Susan R. Goldman and Catherine E. Snow
The demands of literacy tasks change appreciably after students have mastered the basics of reading words accurately and with reasonable automaticity. At about age 10 reading becomes a tool for acquiring information, understanding a variety of points of view, critiquing positions, and reasoning. The results of international and US assessments show that many students who succeed at early reading tasks struggle with these new developmental challenges, focusing attention on the instructional needs of adolescent readers. Commonly used approaches to comprehension instruction in the postprimary grades, such as teaching reading comprehension strategies, do not adequately respond to the multiple challenges adolescent readers face. One such challenge is the need to acquire discipline-specific ways of reading, writing, and thinking, often from teachers who are themselves insufficiently aware of how reading literature differs from reading science or history. We argue that appropriate attention in instruction to discipline-specific literacy practices, to maintaining an authentic purpose for assigned literacy tasks, and to the role of focused discussion as a central element in teaching comprehension would improve reading outcomes and would revolutionize current theories about the nature of reading comprehension.
Alex M. Moore, Nathan O. Rudig, and Mark H. Ashcraft
This article reviews the topics of affect, motivation, working memory, and their relationships to mathematics learning and performance. The underlying factors of interest, motivation, self-efficacy, and maths anxiety, as well as an approach concerning people’s beliefs about fixed versus malleable intelligence, can be grouped into an approach and an avoidance constellation of attitudes and beliefs, with opposite relationships to outcome measures of learning and mastery in maths. This article then considers the research on working memory, showing it to be central to arithmetic and maths processing, and also the principle mental component being disrupted by affective and emotional reactions during problem solving. After discussing the disruptive effects of maths anxiety, choking under pressure, and stereotype threat, the article closes with a brief consideration of how these affective disruptions might be minimized or eliminated.
Holly K. Craig
African American English (AAE) is a major American dialect. Recent research has focused on student patterns of AAE feature usage and found important relationships between AAE and reading achievement. This chapter provides background information on the nature of dialects and then focuses specifically on AAE, identifying the major features that characterize child discourse. Intrinsic student factors and extrinsic influences on feature production are discussed as well. An important influence on AAE feature production is style shifting: the changes a speaker makes to his or her speaking patterns in response to differences in the communication context. The chapter will discuss recent research that shows an inverse relationship between AAE feature production and reading achievement, and the mounting evidence that a student’s ability to style shift from AAE to Standard American English in literacy tasks is positively related to reading achievement. A final section of the chapter identifies needed directions for future research.
This article reviews recent research exploring children’s abilities to perform approximate arithmetic with non-symbolic and symbolic quantities, and considers what role this ability might play in mathematics achievement. It has been suggested that children can use their approximate number system (ANS) to solve approximate arithmetic problems before they have been taught exact arithmetic in school. Recent studies provide evidence that preschool children can add, subtract, multiply, and divide non-symbolic quantities represented as dot arrays. Children can also use their ANS to perform simple approximate arithmetic with non-symbolic quantities presented in different modalities (e.g. sequences of tones) or even with symbolic representations of number. This article reviews these studies, and consider whether children’s performance can be explained through the use of alternative non-arithmetical strategies. Finally, it discusses the potential role of this ability in the learning of formal symbolic mathematics.
Across a variety of languages, many words comprise more than one meaning unit, or morpheme. In the present chapter, reading studies employing readers’ eye movement registration are reviewed that examine how such polymorphemic words are identified in sentence context. The reviewed studies have examined how compound words, derived words, and inflected words are identified in sentence context. Studies are also reviewed that have investigated whether the meanings of polymorphemic words are constructed out of the meanings of their components. More generally, it is concluded that polymorphemic words are identified during reading using both whole-word representations available in the mental lexicon (the holistic route) as well as accessing the word identity via the component meanings (the decomposition route). Moreover, word length plays a significant role in modulating the relative dominance of the two access routes, with the decomposition route being more dominant for long polymorphemic words.
L. Zamarian and Margarete Delazer
Neuroimaging has significantly contributed to our understanding of human learning by tracking the neural correlates underlying the acquisition of new expertise. Studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) suggest that the acquisition of arithmetic competence is reflected in a decrease of activation in frontal brain regions and a relative increase of activation in parietal brain regions that are important for arithmetic processing. Activation of the angular gyrus (AG) is related to fact learning, skilled retrieval, and level of automatization. fMRI investigations extend the findings of cognitive studies showing that behavioural differences between trained and untrained sets of items, between different arithmetic operations, and between different training strategies are reflected by specific activation patterns. fMRI studies also reveal inter-individual differences related to arithmetic competence, with low performing individuals showing lower AG activation when answering calculation problems. Importantly, training attenuates inter-individual differences in AG activation. Studies with calculation experts suggest that different strategies may be used to achieve extraordinary performance. While some experts recruit a more extended cerebral network compared with the average population, others use the same frontoparietal network, but more efficiently. In conclusion, brain imaging studies on arithmetic learning and expertise offer a promising view on the adaptivity of the human brain. Although evidence on functional or structural modifications following intervention in dyscalculic patients is still scarce, future studies may contribute to the development of more efficient and targeted rehabilitation programmes after brain damage or in cases of atypical numerical development.
