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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Research project: Nature of the conceptual understanding of single-digit addition - Dormant - Dormant

Currently Active: 

October 2006 - September 2007 Held by children with mathematics difficulties and children identified as being at risk of dyscalculia.

Research has shown that specific disorders affecting different aspects of arithmetical ability are frequently seen in children and adults of normal intelligence (Dowker, 1998; Mc Lean and Hitch, 1999; Geary et al., 2000; Geary and Hoard, 2001).This project seeks to provide evidence of the nature of understanding of selected concepts of single-digit addition held by young children (of primary school age) who have difficulties in mathematics or are identified by a computer based standardized test as being at risk of dyscalculia.

As a one-year exploratory study, based strongly in the existing research, the project is focusing on 7 year old children’s understanding of addition principles and aims at identifying a sample size of ten pupils using a computer-based standardised test, called the Dyscalculia Screener (Butterworth, 2003). The test is designed to diagnose dyscalculia in children aged 6 to 14 years and to distinguish this condition from other mathematical disabilities and other issues that can affect performance in mathematics.

Based on the findings, the study will contribute to both the conceptual and empirical knowledge base concerning mathematics difficulties and dyscalculia. Specifically, it will provide: (1) a critical analysis of the construct, its implications for children and the tools for identifying the specific learning difficulty; (2) empirical descriptions of children’s conceptual knowledge of the basic principles that underlie single-digit addition; (3) evidence pertinent to theoretical models of the relationship between procedural and conceptual knowledge in mathematics.

Funding body: University of Southampton Adventures in Research Award.

Related research groups

Mathematics and Science Education (MaSE) Research Centre
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