Number line estimation strategies in children with mathematical learning difficulties measured by eye tracking
Number of pages
SourcePsychological Research, 80, 3, (2016), pp. 368-378
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
Introduction: Number line estimation is one of the skills related to mathematical performance. Previous research has shown that eye tracking can be used to identify differences in the estimation strategies children with dyscalculia and children with typical mathematical development use on number line estimation tasks. The current study extends these findings to a larger group of children with mathematical learning disabilities (MLD). Method: A group of 9-11-year-old children with MLD (N = 14) was compared to a control group of children without math difficulties (N = 14). Number line estimation was measured using a 0-100 and a 0-1000 number-to-position task. A Tobii T60 eye tracker was used to measure the children's eye movements during task performance. Results: The behavioral data showed that the children with MLD had higher error scores on both number lines than the children in the control group. The eye tracking data showed that the groups also differed in their estimation strategies. The children with MLD showed less adaptation of their estimation strategies to the number to be estimated. Conclusion: This study shows that children with MLD attend to different features of the number line than children without math difficulties. Children with math difficulties are less capable of adapting their estimation strategies to the numbers to be estimated and of effectively using reference points on the number line.
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