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See detailAssessment of problem solving and higher order thinking
Greiff, Samuel UL; Martin, Romain UL

in Spector, J. M. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Educational Technology (in press)

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See detailMaGrid: A Language-Neutral Early Mathematical Training and Learning Application
Pazouki, Tahereh UL; Cornu, Véronique UL; Sonnleitner, Philipp UL et al

in International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (2018), 13(08), 4-18

Given that the use of educational technologies is increasingly popular in kindergarten and among young students, these technologies have been shown to be able to solve the difficulties (existing in school ... [more ▼]

Given that the use of educational technologies is increasingly popular in kindergarten and among young students, these technologies have been shown to be able to solve the difficulties (existing in school) that are either not possible to be solved in traditional schooling or cost a lot of time and resources. In this paper, we present a pedagogical training and learning application called MaGrid (Math on Grid), which has been developed to foster early mathematical skills in pre-schoolers. MaGrid is a tablet-based application, which provides a wide range of training tasks targeting fundamental mathematical concepts for the preschool level. The language-neutral property of MaGrid is an innovative aspect that makes MaGrid different from existing mathematical training applications. This property may reduce the barrier of language from mathematical education for second language learners encountered in multilingual school settings. MaGrid allows individual learning in an interactive way and provides real-time feedback. Moreover, MaGrid is capable of recording students’ activities while working on the training tasks, which can help teachers and parents keep track of a student’s progress in different tasks and observe potential training-related improvements over time. Finally, we describe a series of experiments carried out using the MaGrid application during special training and assessment sessions in several preschools in Luxembourg. [less ▲]

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See detailTaking Language out of the Equation: The Assessment of Basic Math Competence Without Language
Greisen, Max UL; Hornung, Caroline UL; Baudson, Tanja UL et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2018)

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5–7% of children suffer from mathematical learning difficulties (MLD) that need to be assessed early to ensure successful ... [more ▼]

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5–7% of children suffer from mathematical learning difficulties (MLD) that need to be assessed early to ensure successful remediation. Universally employable diagnostic tools are yet lacking, as current test batteries for basic mathematics assessment are based on verbal instructions. However, prior research has shown that performance in mathematics assessment is often dependent on the testee’s proficiency in the language of instruction which might lead to unfair bias in test scores. Furthermore, language-dependent assessment tools produce results that are not easily comparable across countries. Here we present results of a study that aims to develop tasks allowing to test for basic math competence without relying on verbal instructions or task content. We implemented video and animation-based task instructions on touchscreen devices that require no verbal explanation. We administered these experimental tasks to two samples of children attending the first grade of primary school. One group completed the tasks with verbal instructions while another group received video instructions showing a person successfully completing the task.We assessed task comprehension and usability aspects both directly and indirectly. Our results suggest that the non-verbal instructions were generally well understood as the absence of explicit verbal instructions did not influence task performance. Thus we found that it is possible to assess basic math competence without verbal instructions. It also appeared that in some cases a single word in a verbal instruction can lead to the failure of a task that is successfully completed with non-verbal instruction. However, special care must be taken during task design because on rare occasions non-verbal video instructions fail to convey task instructions as clearly as spoken language and thus the latter do not provide a panacea to non-verbal assessment. Nevertheless, our findings provide an encouraging proof of concept for the further development of non-verbal assessment tools for basic math competence. [less ▲]

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See detailOvercoming language barriers in early mathematics instruction with “MaGrid” - a language-neutral training tool for multilingual school settings
Cornu, Véronique UL; Pazouki, Tahereh UL; Schiltz, Christine UL et al

Poster (2018, April 08)

Mathematical knowledge at the onset of formal schooling paves the way for children’s achievement in formal mathematics (e.g. Duncan et al., 2007; Watts et al., 2014). Hence, it is crucial to equip ... [more ▼]

