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Improving number abilities in low achieving preschoolers: symbolic versus non-symbolic training programs

Van Herwegen, J; Costa, H; Nicholson, B; Donlan, C; (2018) Improving number abilities in low achieving preschoolers: symbolic versus non-symbolic training programs. Research in Developmental Disabilities , 77 pp. 1-11. 10.1016/j.ridd.2018.03.011. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Although previous correlational studies have shown that both symbolic and non-symbolic abilities relate to mathematical abilities, correlational studies cannot show the cause and effect of these abilities for mathematical success. Aims: The current study examined the effect of a non-symbolic training program, called PLUS and a symbolic training program, called DIGIT, to provide further insight into the causal nature of domain specific factors that contribute to mathematical abilities. Methods: and Procedures: Forty-nine preschool children who had low mathematical abilities were recruited and randomly allocated to the DIGIT and PLUS training programs. Performance on a number of mathematical tasks was compared to 20 preschoolers with no mathematical difficulties. Outcomes and results: Performance in both training programs improved on the Test of Early Mathematical Abilities as well as on a non-symbolic Approximate Number Sense task, counting tasks, and digit recognition tasks, immediately after five weeks of training and this improvement remained six months later. Conclusions and implications: This study provides further evidence that symbolic and non-symbolic abilities bi-directionally impact on each other and that ordinality knowledge is an important factor of mathematical development.

Type: Article
Title: Improving number abilities in low achieving preschoolers: symbolic versus non-symbolic training programs
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2018.03.011
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2018.03.011
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Symbolic knowledge, Approximate number sense, Intervention, Preschoolers, Low-achievers
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10046607
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