This article discusses the role of the three components of executive functions (EF) in geometric understanding. Discussing several examples of geometry problems, this article shows how EF are actively employed to solve geometry problems. Inhibition as the first component of EF helps the individual to suppress contextually irrelevant information. This strengthen the degree of focus on what is relevant to the problem being solved. In some geometry problems, the individual needs to rotate or manipulate shapes in her/his mind. Working memory as the second component of EF keeps a mental image of various positions of the rotating shape before rotation, after rotation, and during rotation. Keeping a clear mental image of these positions and comparing them with each other could facilitate the process of relating inferences to each other throughout the process of solving a geometry problem. Cognitive flexibility as the third component of EF helps the individual in the process of shift of attention between various parts of geometric shapes. Finally, it is suggested that the components of EF are in active collaboration with other cognitive resources such as the motor system in the process of solving geometry problems.
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- Go to article: The Importance of Metacognitive Strategies in Reading Literacy—Results of the PISA Testing in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Importance of Metacognitive Strategies in Reading Literacy—Results of the PISA Testing in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a large-scale assessment of 15-year-old students’ achievements in three broad areas: Reading, science, and mathematics. PISA results are widely used in discussions on various educational aspects, such as educational policy, quality of education, and teaching methods. Although PISA started in 2000, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) participated for the first time in 2018. The core subject for the 2018 circle of testing was reading. Thus, the goal of the present article was to examine the effects of metacognitive strategies on the reading achievement of students in BIH. The sample for this analysis was composed of 5,482 students (2,701 female and 2,781 male students). The results showed that metacognitive strategies had a significant effect on reading achievement. We conclude the article with some remarks on how teachers can employ metacognitive strategies in their everyday practice and thus increase their students’ reading achievement.
- Go to article: A Novel Proposal to Use Thinking Maps to Embed Blooms’ Taxonomy Within Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
A Novel Proposal to Use Thinking Maps to Embed Blooms’ Taxonomy Within Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
In this article, a methodology for utilizing eight Thinking Maps that are linked to a cognitive taxonomy will be explored. Firstly, the various taxonomies focusing on cognitive processes will be elaborated upon, namely Bloom’s Taxonomy as well as Barret’s Taxonomy that is used in the education system. Following this, the article will explore the questioning strategy that links questions to either taxonomy and how this strategy is currently employed in classrooms worldwide. A section then elucidates the eight Thinking Maps and what types of thought processes are associated with each map. A methodology will be discussed that links the eight Thinking Maps to verbs that are all associated with the previously mentioned taxonomies. Finally, an adaptive systematic methodology will be elaborated upon, linking to the information processing theory.
- Go to article: A Modest Proposal: Towards a Theory and Practice of Teaching Using Vygotsky’s N + 1 Principle in Dialogic Learning
A Modest Proposal: Towards a Theory and Practice of Teaching Using Vygotsky’s N + 1 Principle in Dialogic Learning
This article addresses the problem of “education for all,” and offers a research proposal that replaces procedural learning by a learning practice whereby all are engaged. Although educational research since 1990 of dialogical learning (DL) and collaborative learning (CL) have shown that it is possible to promote the learning practices that they focus on, little evidence is available on long-term effects of school achievement. Teachers also face pressure from both the UK and USA governments having produced policy documents favouring procedural teaching. An exception is CASE, Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education (1984 onwards), and a 2-year course for 12–14 year-olds. This functioned by collaborative learning placed in highly structured theory-based science lessons based on Piagetian models of difficulty. Students consistently performed higher in National exams in science, maths and English at 16 (Shayer, 1999b). It is argued that a better way of changing teaching practice would be to place it in teachers’ initial training. By assisting trainee science teachers, in designing their science curriculum lessons—assisted by DL and CL literature—to extract and use the same theory-base that had been used by CA staff for constructing CASE lessons, they would possess a valid theory and practice of teaching.
How much people believe that they understand information, so-called metacomprehension, is important for education. This ability to discriminate between well-learned versus not well-learned information is important to allow the student to decide which areas need further understanding. Feedback can affect metacomprehension and is important for guiding student self-regulated learning. The effects of taking an assessment and finding out the score on self-rated understanding, interest, and knowledge were measured. Participants sampled via MTurk were randomly allocated to one of three groups using Qualtrics in-built randomizer, with the restriction of equal numbers in conditions. The three groups were asked metacomprehension questions: a) after reading a passage but before taking an assessment (Pre-Test group); b) after taking an assessment but before being told their score (Post-Test group); and c) after hearing their score (Post-Feedback group). Responses for understanding and interest substantially decreased between those asked these questions before receiving the feedback versus those asked after receiving the feedback. These self-ratings were also used to predict scores on a later assessment and were similar in their diagnostic value for all conditions.
- Go to article: Comparative Study of Executive Functions in Bilingual TD and SLD Children From Grade 2 to Grade 4
The development of executive functions (EF) in bilingual children with a specific learning disorder (SLD) is a growing area of research interest. Our objective is to study the development of EF in Lebanese children with typical development (TD) and presenting SLD, in the primary grades (Grades 2, 3, and 4). Ninety TD and ninety SLD children, in Grade 2, 3, and 4, were recruited in Lebanese public and private schools. Inhibition, working memory (WM), flexibility and planning were evaluated through the following tests: Image matching test, Numbers retention test in backward order, Corsi block tapping test, Opposite Worlds test, Categorization test (Animal Sorting), and LABY 5–12 test. When comparing the two groups of children in terms of inhibition and WM, the statistical tests show significantly that SLD children are more impulsive than TD children and have a lower visuospatial and verbal WM. SLD children are also slower than TD children in the Opposite Worlds test that assesses flexibility. Similarly, the planning capacity is lower in SLD children compared to TD children. All results improved across grades. This work can explain the cognitive components related to learning, for a better management of specific learning disorders.