Mathematical knowledge at the onset of formal schooling paves the way for children’s achievement in formal mathematics (e.g. Duncan et al., 2007; Watts et al., 2014). Hence, it is crucial to equip children with sound basic mathematical competencies by deploying effective teaching interventions during preschool years. However, multilingual school settings, such as Luxembourg (65% of the pupils are second language learners) pose a special challenge for instruction. Non-native pre-schoolers perform lower on early mathematics tests than their age-matched peers (Bonifacci et al., 2016; Kleemans et al., 2011). This gap is most likely due to missing out on learning opportunities, as a result of lower proficiency in the language of instruction. To provide equal access to early mathematics education for all children, we developed a language-neutral early mathematics training tool, the “MaGrid”-app. This innovative training tool has been evaluated, so far, in two studies in multilingual Luxembourg. In a first study, children from five classrooms (N = 68) used the tool to train visuo-spatial abilities, an important predictor of mathematical abilities (see e.g. Mix et al., 2016), over ten weeks (2x20min/week). At post-test, significant gains in the visuo-spatial domain were observed, compared to children from “teaching-as-usual” classrooms (N = 57). In a second study, we elaborated a comprehensive language-neutral early mathematics intervention, with “MaGrid” at its core. Findings from both training studies will be presented in detail and the importance of domain-specific versus domain-general precursors, as well as practical implications, will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailUsability testing in large-scale assessments
Greiff, Samuel UL; Martin, Romain UL

Speeches/Talks (2018)

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See detailFourth-graders' competence beliefs in mathematics
Villanyi, Denise UL; Wollschläger, Rachel UL; Martin, Romain UL et al

Poster (2018, February 15)

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See detailSurmonter les barrières linguistiques avec « MaGrid » - un outil de formation de pré-mathématiques pour un contexte scolaire multilingue
Cornu, Véronique UL; Pazouki, Tahereh UL; Schiltz, Christine UL et al

Scientific Conference (2018, January 11)

Le contexte scolaire luxembourgeois est caractérisé par le multilinguisme et une population scolaire hétérogène, ce qui nécessite la mise en place de pratiques pédagogiques qui prennent en compte ... [more ▼]

Le contexte scolaire luxembourgeois est caractérisé par le multilinguisme et une population scolaire hétérogène, ce qui nécessite la mise en place de pratiques pédagogiques qui prennent en compte l’hétérogénéité des élèves. Dans le domaine des mathématiques, qui semble être non-verbal à première vue, des résultats scientifiques montrent que les enfants dont la langue maternelle est différente de la langue d’instruction, atteignent sur des tests d’aptitudes pré-mathématiques des résultats significativement inférieurs à ceux de leurs camarades natifs. Ceci est d’autant plus inquiétant, sachant que ces aptitudes pré-mathématiques sont prédictives des apprentissages ultérieurs. Par conséquent, nous avons développé l’outil de formation de pré-mathématiques non-verbale « MaGrid ». « MaGrid » permet à chaque enfant de bénéficier pleinement d’une instruction préscolaire en mathématiques, indépendamment de ses compétences langagières. Cet outil se caractérise par sa nature visuelle et il est implémenté sur tablette tactile. Jusqu’à présent, nous avons implémenté et évalué « MaGrid » lors de deux études scientifiques. Les résultats quantitatifs des évaluations empiriques sont prometteurs, comme ils montrent des effets positifs sur les habilités entraînées chez les enfants ayant utilisé cet outil comparé à un groupe contrôle. Dans une première étude, l’outil a été utilisé auprès de cinq classes durant 10 semaines, comprenant deux séances de 20 minutes par semaine. Les résultats lors de petites épreuves spécifiques ont été comparés aux résultats d’élèves de cinq classes n’ayant pas d’entraînement spécifique, et des effets d’intervention ont été observés. Dans une deuxième étude, nous nous sommes focalisés sur un groupe d’enfants de langue minoritaire (le portugais). « MaGrid » a été utilisé lors d’un programme d’intervention de pré-mathématiques s’étendant sur les deux années scolaires de l’école préscolaire. Les analyses préliminaires ont abouti à des résultats positifs. Des effets bénéfiques se sont manifestés sur différentes mesures de pré-mathématiques chez les enfants ayant suivi notre programme par rapport aux enfants du groupe contrôle. [less ▲]

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See detailUn outil sur tablette tactile facilitant l'autuévaluation à l'école primaire
Villanyi, Denise UL; Martin, Romain UL; Sonnleitner, Philipp UL et al

Scientific Conference (2018, January 11)

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See detailVisuo-spatial abilities are key for young children’s verbal number skills
Cornu, Véronique UL; Schiltz, Christine UL; Martin, Romain UL et al

in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (2018), 166C

Children’s development of verbal number skills (i.e, counting abilities and knowledge of the number names) presents a milestone in mathematical development. Different factors such as visuo-spatial and ... [more ▼]