S. Hélène Deacon and Erin Sparks
This chapter reviews empirical findings about children’s spelling development, with a focus on alphabetic writing systems. The chapter describes the extent to which research evidence accords with the predictions made by three prominent models of spelling development: phonological, constructivist, and statistical learning. Within this framework, models are evaluated for their ability to both describe children’s spelling across development and to explain developmental change by specifying underlying mechanisms. The review offers insight into the current state of our knowledge of children’s spelling development, gained through years of impressive empirical research. This work has furthered our understanding of children’s developing sensitivity to spelling regularities based on the phonology, morphology, and orthography of words. Yet the review also highlights a clear need for further research in order to clarify points of disagreement between existing models; this pursuit will benefit from spelling research that covers a greater diversity of writing systems.
David C. Geary
Children in the bottom quartile of mathematics achievement are at high risk for underemployment in adulthood. These children include the roughly 7% of students with a mathematical learning disability (MLD) and another 10% of students with persistent low achievement (LA) that is not attributable to intelligence. The poor mathematics achievement of children who compose groups of MLD and LA students appears to be related to one or several deficits; specifically, (1) a delay in the development and poor fidelity of the system for representing approximate magnitudes; (2) difficulty mapping Arabic numerals, number words, and rational numbers onto associated quantities; (3) poor conceptual understanding of some arithmetic concepts; (4) developmental delay in the learning of mathematical procedures; and (5) difficulty committing basic arithmetic facts to or retrieving them from long-term memory. Children with MLD also have concurrent working memory deficits that exacerbate their mathematics-specific deficits and delays.
The cognitive predictors of mathematical abilities and disabilities/disorders (MD) were investigated. An overview is given of the prediction by early numeracy skills such as Piagetian logical thinking, counting, and number comparison skills. In addition, studies of relationships between language and numeracy in kindergarten and grade 1 are discussed. Moreover, the chapter sought out to extend our knowledge regarding the relationship between motor, visual and visuomotor skills and mathematical abilities and disabilities. Furthermore, the chapter discusses studies of working memory, inhibition, naming speed and inference control as cognitive predictors for mathematical abilities and MD. Finally findings about the sensitivity of number sense for MD are provided.
Cross-Linguistic Perspectives on Letter-Order Processing: Empirical Findings and Theoretical Considerations
The processing of letter order has profound implications for understanding how visually presented words are processed and how they are recognized, given the lexical architecture that characterizes a given language. Research conducted in different writing systems suggests that letter-position effects, such as transposed-letter priming, are not universal. The cognitive system may perform very different types of processing on a sequence of letters depending on factors that are unrelated to peripheral orthographic characteristics but related to the deep structural properties of the printed stimuli. Assuming that identical neurobiological constraints govern reading performance in any language, these findings suggest that neurobiological constraints interact with the idiosyncratic statistical properties of a given writing system to determine the preciseness or fuzziness of letter-position coding. This chapter reviews the evidence for this interaction and discusses the implications for theories of reading and for modeling visual word recognition.
Bethany Rittle-Johnson and Michael Schneider
Mathematical competence rests on developing knowledge of concepts and of procedures (i.e. conceptual and procedural knowledge). Although there is some variability in how these constructs are defined and measured, there is general consensus that the relations between conceptual and procedural knowledge are often bi-directional and iterative. The chapter reviews recent studies on the relations between conceptual and procedural knowledge in mathematics and highlights examples of instructional methods for supporting both types of knowledge. It concludes with important issues to address in future research, including gathering evidence for the validity of measures of conceptual and procedural knowledge and specifying more comprehensive models for how conceptual and procedural knowledge develop over time.
Bruce F. Pennington and Robin L. Peterson
This chapter explains the reciprocal relation between the biology and psychology of reading by reviewing what is known about how dyslexia develops, beginning with etiology (genes and environment and their interplay) and moving across levels of analysis to reading itself. Current research supports the view that early changes in brain development lead to reductions in white matter connectivity in the left hemisphere which in turn affect the development of cognitive processes necessary for reading development.