- Go to article: Metaphor Literacy: Varying Levels of Relational-Structure Consistency in Interpretations by Indonesian Native Speakers
Metaphor Literacy: Varying Levels of Relational-Structure Consistency in Interpretations by Indonesian Native Speakers
One major view as to the mechanism underlying metaphor interpretation is that it is based on relational-structure consistency (a.k.a. analogy) between target and vehicle. This entails a possibility of varying levels of stringency of analogical processing by individuals. This can be viewed as metaphor literacy. The study, involving 77 Indonesian college students, investigates the extent to which metaphor interpretations made by early-adult native speakers are analogically grounded. The study used eight metaphors selected through a familiarity-rating survey of 37 metaphoric expressions taken from printed media sources. The results showed that, for each metaphor, there was an average of 12.1 different suggestions (S.D. ranging from 4.2 to 9.7) and that 72.2% of the interpretations were categorized as not being strongly grounded on relational-structure consistency. The study suggests that the looseness of the interpretations can be accounted to either the subjects’ preference for not being stringent in observing analogical processing or their being unaccustomed to an analogical manner of metaphor interpretation.
This qualitative study aimed to examine: 1) the manner in which kindergarten children and first graders make sense of the term “area” regarding optimization problems; 2) how this manner is manifested in their decision-making and “STEAM” (science, technology, engineering, art and math) skills; 3) how kindergarten children and first graders comprehend the concept of “cover maximal area.” Six kindergarten children and six first graders participated in the study.
To investigate the children’s knowledge objectification, a multi-semiotic data analysis was conducted; to investigate the children’s decision making an optimal model of a metacognitive process for individuals served us. Our findings indicate that all the children’s knowledge objectification process included three stages: visual, contextual, and symbolic. In the visual stage, children focused on gathering data while demonstrating basic “STEAM” skills. In the contextual stage, they focused on ergotic gestures, planned how they would cover the area using strategies of symmetry and overlapping, and demonstrated engineering and mathematics skills. The symbolic stage was demonstrated by symbolic gestures, self-evaluation, self-feedback, and mathematical skills.
The findings indicate that numeracy and geometric intuition underlie kindergarten children’s and first graders’ perception of the term “cover maximal area” and that this can and should be developed by providing geometry-based optimization activities particularly in kindergarten both when teaching mathematics in general and for STEAM subjects in particular.
- Go to article: Examining Effectiveness of Rapid Automatized Naming and Reading Skills in Identifying Gifted Students
Examining Effectiveness of Rapid Automatized Naming and Reading Skills in Identifying Gifted Students
The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) and reading skills in distinguishing gifted students from their non-gifted peers. A total of 260 third grade students participated in the study. Of these students, 144 were gifted, while the others were not. As the data collection tools, personal information form, reading text, and the RAN test were used. The RAN test scores (time for naming shapes, colors, numbers, and letters), reading speed, and rate of accuracy in reading were the main variables of the research. In the research, correlational research was used as the method, logistic regression and MANOVA were used for the data analysis. The results of the study showed that all predictive variables (reading rate, reading accuracy, time for naming shapes and time for naming numbers) are significant predictors of giftedness, except for variables related to time for naming letters and colors, and that there was a statistically significant difference between gifted and non-gifted students in terms of the RAN scores regarding all sub-tests and reading variables. According to the research findings, it can be suggested that evidence on time for naming numbers and shapes, reading rate, and accuracy skills can be used as additional supporting components in distinguising gifted students from their non-gifted peers.
- Go to article: Test Difficulty in Second Language Setting: Measuring With Receiver Operating Characteristic
In order to assess the accuracy and validity of proficiency diagnostic tests in Second Language (L2), specifically regarding the linguistic (orthographic, semantic, syntactic, lexical) and cognitive (verbal reasoning, lexical decision) components for the immigrant population in Portugal, a study of cut-off points of 6 tests was conducted. This study was motivated by the unknown tests and the gap concerning the testing and rating of individuals in L2 settings, different from English as L2. The objective was to validate and inform about new tests (and how to establish rating scores and understand the proficiency level of students) in Second Language Testing (for European Portuguese) especially concerning different psychometrics for specific skills (e.g., phonemic blending). In this way, we contribute to identify new procedures for schools and professionals about testing of cognitive functions in immigrant populations. First, we examined 108 non-native students attending Portuguese schools, aged 7–17 years, speakers of mother tongues other than Portuguese and residing in Portugal for a period not exceeding eight years. Then, series of univariate analyses, non-parametric tests and the calculation of percentiles enabled the subsequent classification of the subjects’ proficiency levels: With or without proficiency. Several levels were identified. The sensitivity and specificity indexes were calculated using the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis to define the cut-off points for each test. The score calculation took into account the chronological age, age of immigration and gender variables. The evidence from this study suggests that all tasks are suitable to assess immigrant students. However with the ROC analysis, this assessment differs regarding degrees of proficiency between groups given the characteristics of the tasks and of the subjects. The importance of doing tests with discriminatory power of the subjects’ performance to be able to intervene in the linguistic and cognitive areas with the greatest deficit is examined here.
The testing effect occurs when a person’s memory performance is enhanced by previous tests. The current studies examined the performance effects of a classroom testing procedure on high and low performing students and their transfer of learning.
We predicted testing in the classroom would lead to a testing effect and transfer of learning but did not make specific predictions about the effect of student aptitude due to previously mixed findings.
Students in a psychology course completed unit exams and a final cumulative exam. Students could re-answer questions that were the most frequent incorrectly answered on the exam (Frequent Incorrectly answered Questions, FIQ) from each unit exam during an in-class testing activity following that exam. On the final cumulative exam, students answered the FIQs and non-FIQs (Study 1) or FIQs in multiple transfer conditions (Study 2). Proportional performance change on each question type was the dependent variable.
