Early numerical development and the role of non-symbolic and symbolic skills
SourceLearning and Instruction, 25, (2013), pp. 95-103
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
Learning and Instruction
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
For learning math, non-symbolic quantity skills, symbolic skills and the mapping between number symbols and non-symbolic quantities are all important precursors. Little is known, however, about the interrelated development of these skills. The current study focuses on numerical development by: (a) investigating the structure of non-symbolic, symbolic and mapping skills; and (b) examining the role of non-symbolic versus symbolic numerical skills. Non-symbolic, symbolic and mapping skills of 69 children were assessed at age 4, 5 and 6. Results provided evidence for: (a) the developmental course of all numerical skills showing distinguishable skills at a younger age versus an integration of skills in older children; and (b) the predominant role of symbolic skills versus the subordinate role of non-symbolic skills in the development of mapping skills. Moreover, symbolic and mapping skills were found to be important predictors for math performance. These results provide new insights in early numerical development.
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