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ERIC Number: EJ915623
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0885-2014
Influences of Problem Format and SES on Preschoolers' Understanding of Approximate Addition
McNeil, Nicole M.; Fuhs, Mary Wagner; Keultjes, M. Claire; Gibson, Matthew H.
Cognitive Development, v26 n1 p57-71 Jan-Mar 2011
Recent studies suggest that 5-year-olds can add and compare large numerical quantities through approximate representations of number. However, the nature of this understanding and its susceptibility to environmental influences remain unclear. We examined whether children's early competence depends on the canonical problem format (i.e., arithmetic operations presented on the left side). Sixty children from middle-to-high-SES backgrounds (Experiment 1) and 47 children from low-SES backgrounds (Experiment 2) viewed events that required them to add and compare large numbers. Events were shown in a canonical or noncanonical format. Children from both SES backgrounds performed above chance on the approximate addition tasks, but children from middle-to-high-SES backgrounds performed significantly better. Moreover, children from middle-to-high SES backgrounds performed better when problems were presented in the canonical format, whereas children from low-SES backgrounds did not. These results suggest that children's understanding of approximate number is affected by some of the same environmental factors that affect performance on exact arithmetic tasks. (Contains 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305B070297