Both high and low performing students’ performance on FIQs increased compared to non-FIQs (Study 1). Performance in the Near Transfer condition was significantly greater than the Same Questions and the Far Transfer condition (Study 2). The findings presented here add to the evidence that supports testing in the classroom because it both facilitates longer term retention of the learned material and transfer of learning.
- Go to article: A Pilot Study on the Effectiveness of Kindergarten Games to Enhance Mathematical Skills
Adaptive serious mathematical games in kindergarten were used to investigate whether kindergarteners could grasp mathematics topics. A pretest–posttest-follow up design with two conditions. (Condition 1 educational kindergarten games on the computer, focusing on counting and comparison, Condition 2 educational kindergarten games on the computer, focusing on memory, counting and comparison) and one active control group (playing educational kindergarten games without mathematical content) was set up dealing with 45 preschoolers with a mean age of 68.78 months (SD = 4.46). Children were matched in kindergarten on their early mathematical and language skills as well as on their intelligence before the interventions took place. The study revealed that playing mathematical games in kindergarten had the potential to enhance the early mathematical skills. Children with initial weak mathematical skills in kindergarten caught up with their average performing peers, pointing to the importance of serious numerical games as “opportunities” in kindergarten. Both boys and girls benefitted, with a sustained effect in grade 1, revealing promising potential effects of offering opportunities to focus on mathematics even in very young children.
- Go to article: The Effectiveness of Training Based on Cognitive-Emotional Mediation on Increasing Mothers’ Interactive Literacy and Improving Preschool Children’s Metacognition
The Effectiveness of Training Based on Cognitive-Emotional Mediation on Increasing Mothers’ Interactive Literacy and Improving Preschool Children’s Metacognition
This study was conducted with the aim to design a parenting training program based on cognitive-emotional mediation and evaluating the effectiveness of this program on increasing mothers’ literacy of interaction and children’s cognitive modifiability in the field of metacognition and theory of mind. The curriculum was designed with a combination of parenting implications of mediated learning experience theory, developmental, individual differences relationship-based approach, and metacognitive approach. Twenty-five pairs of mother and child participated in the study voluntarily. The children were in the preschool age range (4–6). Mothers learned how to use mediation in daily interactions during 12 sessions of group theoretical training and one session of individual practical training. At the end of the training program, the mothers’ literacy of interaction and the children’s metacognition and theory of mind were assessed. The results of repeated measures-analysis showed that mothers’ participation in the training program increased their literacy of interaction in four dimensions of communication, emotional, cognitive, and sending fundamental love messages. In addition, the implementation of training programs for mothers led to children’s cognitive modifiability in the areas of planning, working memory, metacognition, and theory of mind.
- Go to article: The Effects of a SFON-Based Early Numeracy Program on Multilingual Children's Early Numeracy and Oral Language Skills
The Effects of a SFON-Based Early Numeracy Program on Multilingual Children's Early Numeracy and Oral Language Skills
In this quasi-experimental study we examined how the Count How Many (CHM) intervention program can support multilingual children's early numeracy and oral language skills. The program is aimed at promoting spontaneous focusing on numerosity (SFON) and early numeracy skills in 3- to 5-year-old children who attend day care. We examined the effects of the CHM intervention with existing, but unanalyzed data, of16 multilingual children who participated in the intervention, which consists of 6 weeks of intensive training followed by a 5-month rehearsal phase. We matched two monolingual participants with each multilingual participant by age, SFON, and cardinality-related skills for each multilingual child. One of the matched children participated in the CHM intervention, while the other took part in an early literacy program, Let's Read and Talk. Children's early numeracy and oral language skills were measured at pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest. Multilingual children's SFON tendency, cardinality skills, number sequence production abilities, and story comprehension skills developed at a similar rate as monolingual participants during the follow-up period. The results suggest that it is possible to enhance SFON tendency and cardinality-related skills in multilingual children before school age. Furthermore, the time spent supporting early numeracy skills does not take away from language learning. However, more research is needed in larger populations to determine the applicability to broader segments of national and global societies.
The objective of this study was to examine in what ways and to what extent preschoolers (5–6 years of age) manifest early Engineering Habits of Mind (EHoM) while engaging in an open-ended problem-solving construction task. The study comprised 228 children (120 boys and 108 girls). The study implemented a quantitative approach. The main research tool was an open-ended LEGO problem-solving play-like construction task (bridge building). All participants and their problem-solving processes were video-recorded. Micro-analysis of videos was conducted using a detailed coding scheme. The results of this study revealed evidence of all six EHoM during participants' execution of the open-ended Bridge Task. Most EHoM were performed by participants to a medium-low extent, based on the coding scheme. Significant positive correlations were found among five EHoM measures: systems thinking, problem-finding, creative problem-solving, visualizing, and improving. The children's scores on the adapting measure did not correlate with any of the other EHoM measures. Significant correlations were found between four of the EHoM and the three measures of the quality of the construction product (length, height, stability) and the time-on-task. To conclude, young children demonstrate nascent EHoM with great enthusiasm. They invent, design, construct, and evaluate like young engineers.
- Go to article: Long-Range Impact of a Scale-up Model on Mathematics Teaching and Learning: Persistence, Sustainability, and Diffusion
Long-Range Impact of a Scale-up Model on Mathematics Teaching and Learning: Persistence, Sustainability, and Diffusion
Scaling up educational interventions in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field is critical but under-researched. We review and draw implications from a series of studies investigating the long-range impact of an implementation of an early mathematics scale-up model based on learning trajectories. Lasting effectiveness includes persistence, sustainability, and diffusion. We conclude that persistence of the effects on individual children's trajectories of learning is difficult to achieve, and support for children must be maintained through elementary school. More positive and perhaps more important, implementation of the scale-up model showed impressive sustainability with teachers as it increased their use of intervention components and their fidelity to high-quality instruction. Also promising has been indications of diffusion.
