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iSeeNumbers. (Eye) Tracking individual differences in numeracy development. Interplay between skills, motivation and well-being.

Currently, there is little knowledge about the interplay of different factors that contribute to numeracy development. More research is needed especially related to the early years of schooling, as that is the time when the critical building blocks for the later numeracy competence are formed.

What are the factors that contribute to numeracy development and how do they interplay? (Illustration: Colourbox)

About the project

This research project "iSeeNumbers" focuses on tracing individual differences in children’s numeracy development from Grade 1 to Grade 3. The aim is to better understand the mechanisms behind the numeracy development by focusing on the developmental interplay between

  • skills (numeracy, language and executive functions),
  • motivation (interest and competence perceptions) and
  • well-being (school value and math anxiety).

Developmental interplay between skills, motivation and well-being.

Aims

Primary

  • To provide knowledge about the individual differences in numeracy development, and its interplay with other skills (language, executive functions), motivation (interest, competence perceptions), and well-being (school value, math anxiety), as to better understand the mechanisms behind the numeracy development.

Secondary

  • To identify groups of children with different profiles regarding their skills, motivation, and wellbeing in Grade 1, and to show the stability of and changes in group memberships over time until Grade 3
  • To identify different developmental trajectories in numeracy from Grade 1 to Grade 3
  • To identify early markers that best predict numeracy developmental trajectories
  • To reveal processes and strategies that children with different levels of numeracy skills make, by analysing their eye movements
  • To acknowledge physiological responses (heart rate and skin conduction) while executing numeracy tasks, and their relation to math anxiety

Outcomes

It is assumed that

  • distinct subgroups of children with different profiles regarding their skills, motivation and well-being can be identified in the first grade
  • stability of and changes in group memberships over time until Grade 3 are found
  • early markers that can best predict the development and further protect for unfavourable numeracy development are found
  • eye tracking reveals processes and strategies used in numeracy tasks
  • relation of math anxiety and physiological responses are found

As an implication for education, the findings can form the basis for development of interventions (e.g., educational games) relevant for children’s numeracy development, especially concerning those children at risk for unfavourable numeracy developmental path.

Background

As the beginning of formal schooling is a transition point in children’s numeracy developmental path, and a time in which foundational building blocks for later development are formed, this research follows the development of children from Grade 1 to Grade 3 (N = 300). This research aims to get a more extensive picture, focusing on the interplay between several factors, namely skills, motivation and well-being, in the beginning of schooling. This perspective holds promise to further our understanding of the mechanisms behind the numeracy development. Advanced technological and methodological approaches will be utilised. Children’s numeracy development is investigated in depth using eye tracking technology in certain numeracy tasks, physiological responses (heart rate and skin conductance) are measured during numeracy tasks in relation to math anxiety. Person-centred methods and latent growth analyses are applied in statistical analyses.

Financing

The Norwegian Research Council, FINNUT (Young Research Talent), 2018-2022

Cooperation

Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland

Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies, Åbo Akademi University, Finland

Department of Psychology, University of Uppsala, Sweden

Department of Psychology, University of York, UK

Scientific advisory board

Annemie Desoete, University of Ghent, Belgium

Elin Reikerås, University of Stavanger, Norway

Nicholas Badcock, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

 

 

 

Tags: Learning, Motivation, Well-being, Numeracy, Mathematics, Eye-tracking, Longitudinal design
Published Sep. 11, 2018 3:31 PM - Last modified July 6, 2019 11:05 AM