Data_Sheet_1_Individuality in the Early Number Skill Components Underlying Basic Arithmetic Skills.DOCX (17.22 kB)

Data_Sheet_1_Individuality in the Early Number Skill Components Underlying Basic Arithmetic Skills.DOCX

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posted on 02.07.2018 by Jonna B. Salminen, Tuire K. Koponen, Asko J. Tolvanen

Early number skills underlie success in basic arithmetic. However, very little is known about the skill profiles among children in preprimary education and how the potential profiles are related to arithmetic development. This longitudinal study of 440 Finnish children in preprimary education (mean age: 75 months) modeled latent performance-level profile groups for the early number skill components that are proposed to be key predictors of arithmetic (symbolic number comparison, mapping, and verbal counting skills). Based on three assessment time points (September, January, and May), four profile groups were found: the poorest-performing (6%), low-performing (16%), near-average-performing (33%), and high-average-performing children (45%). Although the differences between the groups were statistically significant in all three number skill components and in basic arithmetic, the poorest-performing children seemed to have serious difficulties in accessing the semantic meaning of symbolic numbers that was required in the number comparison and mapping tasks in this study. Interestingly, the tasks demanding processing between quantities and symbols also most differentiated the poorest-performing children from the low-performing children. Due to remarkable and stable individual differences in early number skill components, the findings suggest systematic support and progress monitoring practices in preeducational settings to diminish and avoid potential difficulties in arithmetic and mathematics in general.

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