- Go to article: Revisiting the Relationship Between Number-Line Estimation and Basic Addition and Subtraction in Elementary School Children and Adults
Revisiting the Relationship Between Number-Line Estimation and Basic Addition and Subtraction in Elementary School Children and Adults
This study aims to examine the differences in numerosity estimation on a right-to-left number line between second- to fourth-grade students and undergraduate students, together with whether number-line estimation is related to basic arithmetic tasks (addition and subtraction). Hence, 53 Arabic-speaking children and 63 Arabic-speaking adults performed a paper-based number-line estimation task and also an arithmetic task. Number-line estimation was represented either by the percentage of absolute errors in positing the quantities on the line, by the accuracy, or by the r score for linearity of representation. The results show that, although children's addition (but not subtraction) performance resembles that of adults, the correlations vary between number line and arithmetic scores. Addition scores are positively correlated with error percentages in the children's number-line tasks, while subtraction is negatively correlated with adults' error percentages. These differences are assumed to be attributed to various uses of recall and procedural strategies.
- Go to article: Transcoding Errors of Two-Digit Numbers From Arabic Digits Into Verbal Numbers and From Verbal Numbers Into Arabic Digits by Arab First Graders
Transcoding Errors of Two-Digit Numbers From Arabic Digits Into Verbal Numbers and From Verbal Numbers Into Arabic Digits by Arab First Graders
The study focuses on the effect of the lexical-syntactic structure on the patterns of errors by Arab first graders in tasks involving reading two-digit number and writing two-digit numbers to dictation. Children made few change or omission errors, indicating that they had little problem with the lexical aspects of the counting system. However, they made frequent substitution errors (e.g., 23 for 32), especially in the number reading task, and especially for numbers that depended strongly on the numerical syntactic structure. Such errors were less common for decade numbers and for the 11–19 number range than for other two-digit numbers. The results suggest particular difficulty with the syntactic rather than lexical aspects of the counting system. The syntactic aspects may be particularly difficult for Arabic-speaking children, due to the inversion feature of the Arabic counting system.
- Go to article: Developing Young Children's Mathematics Knowledge and Reasoning Through Mathematics E-Book Activities Supported by Metacognitive Scaffolding
Developing Young Children's Mathematics Knowledge and Reasoning Through Mathematics E-Book Activities Supported by Metacognitive Scaffolding
The purpose of the present study is to examine the effects of an intervention in which mathematics e-book (EB) activities were supported by metacognitive scaffolding on kindergarten children's mathematics knowledge and mathematics reasoning. Participants were 60 Israeli children who studied in three intact kindergarten classrooms in the Arab sector (age 5–6 years old). The kindergarten students were randomly assigned to three research groups, 20 children in each group, as follows: (a) using a mathematics EB; (b) using the same EB supported with metacognitive scaffolding (EBM); and (c) a control group who studied with no EB and no metacognitive scaffolding. Results indicated that the EBM group significantly outperformed the EB and control group on both mathematics reasoning and mathematics knowledge; the EB group significantly outperformed the control group on mathematics reasoning, but the differences between the EB and control groups on mathematics knowledge were not significant. Educational implications of the study are discussed.
- Go to article: Introduction to the Special Issue on Innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education in Kindergarten
- Go to article: Promotion of the Control of Variables Strategy Through Structured-Inquiry and Implicit Guidance Among 6- to 7-Year-Olds
Promotion of the Control of Variables Strategy Through Structured-Inquiry and Implicit Guidance Among 6- to 7-Year-Olds
Planning and conducting experiments require the application of the control of variables strategy (CVS). Research indicates that older children can learn the CVS by engaging in guided-inquiry activities. It has not been studied yet whether this is also the case for children as young as 6- to 7-years. 145 children aged 6–7 years participated in a study with a pre-, post-, follow-up test design comprising two experimental groups (EG 1, EG 2) and a control group (CG). EG 1 and EG 2 received a structured-inquiry lesson, thus, carrying out six predetermined experiments with an adult's implicit guidance. While the lesson in EG 1 was in the same physics domain as the test's physics domain, in EG 2 the lesson's physics domain differed from the test's domain. The CG did not experiment. We assessed children's CVS ability with a multiple-choice test. Results suggested that some children in the EGs learned the CVS, whereas in the CG, no learning effects occurred. However, most children in the EGs did not gain in the CVS ability, indicating that the small dose of six experiments in one physics domain was insufficient for learning the CVS.
- Go to article: Miswriting (Especially Mirror Writing) of the Digits: An Ecological Assessment Using ELFE Data
The French National Cohort of Children Study (Etude Longitudinale Française depuis l'Enfance—ELFE) tested the literacy and numeracy skills of 4- to 5-year-old typically developing children in the second year of école maternelle. Tasks were administered by more than 4,000 teachers at schools across France. One of the study's numeracy tasks required participants to write the number of ducks (up to 5) they had counted. Analyzing the digits written by 14,904 children showed that miswritings were much more common for the digit 3 than for the digit 4. This result is consistent with the right-orienting rule, which young children in Western cultures apply when they do not know a digit's orientation, and which leads them to write, for example, ε instead of 3.The nature and frequency of miswritten digits did not differ significantly between the 466 children presumed to have written with their left hand and the 3,531 children presumed to have written with their right hand. However, a logistic mixed-effects regression showed that two other factors—age of entry to école maternelle and very early smartphone use—had a (modest) influence on the percentage of digits that were miswritten.
