The Development of Mathematical Skills
Edited by Chris Donlan
Psychology Press – 2000
Current research into the psychology of children's mathematics is extremely diverse. The present volume reflects this diversity; it is unique in its breadth, bringing together accounts of cutting-edge research from widely differing, sometimes opposing viewpoints. The reader with a grounding in developmental psychology but no knowledge of mathematical development will enjoy a wide ranging and challenging summary of current trends. Those already familiar with some of the work may take the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and to evaluate new methodologies and the insights they offer.
The book is an invitation to explore a complex set of phenomena for which no unitary explanation can be offered. It aims to show that apparently disparate research perspectives may be complementary to each other; and to suggest that progress towards a comprehensive account of mathematical skills may require a broad-based understanding of research from more than one viewpoint.
Section 1: Pre-school mathematical understanding. Numerical competence in infants. A developmental perspective on children's counting. Symbolic function in pre-schoolers. Section 2: Mathematical understanding and mathematical performance. The relationship between conceptual and procedural knowledge in learning mathematics: A review. Doing mathematics as situated practice. Mathematics across national boundaries: Cultural and linguistic perspectives on numerical competence. Section 3: Working memory and mental calculation: Effects of age and anxiety. Children's mental arithmetic and working memory. On the cognitive consequences of mathematics anxiety. Section 4: Sources of individual difference in mathematical development. Cognitive neuropyschology and developmental dyscalculia. Is hearing impairment a cause of difficulties in learning mathematics? Number without language? Studies of children with specific language impairments. Individual differences in normal arithmetical development.