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ERIC Number: EJ911602
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-1696-2095
Cognition in Children's Mathematical Processing: Bringing Psychology to the Classroom
Witt, Marcus
Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, v8 n3 p945-970 2010
Introduction: The cognitive processes that underpin successful mathematical processing in children have been well researched by experimental psychologists, but are not widely understood among teachers of primary mathematics. This is a shame, as an understanding of these cognitive processes could be highly useful to practitioners. This paper focuses on "working memory", a cognitive system responsible for the concurrent storage "and processing" of information, which has been shown to be highly important in children's mathematical processing. Method: This paper describes two experiments, both using a correlational design, undertaken with groups of 9 and 10 year old children. The first experiment compared performance on all elements of the Baddeley and Hitch working memory model with performance on simple addition and multiplication. The second experiment developed the first by taking a more detailed look at central executive functioning and comparing it with performance on addition and multiplication. Both experiments also looked at the children's predominant calculation strategy to see if there was any evidence that working memory performance affects strategy development. Results: Results from the first experiment suggested that addition and multiplication make different cognitive demands on children, with multiplication drawing more heavily on phonological working memory and addition drawing more heavily on executive processes. The second experiment suggests that the involvement of executive processes in multiplication may be in inhibiting incorrect answers, whereas in addition they are linked to the ability to maintain and process information concurrently. Discussion and Conclusion: The results are discussed in terms of their usefulness for classroom practitioners. (Contains 5 tables.)
University of Almeria, Education & Psychology I+D+i. Faculty of Psychology Department of Educational and Developmental Psychology, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 LaCanada de San Urbano, Almeria, Spain. Tel: +34-950-015354; Fax: +34-950-015083; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)