Eyal M. Reingold, Heather Sheridan, and Erik D. Reichle
This chapter focuses on the eye-mind link in reading, or how perceptual and cognitive processes influence when and where the eyes move when people read. The chapter is organized into four parts. First, early theoretical accounts of the eye-mind link are reviewed, and key findings that are problematic for these accounts are discussed. Timing constraints on the eye-mind link that have been derived from behavioral and neurophysiological studies are examined, along with the implications of these constraints for current models of eye-movement control in reading. Next, evidence is provided for the direct control of eye movements during reading from a number of eye-movement experiments that have used distributional analyses and survival analyses to examine the time course over which perceptual and/or lexical variables affect fixation durations during reading. Finally, the findings of the review are summarized, and possible directions for future research on this topic are presented.
Brian Butterworth, Sashank Varma, and Diana Laurillard
Recent research in cognitive and developmental neuroscience is providing a new approach to the understanding of dyscalculia that emphasizes a core deficit in understanding sets and their numerosities, which is fundamental to all aspects of elementary school mathematics. The neural bases of numerosity processing have been investigated in structural and functional neuroimaging studies of adults and children, and neural markers of its impairment in dyscalculia have been identified. New interventions to strengthen numerosity processing, including adaptive software, promise effective evidence-based education for dyscalculic learners.
Erik D. Reichle and Heather Sheridan
In this chapter we review what is known about eye movements during reading and describe a computational model that simulates many of the perceptual, cognitive, and motor processes that guide readers’ eye movements—the E-Z Reader model. We discuss how the model is being used to examine two fundamental questions related to reading: (1) What mediates the development of reading skill? (2) What is the time course of lexical processing? Simulations using the model suggest that very rapid lexical processing is necessary for skilled reading and that this processing must also be highly coordinated with other ongoing perceptual, cognitive, and motor processes. Thus a significant portion of the lexical processing of a word is completed while it is still in the parafovea (prior to the word being fixated). The implications of these conclusions are discussed, as are future directions in modeling the cognitive processes that control eye movements during reading.
Early Number Competencies and Mathematical Learning: individual variation, screening, and intervention
Nancy C. Jordan, Lynn S. Fuchs, and Nancy Dyson
Early number competencies predict later mathematical learning. Weaknesses in number, number relations, and number operations can be reliably identified before school entry in first grade. Income status, associated early home and preschool opportunities, and general cognitive capacity all influence children’s level of numerical knowledge. Interventions based on a developmental progression and targeted to specific areas of number, such as the ability to count and sequence numbers, compare numerical quantities, and add and subtract small quantities, have shown positive, meaningful, and lasting effects on children’s achievement. Guided practice is effective when configured to support efficient counting strategies, frequent correct responding, and meta-cognitive behaviour and when contextualized with a strong focus on number knowledge tutoring.
Why should young children learn mathematics? What mathematics should be in the curriculum and how should it be taught? Why do children differ so much in their mastery of primary school mathematics? What are the factors responsible for the production and maintenance of number difficulties? These questions continue to elicit strongly held and divergent views. Although discussion and empirical research can contribute much they are unlikely to settle them. Discussions of these questions provide a context for appreciating the chapters in this section. Improving how we understand mathematical development and how we can provide better support to young mathematics learners are worthwhile aspirations. These chapters outline very promising approaches.
Susan Hallam and Raymond MacDonald
It has been recognized through the ages that music can have a very powerful influence on our emotions, moods, and behavior. Alongside the increase in and ease of music listening, there has been an acknowledgement that there are wider benefits to active engagement with music beyond those emanating from its value as an art form. This chapter reviews literature which has explored the ways that music has benefits beyond those associated with enjoyment of making or listening to music in community and educational settings. It considers developments in community music, research which has assessed its impact, the way that music has been used to attain educational aims beyond those relating to music education itself, and issues and findings relating to the use of background music when studying.
Angeline S. Lillard
Fictional worlds (pretending, reading, watching television) can teach and change children. This chapter discusses the influence of fictional worlds on children's prosocial and aggressive behavior, theory of mind, and acquisition of factual knowledge about the world. Neurological changes that accompany fictional presentation are also presented. In addition it discusses how Montessori education and play are similar (choice, interest, peers, embodied cognition), how Discovery Learning can be viewed as play, and the limitations of play as a vehicle for learning.
John N. Towse, Kevin Muldoon, and Victoria Simms
This chapter explores how numbers are represented amongst children in different cultures, and shows how this can enrich our understanding of mathematical cognition. It focuses on two specific, related topics: the representation of multi-digit numbers and the scaling of a mental number line. The authors consider whether linguistic differences in number structures directly influence children’s understanding of place value. They also consider whether cross-cultural and developmental differences in the quality of children’s mental representations of number are direct influences on mathematical skill. Together, these two topics allow us to consider evidence for the existence of cross-cultural difference in mathematics and investigate factors that might underlie them. The authors propose that whilst the interpretation of data needs to proceed cautiously, valuable insights can be gained from relevant research.