EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE THAT TEACHING CHILDREN PATTERNS IMPROVES READING AND MATHEMATICS
George Mason University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The ability to understand sequences of items may be an important cognitive ability. To test this proposition, eight first-grade children from each of 36 classes were randomly assigned to four conditions. Some were taught sequences that represented increasing or decreasing sizes, numerical values, or positions in the alphabet, or were symmetrical, or were rotations of an object through six or eight positions. Control children received equal numbers of sessions on mathematics, reading, or social studies. Instruction was conducted three times weekly in 15-minute sessions for seven months. In May, the children taught sequences applied their understanding to novel sequences, and scored as well as or better than the control children on three standardized reading tests. They outscored all children on tests of mathematics concepts, and scored better than control children on some mathematics scales. The superiority of the children taught sequences ranged from 1 to 3 grade equivalents. (A grade equivalent is the progress that a child would normally make after one month of instruction.) These findings indicate that developing an understanding of sequences is a form of abstraction, probably involving fluid reasoning, that provides a foundation for academic achievement in early education.
Keywords: Patterning, reading, mathematics, achievement.