Research Summary

From Foundations For Numeracy

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To effectively support children’s learning, educators need information based on existing research evidence. They can then integrate this knowledge with their professional experience and their understanding of children’s needs. This research summary draws on a variety of sources related to the learning and teaching of mathematics and summarizes their findings. Educators will find information here about current thinking on the principles that underlie learning and development, particularly as they relate to mathematics.

Part 1: The Processes Underlying Children’s Learning

Main article: The Processes Underlying Children’s Learning

In Part 1, we will focus on the cognitive processes that influence mathematics learning and achievement. We begin with a discussion of what the research tells us about three levels of cognition: information processing, mental representations, and metacognitive processes (thinking about thinking). Following this, we discuss research findings on the social and emotional factors that influence learning, in particular children’s learning goals, motivation, beliefs about learning, and the influence of math anxiety on achievement.

Part 2: The Development of Mathematics Concepts

Main article: The Development of Mathematics Concepts

In Part 2, the focus shifts to the development of mathematical concepts from the early years (preschool) through the transition to school (Kindergarten) and into the elementary years (Grades 1 to 6). From a child’s early mathematical abilities and skills to the more formalized sets of rules and strategies learned in school, this section will focus on some of the key underlying concepts and widely applicable skills. These include numerosity, cardinality, ordinality, problem solving, the mental number line, fractions, estimation, arithmetic, and proportional reasoning.


Main article: References
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