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Estimation abilities of large numerosities in Kindergartners.

Mejias S, Schiltz C - Front Psychol (2013)

Bottom Line: Additionally, children who presented better exact symbolic knowledge were also those with the most refined ANS.Our results support the view that approximate numerical representations are linked to exact number competence in young children before the start of formal math education and might thus serve as building blocks for mathematical knowledge.Since this core number system was also sensitive to external components such as the SEI this implies that it can most probably be targeted and refined through specific educational strategies from preschool on.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Educational Measurement and Applied Cognitive Science, Université du Luxembourg Walferdange, Luxembourg.

ABSTRACT
The approximate number system (ANS) is thought to be a building block for the elaboration of formal mathematics. However, little is known about how this core system develops and if it can be influenced by external factors at a young age (before the child enters formal numeracy education). The purpose of this study was to examine numerical magnitude representations of 5-6 year old children at 2 different moments of Kindergarten considering children's early number competence as well as schools' socio-economic index (SEI). This study investigated estimation abilities of large numerosities using symbolic and non-symbolic output formats (8-64). In addition, we assessed symbolic and non-symbolic early number competence (1-12) at the end of the 2nd (N = 42) and the 3rd (N = 32) Kindergarten grade. By letting children freely produce estimates we observed surprising estimation abilities at a very young age (from 5 year on) extending far beyond children's symbolic explicit knowledge. Moreover, the time of testing has an impact on the ANS accuracy since 3rd Kindergarteners were more precise in both estimation tasks. Additionally, children who presented better exact symbolic knowledge were also those with the most refined ANS. However, this was true only for 3rd Kindergarteners who were a few months from receiving math instructions. In a similar vein, higher SEI positively impacted only the oldest children's estimation abilities whereas it played a role for exact early number competences already in 2nd and 3rd graders. Our results support the view that approximate numerical representations are linked to exact number competence in young children before the start of formal math education and might thus serve as building blocks for mathematical knowledge. Since this core number system was also sensitive to external components such as the SEI this implies that it can most probably be targeted and refined through specific educational strategies from preschool on.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Symbolic and non-symbolic tasks in the (A) estimation and (B) the early number competence tasks.
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Figure 1: Symbolic and non-symbolic tasks in the (A) estimation and (B) the early number competence tasks.

Mentions: Because our design included both symbolic and non-symbolic tasks we could systematically investigate the relationship between exact and approximate numerical abilities for these two task formats (see Figure 1). While others have evaluated either symbolic (i.e., Gilmore et al., 2007; Mundy and Gilmore, 2009) or non-symbolic (i.e., Gilmore et al., 2010) approximate number abilities, there are currently no studies evaluating the two types of approximate processing within the same population of preschool children (see (Mejias et al., 2012b) for this type of evaluation in 9–10 year old 4th graders). This seems, however, particularly important given the above-mentioned controversies concerning the role of non-symbolic vs. symbolic number abilities as precursors of math performance (e.g., Halberda et al., 2008 vs. De Smedt et al., 2009; Holloway and Ansari, 2009; Gilmore et al., 2010). Indeed it is complicated to compare the correlations between approximate numerical abilities and math competence observed in different studies since they might be confounded by subtle differences related to group (e.g., age, environmental context) or study design (e.g., math test battery).


Estimation abilities of large numerosities in Kindergartners.

Mejias S, Schiltz C - Front Psychol (2013)

Symbolic and non-symbolic tasks in the (A) estimation and (B) the early number competence tasks.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3756289&req=5

Figure 1: Symbolic and non-symbolic tasks in the (A) estimation and (B) the early number competence tasks.
Mentions: Because our design included both symbolic and non-symbolic tasks we could systematically investigate the relationship between exact and approximate numerical abilities for these two task formats (see Figure 1). While others have evaluated either symbolic (i.e., Gilmore et al., 2007; Mundy and Gilmore, 2009) or non-symbolic (i.e., Gilmore et al., 2010) approximate number abilities, there are currently no studies evaluating the two types of approximate processing within the same population of preschool children (see (Mejias et al., 2012b) for this type of evaluation in 9–10 year old 4th graders). This seems, however, particularly important given the above-mentioned controversies concerning the role of non-symbolic vs. symbolic number abilities as precursors of math performance (e.g., Halberda et al., 2008 vs. De Smedt et al., 2009; Holloway and Ansari, 2009; Gilmore et al., 2010). Indeed it is complicated to compare the correlations between approximate numerical abilities and math competence observed in different studies since they might be confounded by subtle differences related to group (e.g., age, environmental context) or study design (e.g., math test battery).

Bottom Line: Additionally, children who presented better exact symbolic knowledge were also those with the most refined ANS.Our results support the view that approximate numerical representations are linked to exact number competence in young children before the start of formal math education and might thus serve as building blocks for mathematical knowledge.Since this core number system was also sensitive to external components such as the SEI this implies that it can most probably be targeted and refined through specific educational strategies from preschool on.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Educational Measurement and Applied Cognitive Science, Université du Luxembourg Walferdange, Luxembourg.

ABSTRACT
The approximate number system (ANS) is thought to be a building block for the elaboration of formal mathematics. However, little is known about how this core system develops and if it can be influenced by external factors at a young age (before the child enters formal numeracy education). The purpose of this study was to examine numerical magnitude representations of 5-6 year old children at 2 different moments of Kindergarten considering children's early number competence as well as schools' socio-economic index (SEI). This study investigated estimation abilities of large numerosities using symbolic and non-symbolic output formats (8-64). In addition, we assessed symbolic and non-symbolic early number competence (1-12) at the end of the 2nd (N = 42) and the 3rd (N = 32) Kindergarten grade. By letting children freely produce estimates we observed surprising estimation abilities at a very young age (from 5 year on) extending far beyond children's symbolic explicit knowledge. Moreover, the time of testing has an impact on the ANS accuracy since 3rd Kindergarteners were more precise in both estimation tasks. Additionally, children who presented better exact symbolic knowledge were also those with the most refined ANS. However, this was true only for 3rd Kindergarteners who were a few months from receiving math instructions. In a similar vein, higher SEI positively impacted only the oldest children's estimation abilities whereas it played a role for exact early number competences already in 2nd and 3rd graders. Our results support the view that approximate numerical representations are linked to exact number competence in young children before the start of formal math education and might thus serve as building blocks for mathematical knowledge. Since this core number system was also sensitive to external components such as the SEI this implies that it can most probably be targeted and refined through specific educational strategies from preschool on.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus