both general and specific cognitive skills assume a fundamental role, despite the absence of shared consensus about the relative extent of their involvement. Moreover, regarding general abilities, there is no agreement about the recruitment of the different memory components or of intelligence. In relation to specific factors, great debate subsists regarding the role of the approximate number system (ANS). Aims: Starting from these considerations, we wanted to conduct a wide assessment of memory components and ANS, by controlling for the effects associated with intelligence and also exploring possible relationships between all precursors. Sample and Method: To achieve this purpose, a sample of 157 children was tested at both beginning and end of their Grade 1. Both general (memory and intelligence) and specific (ANS) precursors were evaluated by a wide battery of tests and put in relation to concurrent and subsequent math skills. Memory was explored in passive and active aspects involving both verbal and visuo-spatial components. Results: Path analysis results demonstrated that memory, and especially the more active processes, and intelligence were the strongest precursors in both assessment times. ANS had a milder role which lost significance by the end of the school year. Memory and ANS seemed to influence early mathematics almost independently. Conclusion: Both general and specific precursors seemed to have a crucial role in early math competences, despite the lower involvement of ANS.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A