- Go to article: Number Sense Makes All the Difference: Calculation Using Number Sense by Pupils With and Without Learning Difficulties in Math
Number Sense Makes All the Difference: Calculation Using Number Sense by Pupils With and Without Learning Difficulties in Math
The research examined the calculation methods used by pupils in Grades 3–6 when they were presented with problems that could be worked out efficiently and flexibly by applying number sense. The study was conducted with a convenience sample of 179 pupils between the ages 7 years and 10 months to 12 years and 10 months. in mainstream education in Israel, who attended schools belonging to different sectors and situated in different areas of the country with varied socioeconomic profiles. The test included addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems that pupils were asked to solve mentally, in writing and by identifying correctly and incorrectly solved problem. Some of the problems presented pupils with opportunities to apply number sense. As expected, the research findings showed significant differences in calculation accuracy between pupils with and without learning difficulties, especially in multiplication and division tasks. Still, the performance of pupils with difficulties in the accuracy variable was above average, and there was high variance within this group. We found significant differences between pupils with and without difficulties in the calculation-speed variable in all tasks and in all calculation modalities. One of the implications is that pupils, and especially those with difficulties, should be afforded enough time to work out problems, and should be presented with tasks that would enable them to use number sense in order to retrieve prior knowledge and apply it.
- Go to article: Development and Validation of a New Measure of Mental Rotation for Preadolescent and Adolescent Groups
Development and Validation of a New Measure of Mental Rotation for Preadolescent and Adolescent Groups
Measurement of mental rotation presents a serious challenge to cognitive researchers owing to the lack of a single comprehensive measure that can be applied across the developing age groups. Objective of the present study was to develop and validate a new measure of mental rotation for preadolescent and adolescent age groups. Items were conceptualized and constructed based on existing theories. Study I checked the suitability of these items among preadolescent and adolescent age groups. After revisions, Study II was done to evaluate the item properties using item response theory. Subsequently done Confirmatory Factor Analysis provided evidence for the construct validity of the new measure. Finally, Study III was done to develop the age wise and gender wise norms for preadolescent and adolescent age groups. The newly developed measure was found to have sufficient reliability and validity and hence can be widely applied for measuring mental rotation of preadolescents and adolescents.
Cognitive load theory (CLT) uses working memory resources depletion to explain the superiority of spaced learning, predicting that working memory resources will be less taxed if there are resting/spacing periods inserted between learning tasks, in comparison to learning from the same tasks in a single session. This article uses the working memory resources depletion effect, as a factor, to investigate the hypothesis that delayed testing would show superior results to immediate testing on math tasks for primary students in Singapore, as participants' working memory resources might be restored because of the resting between the immediate and delayed tests. Results confirmed higher performance on the delayed test than on the immediate test, as well as more working memory resources available for the delayed test.
- Go to article: Intensive Phonological Training With Articulation—An Intervention Study to Boost Pupils' Word Decoding in Grade 1
Intensive Phonological Training With Articulation—An Intervention Study to Boost Pupils' Word Decoding in Grade 1
The aim of this study is to examine how a structured intensive training period with a phonological multisensory reading training method, at the end of Grade 1, can develop pupils' ability to connect phonemes with the corresponding graphemes as well as their ability to decode. A total of 38 pupils in Grade 1 from four elementary schools participated in this randomized controlled trial (RCT) study. Of the 38 pupils 19 were randomly assigned to be part of the intervention group, the other 19 were included in the control group. The intervention involved 30 minutes of intensive training on a total of 20 sessions. The control group participated in regular reading lessons in the classroom. The study included pre- and posttesting of phonological awareness, letter knowledge, and decoding. The result shows that intensive phonological awareness training with articulation, during 20 sessions spread over 4–5 weeks, stimulates pupils' decoding ability in a positive direction.
- Go to article: Examining the Influence of Interactions Between Early Reading Skills and Executive Functioning on Second Grade Reading Achievement
Examining the Influence of Interactions Between Early Reading Skills and Executive Functioning on Second Grade Reading Achievement
Questions still exist about the interplay between foundational literacy components and budding cognitive structures that are thought to influence advanced reading abilities. Understanding interactions between executive functions (EFs) and specific early reading skills could contribute to our understanding of later reading achievement. The present study used multilevel modeling to examine whether EFs (i.e., working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition) moderate the relation between various early reading skills in kindergarten and second grade reading achievement in a sample of 18,174 participants from the ECLS: K-2011 database. Our findings suggested that early teacher-rated reading skills are related to second grade reading abilities. Both working memory and inhibition were important moderators for reading independently in kindergarten and are associated with later reading achievement in second grade. Research implications and the importance of understanding the intersection of cognitive processes and learning in early childhood are discussed.
- Go to article: Feasibility of a Tablet-Based Program for Training Everyday Planning in Adolescents With Intellectual Disabilities
Feasibility of a Tablet-Based Program for Training Everyday Planning in Adolescents With Intellectual Disabilities
Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) show difficulties with everyday planning. A tablet-based training program for everyday planning may be a suitable intervention, but its feasibility must be evaluated. This study evaluated how behavior changes during training and if individuals with ID can use technology by themselves.
Thirty-three adolescents with ID and 30 younger children with a typical development were recruited. The participants were instructed to train in school for a total of 300 minutes. After the intervention, the participants were matched on mental age (MA).
Only 16% of the participants trained for all 300 minutes. Participants in the MA group trained for a longer time than the ID group. Both groups made fewer errors per task at the end compared to the beginning. Individuals with ID started off making less attempts per task and increased their activity during the training. This pattern was not seen in the comparison group.
Both groups used the program independently, without adult supervision. However, a large group of participants in the ID group had a low usage time. Thus, the program might not have been feasible for that subgroup. The ID group increased their activity during the training which might mirror a strategy development of how to use the program. The change in behavior in activity on task attempts can be interpreted such that individuals with ID need a longer time to get familiarized with the technology. Tablet-based training programs are feasible for individuals with ID, but it is necessary to follow up on usage time.
