Can early intervention ameliorate mathematical difficulties in young children? (PhD project)
The importance of early mathematical support has been emphasized in order to prevent the emergence of possible mathematical difficulties later on (Illustration photo: Shane Colvin, UiO).
About the Project
The performance of children in early mathematical skills varies widely, even before they begin formal schooling. Previous research suggests that without adequate support, children performing low in early mathematical skills are the most often to demonstrate continuing low mathematical performance. Hence, the importance of early mathematical support has been emphasized in order to prevent the emergence of possible mathematical difficulties later on.
This PhD-project is an intervention study, a randomized controlled trial. Norwegian first graders will be assessed with a screener developed for this project. The screener is based on a model of core numerical skills that is crucial to children’s mathematical development. The children performing low on the screener will participate in the intervention, randomly divided into control and intervention groups. The screening and pre-testing will take place in late autumn 2016. The intervention starts in January 2017, followed by post-tests the spring of 2017 and delayed post-test six months after the post-test.
This project has four objectives that address three key challenges in this area, and the fourth to provide teachers with empirical support in their teaching:
- To identify children performing low in mathematical skills
- To investigate the effectiveness of ThinkMath “Counting skills and relational skills” intervention program
- To provide intensified support for children performing low in mathematical skills
- To provide teachers with a web service (free-of-charge) about the development of mathematical skills and evidence-based intervention materials
This study is based on the Finish ThinkMath project (2011-2015). Both the screener and the intervention material is developed, adjusted and translated from here. Read more: http://blogs.helsinki.fi/thinkmath/