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Development of numeracy and literacy in children - preproject (completed)

This pre-project aimed at establishing a basis for a longitudinal study, to help us understand the interrelations between numeracy and literacy and their precursor skills, aiming toward early identification and support of children with risk for learning disabilities.

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This pre-project has been followed by the research project NumLit - Development of numeracy and literacy in children, financed by the FINNUT-programme at The Norwegian Research Council. 

The pre-project was funded by internal research funds from the Department of Special Needs Education (2017-2018).


To learn to master numeracy and literacy is an essential part of human development. Unfortunately, previous research has two major flaws that have limited our understanding of their development:

  • First, despite clear knowledge that these two areas are highly related, they have most often been studied in isolation.
  • Secondly, studies of the two together have mainly focused on causes of comorbidity between reading and math disorders.

The diagnostic cut-off for these disorders are arbitrary and vary between studies, making it difficult to form a clear picture of what is involved in the early and later development of reading and math skills and what is common between them. Finally, most previous studies have used narrow definitions of literacy and numeracy, based on a few specific tests, rather than examining a wide range of relevant skills and their components.

This means that even when we have information about rates of development and interrelations, especially for literacy, there is little understanding of the underlying skills and how they may have dependent on earlier precursor abilities and skills.

Published Nov. 10, 2017 2:12 PM - Last modified Apr. 8, 2020 9:47 AM