Commentary on the chapter by Marjorie Montague and Asha Jitendra, “Research-based mathematics instruction for students with learning disabilities”. How do cognitive strategy limitations relate to other aspects of mathematical difficulties? (English)

Forgasz, Helen (ed.) et al., Towards equity in mathematics education. Gender, culture, and diversity. Berlin: Springer (ISBN 978-3-642-27701-6/hbk; 978-3-642-27702-3/ebook). Advances in Mathematics Education, 503-506 (2012).

Summary: This is an extremely interesting article that describes children’s difficulties in mathematics. It discusses the problem of learning difficulties in mathematics. As the authors [{\it M. Montague} and {\it A. K. Jitendra}, ibid., 481‒502 (2012; ME 2012e.00449)] point out, mathematical difficulties are indeed very common. This has been found to be so internationally ([{\it B. Butterworth}, in: J. I. D. Campbell (ed.), Handbook of mathematical cognition. Hove: Psychology Press. 455‒467 (2005)], [{\it M. W. Bzufka}, {\it J. Hein} and {\it K. J. Neumärker}, European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 9, 65‒76 (2000)] and [{\it V. Gross-Tsur}, {\it O. Manor} and {\it R. S. Shalev}, Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 38, 25‒33 (1996)]), though there can be problems in defining the point where they are severe, specific and persistent enough to be diagnosed as a specific disability [{\it M. Mazzocco} and {\it G. F. Myers}, Annals of Dyslexia 53, 218‒253 (2003)]. Studies in the UK (e.g. [{\it J. Bynner} and {\it S. Parsons}, Does numeracy matter? Evidence from the national child development study on the impact of poor numeracy on adult life. London: Basic Skills Agency (1997)] have shown that persistent numeracy difficulties in adulthood are much commoner and at least as disabling as literacy difficulties. This article is a commentary on [Montague and Jitendra, loc. cit.].