- Go to article: Comparison of Cognitive Performance Between Two Generations of Immigrant School-Aged Children: Child Development Change Over Time
Comparison of Cognitive Performance Between Two Generations of Immigrant School-Aged Children: Child Development Change Over Time
The objective of this research is to comparatively analyze the performance of two generations of children (as first generation of immigrants) attending primary and secondary education in different geographical areas, evaluated in different decades but with equivalent age brackets. Two samples of 169 immigrant school populations in Portugal, with fair immigration criteria, were evaluated for the same verbal reasoning and auditory discrimination tasks in different periods (cohort 1—2001–2009 and cohort 2—2013–2017). The aim is to verify if age remains a differentiating variable of the performance and acuity, as maintained by the critical period hypothesis. That performance referring to two samples evaluated in second language decoding tasks, in different periods. Additionally, to evaluate the emergence of other factors that explain proficiency, cognitive and linguistic discrimination behaviors of two generations of immigrant students in Portugal. The results contribute to a new direction in the analysis and intervention for school groups that are highly diverse in terms of mother tongue and nationalities. The data point to a greater divergence of performance and difficulties not according only to the disparity of ages, but considering the nationality (country of origin and respective educational system). It is also clear, despite just the difference of a decade, how subjects are changing their immigration routes and their cognitive and social development.
The Concept Formation subtest of the Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities represents a dynamic test due to continual provision of feedback from examiner to examinee. Yet, the original scoring protocol for the test largely ignores this dynamic structure. The current analysis applies a dynamic adaptation of an explanatory item response theory model to evaluate the impact of feedback on item difficulty. Additionally, several item features (rule type, number of target shapes) are considered in the item difficulty model. Results demonstrated that all forms of feedback significantly reduced item difficulty, with the exception of corrective feedback that could not be directly applied to the next item in the series. More complex and compound rule types also significantly predicted item difficulty, as did increasing the number of shapes, thereby supporting the response process aspect of validity. Implications for continued use of the Concept Formation subtest for educational programming decisions are discussed.
- Go to article: Anna's Story: How a Ukrainian Orphan's Acquisition of English as a Second Language Transformed Her Life
Anna's Story: How a Ukrainian Orphan's Acquisition of English as a Second Language Transformed Her Life
This article presents a case study of an adult Ukrainian orphan, Anna, who acquired English as a second and accessed U.S. higher education despite the fact that adopted children or aged out orphans face a unique constellation of educational and psychological challenges in language learning. This article presents Anna's story in her own voice and advocates for the specialized needs of the underserved, often voiceless thousands of older orphans in war-stricken Ukraine. This article suggests that access to institutional agents and social capital played a key role in Anna's success. Of interest to researchers, the article postulates common, current language learning theory perhaps may not fully explain the distinct processes of language acquisition by institutionalized, language-delayed children. The article also offers tangible lessons for educators of victims of trauma, and would thus be of interest to practitioners as well as researchers in the areas of language acquisition and educational psychology.
The main objectives of this study were to construct a conceptual model of parent–child math discourse strategies (MDS) and explore (a) the differences between mother's and father's MDS with their children, (b) the relations between parents' MDS and children's responses, and (c) the relations between parent–child MDS and children's math performance. A sample of 56 father–child and mother–child dyads were videotaped while interacting in math-related problems followed by arithmetic problems test administered to children. The interactions were rated by the Observation of Mathematical Discourse Scale developed for the current study. The findings indicate that fathers showed higher Mathematical Extension than mothers. Mathematical Language and Regulation strategies correlated with children's responsiveness. Mathematical Extension was significantly higher for father–boy than for father–girl and higher for mother–boy than for mother–girl. Children's math ability was positively correlated only with fathers' Regulation. The findings were explained in relation to theory and previous findings.
- Go to article: Implementation of Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Program in a Primary School in New Zealand
The Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment (FIE) program was implemented in a primary school in New Zealand for 10 years old students with average educational ability. Targeted goals were to examine if the FIE program helped students to be less impulsive, plan well, and better in solving problems. The program started with 17 students for the first two school terms and from this group 8 students continued with two more school terms (one year). Results of this field study suggest that the 8 students who continued the FIE program made good gains in the targeted goals. This is only an exploratory project with a small sample of students and not a formal research study.
A conventional view in education is the belief that expending more effort in mathematics will lead directly to a higher academic achievement. Whilst no one would argue that effort is unnecessary, the link between effort and academic achievement needs to be examined further. In particular, there may be a possibility of mediator variables in this relationship. Thus, the aim of this study is to analyze possible mediation effects of non-cognitive factors, specifically enjoyment, and self-confidence, in the relation between effort and academic achievement. The sample comprised of 227 tertiary level students (92 males 135 females) enrolled in a mathematics module at a tertiary institute. Self-reported measures of effort, enjoyment, and self-confidence were obtained together with their end of semester math examination results. Results indicated that enjoyment and self-confidence sequentially mediate the relationship between effort and academic achievement. Implications to educational practice are discussed.
