MERN Forum Presentation id=607
MERN Forum # 39
Session: 3C
Author: Sheri-Lynn Skwarchuk
Affiliation: University of Winnipeg
Title : Profiles of a struggling mathematics learner: What we know and how we can help
Description : Over the past decade, researchers have identified cognitive and environmental precursors important for children’s numeracy development. The goal of this research field has always been to understand how children acquire numeracy concepts, and how to help children when numeracy difficulties emerge. Perhaps because of political and socio-cultural factors, the field of numeracy development has lagged compared to the fields of language and literacy development. Parents and educators have a good understanding of how to help children with the process of reading, but they do not feel the same levels of comfort when helping numeracy strugglers. With recent concerns over Manitoba’s provincial test results, demands for education accountability, recent pressure for curricular reform, and some funding to support provincial numeracy initiatives, educational emphases on mathematics learning may be changing. The purpose of this session is to culminate research on children’s mathematics development, and use a school psychology profile analysis to understand how to help children with numeracy difficulties. Data for the project included 16 elementary school children showing mathematics difficulties according to their teachers. Assessments were completed on these children using the framework from LeFevre et al.’s (2010) Pathway Model of Numeracy Development. Results revealed: (a) all but one child showed difficulty with working memory, (b) the acquisition of mathematics concepts was cumulative, and (c) mathematical development in this clinical sample was complex and there was no “one size fits all” intervention approach. The session provides a framework for understanding mathematical development, which was successfully applied to struggling learners.
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