Children’s development of verbal number skills (i.e, counting abilities and knowledge of the number names) presents a milestone in mathematical development. Different factors such as visuo-spatial and verbal abilities have been discussed to contribute to the development of these foundational skills. To understand the cognitive nature of verbal number skills in young children, the present study assessed the relation of preschoolers’ verbal and visuo-spatial abilities to their verbal number skills. In total, 141 children aged between five and six years participated in the present study. Verbal number skills were regressed on vocabulary, phonological awareness and visuo-spatial abilities, as well as verbal and visuo-spatial working memory in a structural equation model. Only visuo-spatial abilities emerged as a significant predictor of verbal number skills in the estimated model. Our results suggest that visuo-spatial abilities contribute to a larger extent to children’s verbal number skills than verbal abilities. From a theoretical point of view, these results suggest a visuo-spatial, rather than a verbal, grounding of verbal number skills. These results are potentially informative for the conception of early mathematics assessments and interventions. [less ▲]

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See detailA Tablet-Computer-Based Tool to Facilitate Accurate Self-Assessments in Third- and Fourth-Graders
Villanyi, Denise UL; Martin, Romain UL; Sonnleitner, Philipp UL et al

in International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (2018), 13(10), 225-251

Although student self-assessment is positively related to achievement, skepticism about the accuracy of students’ self-assessments remains. A few studies have shown that even elementary school students ... [more ▼]

Although student self-assessment is positively related to achievement, skepticism about the accuracy of students’ self-assessments remains. A few studies have shown that even elementary school students are able to provide accurate self-assessments when certain conditions are met. We developed an innovative tablet-computer-based tool for capturing self-assessments of mathematics and reading comprehension. This tool integrates the conditions required for accurate self-assessment: (1) a non-competitive setting, (2) items formulated on the task level, and (3) limited reading and no verbalization required. The innovation consists of using illustrations and a language-reduced rating scale. The correlations between students’ self-assessment scores and their standardized test scores were moderate to large. Independent of their proficiency level, students’ confidence in completing a task decreased as task difficulty increased, but these findings were more consistent in mathematics than in reading comprehension. We conclude that third- and fourth-graders have the ability to provide accurate self-assessments of their competencies, particularly in mathematics, when provided with an adequate self-assessment tool. [less ▲]

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See detailStudents' exploration strategies in computer-simulated complex problem environments: A latent class approach
Greiff, Samuel UL; Molnár, Gyöngyvér; Martin, Romain UL et al

in Computers & Education (2018), 126

Complex problem solving (CPS) is considered an important educational achievement indicator. Previous research has indicated that CPS performance depends to a substantial extent on the way students explore ... [more ▼]

Complex problem solving (CPS) is considered an important educational achievement indicator. Previous research has indicated that CPS performance depends to a substantial extent on the way students explore problem environments. In this study, we investigated qualitative differences in the way students interact with such environments. In a sample of N = 2226 Hungarian students in Grades 6 to 8, we applied a latent class approach to investigate the use of the principle of isolated variation as an exploration strategy across six CPS tasks that were developed within the MicroDYN approach. Six qualitatively different class profiles emerged: proficient explorers, intermediate explorers, low-performing explorers, rapid learners, emerging explorers, and nonpersisting explorers. We further validated the profiles by comparing the latent classes with regard to students' overall CPS performance and additional indicators of task exploration. In analyzing age-related and gender differences on a cross-sectional level, we found only a small progression toward better performing class profiles from Grade 6 to Grade 8 (e.g., 14.6% of students in Grade 6 were proficient explorers vs. 24.6% in Grade 8; 27.1% of students in Grade 6 were low-performing explorers vs. 25.8% in Grade 8), and there were no substantial gender differences. This study contributes to the understanding of how students interact with complex problems and is the first to address whether variations in these behaviors indicate qualitatively different levels of strategic behavior. We discuss the theoretical underpinnings and potential of identifying class profiles of students' exploration behavior in the field of educational psychology. [less ▲]

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See detailGeneral and Specific Contributions of RAN to Reading and Arithmetic Fluency in First Graders: A Longitudinal Latent Variable Approach
Hornung, Caroline UL; Martin, Romain UL; Fayol, Michel UL

in Frontiers in Psychology (2017)

In the present study, we opted for a longitudinal design and examined rapid automatized naming (RAN) performance from two perspectives. In a first step, we examined the structure of RAN performance from a ... [more ▼]