- Go to article: Toward Determinants and Effects of Long-Term Mindfulness Training in Pre-Adolescence: A Cross-Sectional Study Using Event-Related Potentials
Toward Determinants and Effects of Long-Term Mindfulness Training in Pre-Adolescence: A Cross-Sectional Study Using Event-Related Potentials
The present study presents the first attempt at investigating long-term mindfulness training in pre-adolescence, adopting an integrative neurodevelopmental approach. Pupils with an established mindfulness practice (n = 33) were compared with mindfulness-inexperienced pupils (n = 20) on dispositional mindfulness, executive functioning (EF), emotion regulation, and well-being. We also investigated whether increased well-being in mindfulness-experienced pre-adolescents would be mediated by EF and emotion regulation. Moderating influences of the amount and enjoyment of mindfulness training were considered as well. Self-report questionnaires measured dispositional mindfulness and well-being. Parents assessed their child's emotion-regulation using the Emotion Regulation Checklist (ERC). Performance in a Continuous Performance Task and simultaneously recorded event-related potentials (ERPs)—Cue-P3, CNV, Nogo-N2, Nogo-P3—indexed EF. Interestingly, the two groups of pupils did not differ in their dispositional mindfulness. ERP findings revealed that the mindfulness-experienced group demonstrated superior EF in terms of response inhibition, but inferior EF in terms of cue processing. Although the ERC negativity/lability subscale revealed an advantage for the mindfulness-experienced group, no group differences were observed for the ERC emotion regulation subscale or well-being. Mediation analysis results did not support the assumption that mindfulness training leads to increased well-being via improvements in EF and emotion regulation. While outcomes were not moderated by amount of mindfulness practice, enjoying mindfulness was negatively associated with indicators of well-being and EF.
- Go to article: Child Development Mediated by Trauma: The Dark Side of International Adoption, by Boris Gindis
- Go to article: Dynamic Testing of Children's Solving of Analogies: Differences in Potential for Learning of Gifted and Average-Ability Children
Dynamic Testing of Children's Solving of Analogies: Differences in Potential for Learning of Gifted and Average-Ability Children
This study investigated potential differences in the processes of solving analogies between gifted and average-ability children (aged 9–10 years old) in a dynamic testing setting. Utilizing a pre-test-training-post-test control group design, participants were split in four subgroups: gifted dynamic testing (n = 24), gifted control (n = 26), average-ability dynamic testing (n = 48), and average-ability control (n = 52). Irrespective of ability group, dynamic testing resulted in a larger number of accurately applied transformations, changes in the proportion of preparation time utilized, and more advanced usage of solution categories. Differences were found between and within the groups of gifted and average-ability children in relation to the different process variables examined.
Effective communication requires an understanding of the interlocutor's perspective. Being able to infer someone else's knowledge about a situation is a critical skill in any communication and social interaction. These abilities are part of Theory of Mind (ToM) skills and are known to be impaired in Down syndrome (DS). It therefore makes sense to investigate ToM development in this population. In our pilot study, we explore the possibility of improving ToM abilities in participants with DS and typically developing (TD) children matched for nonverbal mental age. Participants were assessed with the French adaptation of the “ToM Inventory” before and after a 10-week training session. Results show that trained groups perform significantly better on ToM tasks than untrained groups, whose performances remain stable between pre- and post-test. These results are encouraging as they suggest that, with a specific training, children with DS can improve their ToM skills.
- Go to article: Teachers' Attitudes, Motivation, and Use of iPads to Support Children With Learning Disabilities Versus Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Teachers' Attitudes, Motivation, and Use of iPads to Support Children With Learning Disabilities Versus Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
The aim of the current study is to compare teachers' attitudes, motivation, and use of iPads to support teaching children with learning disabilities (LD) versus children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Three hundred and nine teachers (294 females and 15 males) between the ages of 25 to 62 (M = 42.66) participated in the study. The teachers were divided into two groups according to their students' disability type: 221 teachers of students with LD and 88 teachers of students with ASD. The teachers were evaluated by six questionnaires: demographic characteristics, general technology use, experience with iPads, digital competencies, attitudes toward iPads, and teacher's preparedness for iPad use. Results show that teachers in both groups find that the iPad is a useful tool to promote teaching and learning. However, the findings reveal that teachers of children with ASD use iPads more frequently and for a longer duration in the classroom. Furthermore, teachers of students with ASD seek more training.
- Go to article: Comparison of Imitation From Screens Between Typically Developing Preschoolers and Preschoolers With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Comparison of Imitation From Screens Between Typically Developing Preschoolers and Preschoolers With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Typically developing (TD) children exhibit a transfer deficit imitating significantly less from screen demonstrations compared to a live demonstrations. Although many interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) include video materials, little research exists comparing the effectiveness of video demonstration over live instruction. The current study compared imitation learning from live and screen-based demonstrations of how to make a puzzle by 3- to 4.5-year-old TD children (n = 68) and children with ASD (n = 17). Children were tested on either on a three-dimensional (3D) magnet board (MB) with magnetic puzzle pieces or a 2D touch screen (TS) with virtual puzzle pieces. Neither TD nor ASD children exhibited a transfer deficit suggesting that for this task, the transfer deficit ends around 3 years of age. Children with ASD were less efficient overall than TD children on the task and performed worse than their TD counterparts when they were tested with the 3D MB puzzle. These findings suggest that children with ASD have greater difficulty acting on 3D objects than 2D TSs. Future studies should investigate if TSs can be used to teach children with ASD other tasks (184 words).
- Go to article: The Role of Calibration of Comprehension in Adolescence: From Theory to Online Training
The current study examined the effects of a computerized training program on reading comprehension, confidence ratings, and calibration of comprehension in adolescents with poor and good reading comprehension. Ninety 10th graders participated in the study and completed three training sessions. In each session, participants read two expository texts and answered multiple-choice questions. For each answer they gave, participants also rated their confidence. Participants were assigned to one of three online training conditions that differed in the type of immediate feedback provided after each question: (a) Feedback on performance; (b) Feedback on performance and on calibration; (c) Feedback on performance with scaffolding (a cue for correcting wrong answers). Results demonstrated that scaffolding feedback was the most effective training condition, leading to improved comprehension performance and calibration, especially for poor comprehenders. These findings highlight the necessity of developing theoretical and practice models of online feedback interventions for reading comprehension and self-evaluation abilities.
Individuals with low functioning autism spectrum disorders (LFASD) who demonstrate significant cognitive and communication needs benefit from using technology for learning graphic symbols for enhancing participation. This study investigated if an iPad application would increase identification of graphic symbols by children and adults with LFASD. Adults and children with LFASD used an application to learn 15 graphic symbols. Participants were able to focus for the duration of the activity and use the educational software for learning graphic symbols. By the end to the study, 50% of the participants in both groups recognized the meaning of more symbols after intervention. iPad use enabled control of the stimulus by reducing communication barriers, which increased participants' ability to learn symbols. Even participants with little ability to focus were able to complete the whole activity. Technology enabled learning of most of the symbols though the specially created application.
- Go to article: Promoting Low-Income Preschoolers' Vocabulary Learning From Educational Media: Does Repetition Support Memory for Learned Word Knowledge?
Promoting Low-Income Preschoolers' Vocabulary Learning From Educational Media: Does Repetition Support Memory for Learned Word Knowledge?
Children from diverse backgrounds are able to learn new words from educational media. However, learning is often partial and fragile, leaving much room for uncovering strategies that can increase the efficacy of educational media in supporting children's vocabulary knowledge. The present study investigated one such strategy—repeated viewing of educational media—in a sample of low-income preschoolers. One hundred thirty one preschoolers were randomly assigned to view an educational media clip teaching three vocabulary words in one of three conditions: (a) once, (b) three times in immediate succession (massed repetition), or (c) three times with views spaced 1 hour apart (spaced repetition). Children completed a target vocabulary assessment both immediately after the final view and 1 week later. Results indicate that certain types of word knowledge were supported by repetition, particularly spaced repetition. Children also effectively retained the vocabulary knowledge they acquired from educational media over a 1-week period in all conditions. This suggests that educational media is a strong platform for teaching low-income preschoolers new words, and that spaced repetition might further support low-income preschoolers' vocabulary learning.
- Go to article: See, Hear, and Touch the Screen: New Technologies and Learning by Students With Diverse Academic Needs
- Go to article: Descriptive Observations of Tool Functionality and Application for Assessing Digital Reading Program Quality
Descriptive Observations of Tool Functionality and Application for Assessing Digital Reading Program Quality
Access to books for students' independent reading practice is undergoing a profound shift from print to digital books in cloud-based digital reading programs. Tools for assessing the qualities of these programs as curriculum products are limited. This study describes a set of analytical tools for reviewing digital reading program software and investigates the learning management system (LMS) qualities of six commercial digital reading programs using these tools. Results examine tool functionality qualitatively and describe the product qualities of programs at platform, dashboard, digital book, and screen page levels. Descriptive observations highlight the need for cross-disciplinary and collaborative research work to improve analytical tool design. Overall product quality of the programs was in the average range.
- Go to article: Description of Boys and Girls' Nonverbal and Verbal Engagement With Electronic and Paper Books
Girls often outperform boys on measures of literacy achievement. This gender gap in literacy performance has been observed to be persistent over developmental time, consistent across multiple domains of literacy, and widely spread geographically. It is sometimes suggested that boys' achievement in the literacy domain might be improved by the availability of reading materials that are designed to engage boys' attention, such as electronic books with interactive features. We addressed the question of boys' versus girls' engagement with reading materials by observing 20 small groups of boys or girls interacting with an electronic book and then a paper book. The children's engagement with the book in each case was coded using Noldus software. Engagement was operationalized in terms of eye gaze (looking at book or reading partner vs. elsewhere), handling (i.e., touching or pointing at book or partner with engaging as opposed to prohibitive actions), and verbal behaviors (i.e., reading, paraphrasing, or talking about the book when compared to not talking or off-task talk). Total time and percent time spent engaged with each book was examined by gender. The results revealed greater nonverbal engagement with the ebook compared to the paper book but greater verbal engagement with the paper book compared to the ebook. No differences in engagement by gender were observed however.
- Go to article: Embodiment in Virtual Environments: The Role of Working Memory in Experiencing Presence as Revealed via Eye Tracking
Embodiment in Virtual Environments: The Role of Working Memory in Experiencing Presence as Revealed via Eye Tracking
Working memory capacity (WMC) is critical in maintaining goal-directed behavior and in inhibiting task irrelevant or conflicting thoughts. Using eye tracking data, the current study developed measures to investigate users' experiences of presence. We investigated the cognitive processing mechanisms of feelings of presence by examining how users of varying WMC coordinate their attention between their actions in using external controllers for computer mediated environments, and the actions produced by their avatars in virtual environments. To rule out the possibility of participants acting out of social pressure, a well-practiced everyday task with minimal social component was used. Participants performed vegetable cutting tasks in a desktop virtual environment by controlling an avatar's arm, with no pressure (Experiment 1) versus while pressured to improve the evenness of their cuts (Experiment 2). The results showed that high WMC participants experienced higher degrees of presence, as indicated by the attention allocated to the avatar's hand and to task planning. Under performance pressure, low WMC participants became more immersed in the tasks. The mechanisms of adaptive and personalized presence in virtual world simulation training environments are discussed in light of our findings on the effects of pressure and individual differences of WMC in experiencing presence.
Process-oriented dynamic testing aims to investigate the processes children use to solve cognitive tasks, and evaluate changes in these processes as a result of training. For the current study, a dynamic complex figure task was constructed, using the graduated prompts approach, to investigate the processes involved in solving a complex figure task and changes in these processes as a consequence of training. A new process-oriented measure was developed, which used computer-automated scoring to evaluate children's organization in drawing the figure. Participants were 106 regular primary school children (M = 7.8 years, standard deviation [SD] = 0.42 years). The graduated prompts training led to significantly more progression in complex figure drawing accuracy from pre-test to post-test, compared to unguided control. The level of organization of the figure also became more advanced as a result of training, as reflected by the highest category of organization being attained by trained children only. However, the training did not lead to transfer from the trained domain to an inductive reasoning task.