In the present study, we opted for a longitudinal design and examined rapid automatized naming (RAN) performance from two perspectives. In a first step, we examined the structure of RAN performance from a general cognitive perspective. We investigated whether rapid naming measures (e.g., digit RAN and color RAN) reflect a mainly domain-general factor or domain-specific factors. In a second step, we examined how the best fitting RAN model was related to reading and arithmetic outcomes, assessed several months later. Finally in a third step we took a clinical perspective and investigated specific contributions of RAN measures to reading and arithmetic outcomes. While RAN has emerged as a promising predictor of reading, the relationship between RAN and arithmetic has been less examined in the past. Hundred and twenty-two first graders completed seven RAN tasks, each comprising visually familiar stimuli such as digits, vowels, consonants, dice, finger-numeral configurations, objects, and colors. Four months later the same children completed a range of reading and arithmetic tasks. From a general descriptive perspective, structural equation modeling supports a one-dimensional RAN factor in 6- to -7-year-old children. However, from a clinical perspective, our findings emphasize the specific contributions of RANs. Interestingly, alphanumeric RANs (i.e., vowel RAN) were most promising when predicting reading skills and number-specific RANs (i.e., finger-numeral configuration RAN) were most promising when predicting arithmetic fluency. The implications for clinical and educational practices will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailProject NUMTEST: Assessing basic number competence without language
Greisen, Max UL; Hornung, Caroline; Martin, Romain UL et al

Poster (2017, September 08)

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally ... [more ▼]

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally valid diagnostic instruments are still lacking, as all current DD test batteries are based on language instructions. Consequently, their measurements are tightly linked to the specific language context of test administration and thus their results cannot easily be compared across countries. Here we are showing results of the first two pilot studies of a research project that aims to develop a test for basic math abilities that does not rely on language instruction and minimizes language use. To this aim, video and animation based instructions were implemented on touchscreen devices. A first version of the tasks has been tested with two samples of first grade children in Luxembourg’s fundamental schools, of which half completed the same tasks with traditional verbal instructions. Our results indicate that performance in the experimental group was similar or better than the control group using verbal instructions. Relationships between linguistic background and the sample’s performance on one hand and qualitative usability aspects of nonverbal task instruction and tablet-pc use with young children will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailThe relevance of verbal and visuo-spatial abilities for verbal number skills – what matters in 5 to 6 year olds?
Cornu, Véronique UL; Schiltz, Christine UL; Martin, Romain UL et al

Poster (2017, September)

The acquisition of verbal number skills, as defined by the meaningful use of number words, marks a milestone in numerical development. In the present study, we were particularly interested in the question ... [more ▼]

The acquisition of verbal number skills, as defined by the meaningful use of number words, marks a milestone in numerical development. In the present study, we were particularly interested in the question, whether verbal number skills are primarily verbal in nature, or if they call upon visuo-spatial processes, reflecting a spatial grounding of verbal number skills. 141 five- to six-year old children were tested on a range of verbal (i.e. vocabulary, phonological awareness and verbal working memory) and visuo-spatial abilities (i.e. spatial perception, visuo-motor integration and visuo-spatial working memory). We were particularly interested in the predictive role of these abilities for children’s verbal number skills (as measured by different counting and number naming tasks). In a latent regression model, basic visuo-spatial abilities, measured by spatial perception and visuo-motor integration, emerge as the most important predictor of verbal number skills. This gives raise to the assumption, that verbal number skills are, despite their verbal nature, spatially grounded in young children. [less ▲]

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See detailThe power of vowels: Contributions of vowel, consonant and digit RAN to clinical approaches in reading development
Hornung, Caroline UL; Martin, Romain UL; Fayol, Michel UL

in Learning and Individual Differences (2017), 57

The main purpose of this study was to examine the specific contributions of rapid automatized naming (RAN) measures with different visually presented stimuli (e.g., vowels, consonants, digits) to reading ... [more ▼]

The main purpose of this study was to examine the specific contributions of rapid automatized naming (RAN) measures with different visually presented stimuli (e.g., vowels, consonants, digits) to reading outcomes in first and second grade. Previous studies have shown that RAN is an independent and robust predictor for reading skills in children. Less research investigated the incremental contributions of distinct RAN measures to reading skills in beginning readers. Ninety-three children from kindergarten and first grade completed four different RAN measures involving color, digit, vowel, and consonant naming at the end of the school year. Six months later these children were either in first or in second grade and completed several reading measures. The results emphasize that vowel RAN was a strong and unique predictor for reading accuracy in first grade. Vowel RAN and digit RAN were both significant predictors for reading speed in second grade. The current findings underline that vowel RAN is a promising predictor for reading outcomes (i.e., accuracy and speed) at the beginning of elementary school. RAN performance did however not significantly predict second grade reading comprehension. Results and practical implications will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailProject NUMTEST: Assessing basic number competence without language
Greisen, Max UL; Hornung, Caroline UL; Martin, Romain UL et al

Poster (2017, May 31)

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally ... [more ▼]

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally valid diagnostic instruments are still lacking, as all current DD test batteries are based on language instructions. Consequently, their measurements are tightly linked to the specific language context of test administration and thus their results cannot easily be compared across countries. Here we are showing results of the first pilot study of a research project that aims to develop a test for basic math abilities that does not rely on language instruction and minimizes language use. To this aim, video and animation based instructions were implemented on touchscreen devices. A first version of the tasks has been tested with two samples of first grade children in Luxembourg’s fundamental schools, of which half completed the same tasks with traditional verbal instructions. Our results indicate that performance in the experimental group was similar or better than the control group using verbal instructions. Relationships between linguistic background and the sample’s performance on one hand and qualitative usability aspects of nonverbal task instruction and tablet-pc use with young children will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailDomänenspeziftät von Need for Cognition bei Sekundarschülerinnen und -schülern
Keller, Ulrich UL; Strobel, Anja; Martin, Romain UL et al

Scientific Conference (2017, March 14)

In der aktuellen Bildungsforschung werden zahlreiche nichtkognitive Konstrukte, wie Selbstkonzepte, Interesse und Schulangst, meist neben einer generellen Erfassung auch domänen- oder fachspezifisch ... [more ▼]

In der aktuellen Bildungsforschung werden zahlreiche nichtkognitive Konstrukte, wie Selbstkonzepte, Interesse und Schulangst, meist neben einer generellen Erfassung auch domänen- oder fachspezifisch erfasst. Hierzu werden Items in Selbstberichtskalen mit Bezug auf die jeweilige Domäne formuliert (z.B. „Mathematik ist eines meiner besten Fächer“). Dies trifft auf NFC bisher nicht zu – in Übereinstimmung mit der ausdrücklich domänenübergreifenden, generellen Konzeption von NFC durch die Urheber des Konstrukts (Cacioppo, Petty, Feinstein, & Jarvis, 1996). Allerdings scheint es gerade vor dem Hintergrund der Überlegungen von Cacioppo et al. (1996) zur Entwicklung von NFC im Kindesalter plausibel, dass auch NFC domänenspezifische Ausprägungen zeigt. Cacioppo et al. (1996) betonen den Einfluss von kognitiven Fähigkeiten und von (Mis-)Erfolgserfahrungen für die Entwicklung von NFC. In einem von klar abgegrenzten Fächern geprägten schulischen Umfeld und mit zunehmender Differenzierung der kognitiven Fähigkeiten (Ackerman, 2014) kann vermutet werden, dass auch im Hinblick auf die Neigung zu anstrengender kognitiver Tätigkeit interindividuell verschiedene domänenspezifische Profile sichtbar werden. Fragestellung: Zeigt NFC neben einer generellen Komponente auch domänenspezifische interindividuelle Ausprägungen? Material und Methoden: Um der Frage nach der Möglichkeit der domänenspezifischen Modellierung von NFC nachzugehen, entwickelten wir auf der Grundlage einer 5-Item-Kurzskala (basierend auf der NFC-KIDS-Skala für Grundschulkinder; Preckel & Strobel, 2017) parallel formulierte Items für die Fächer Deutsch, Französisch, Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften. Anhand einer Stichprobe von N=4595 luxemburgischen Schüler/innen der 9. Klasse untersuchten wir die so entstandene domänenspezifische NFC-Skala hinsichtlich ihrer internen Struktur, der Abgrenzbarkeit der NFC-Faktoren von domänenspezifischem Interesse, sowie der prädiktiven Validität bezüglich standardisierter Leistungstests. Befunde: Im Rahmen konfirmatorischer Faktorenanalysen ergab sich für ein nested factor-Messmodell mit einem auf allen Items ladenden Generalfaktor und korrelierten, genesteten domänenspezifischen Faktoren für Deutsch, Französisch, Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften die beste Passung (χ2[199]=1966, p<.05, CFI=.970, RMSEA=.044, SRMR=.022). Die latenten Korrelationen der domänenspezifischen Faktoren dieses Modells mit Faktoren erster Ordnung einer analog konstruierten Skala zu fachbezogenen Interessen betrugen zwischen .57 und .64; die spezifischen NFC-Faktoren waren damit klar von fachbezogenen Interessen abgrenzbar. Die domänenspezifischen NFC-Faktoren für Mathematik, Deutsch und Französisch sagten statistisch signifikant Leistungen in standardisierten Schulleistungstests im jeweils selben Fach voraus (β-Gewichte zwischen .08 und .19, p<.05). Der NFC-Generalfaktor klärte darüber hinaus signifikante Varianz nur in Mathematikleistungen auf (β=.08, p<.05). Diskussion: Weitere Untersuchungen müssen zeigen, ob sich, wie wir vermuten, die genesteten Faktoren als Profilabweichungen von einem generellen NFC-Niveau interpretieren lassen. Insbesondere scheint hier ein integrativer Ansatz der Modellierung von domänenspezifischem NFC zusammen mit weiteren nichtkognitiven Konstrukten vielversprechend (vgl. Gogol, 2015). Darüber hinaus hoffen wir mit der hier vorgestellten Skala einen Beitrag zu Erforschung der Entwicklung von NFC im schulischen Kontext leisten zu können. Literatur Ackerman, P. L. (2014). Adolescent and adult intellectual development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(4), 246–251. Cacioppo, J. T., Petty, R. E., Feinstein, J. A., & Jarvis, W. B. G. (1996). Dispositional differences in cognitive motivation: The life and times of individuals varying in need for cognition. Psychological Bulletin, 119(2), 197–253. Gogol, K. (2015). Achievement motivation: Assessment, Structure and Development. Unpublished Dissertation. University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Preckel, F., & Strobel, A. (2017, in Druck). Need for Cognition Kinderskala (NFC-KIDS). Eine Skala zur Erfassung der kognitiven Motivation bei Grundschulkindern. Göttingen: Hogrefe. [less ▲]

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See detailTraining early visuo-spatial abilities: A controlled classroom-based intervention study.
Cornu, Véronique UL; Schiltz, Christine UL; Pazouki, Tahereh UL et al

in Applied Developmental Science (2017)

Visuo-spatial training can be considered as a promising approach to provide young children with a sound foundation for later mathematical learning. We developed and implemented a tablet-based visuo ... [more ▼]

Visuo-spatial training can be considered as a promising approach to provide young children with a sound foundation for later mathematical learning. We developed and implemented a tablet-based visuo-spatial intervention in kindergarten classrooms aiming to foster the development of children’s visuo-spatial and numerical abilities. A sample of N = 125 children participated in the present study, 68 children were part of the intervention group and participated in 20 training sessions of 20 minutes over a 10-week period, 57 children formed a business as usual control group. Results show that, at this young age, visuo-spatial and early math skills are already strongly interlinked. However, the training effects were domain-specific as they only improved visuo-spatial skills, but did not transfer to early math performance in the present setting. [less ▲]

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See detailVisuo-spatial abilities are key for children’s verbal number skills
Cornu, Véronique UL; Martin, Romain UL; Hornung, Caroline UL

Poster (2017, February 22)

Verbal number skills (i.e. counting and number naming) are milestones in numerical development. The aim of the present study was to clarify the role of different verbal abilities (VA) and visuo-spatial ... [more ▼]

Verbal number skills (i.e. counting and number naming) are milestones in numerical development. The aim of the present study was to clarify the role of different verbal abilities (VA) and visuo-spatial abilities (VSA) in the development of these verbal number skills in kindergarten. We recruited 152 children (mean age: 5.8 years) and administered different measures of VA (e.g. phonological awareness, pseudoword recall) and of VSA (e.g. spatial perception, copying) to assess their contribution to verbal number skills. Firstly, we computed two independent regression models, a “VA only” model explaining 23% of variance, and a “VSA only” model explaining 38% of variance. Adding verbal measures to the “VSA only” model does not lead to a significant increase in R2. Our results show that VSA, rather than VA, contribute to a larger extent to children’s verbal number skills. Intriguingly, the development of verbal number skills builds on VA, but more importantly on VSA. These results are potentially informative for the conception early mathematics interventions. [less ▲]

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