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A longitudinal analysis of early spatial skills compared to arithmetic and verbal skills as predictors of fifth-grade girls’ math reasoning. (English)
Learn. Individ. Differ. 40, 90-100 (2015).
Summary: This study was designed to examine early predictors of later math reasoning in girls. Specifically, girls’ first-grade spatial skills were compared with first-grade verbal and arithmetic skills as predictors of spatial and verbal-analytical math reasoning in fifth grade ($N=79$). The first-grade girls were given assessments measuring: (1) spatial skills (WISC-IV Block-Design subtest, and 2-D and 3-D mental-rotation tasks), (2) verbal skills (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test), and (3) arithmetic skills (addition/subtraction). In fifth grade, girls were given a math-reasoning test, assessing both math reasoning-spatial (geometry/measurement items) and math reasoning-analytical (number/algebra items). The estimated path model accounted for approximately half the variance in math reasoning. First-grade spatial skills were the strongest predictors of both types of fifth-grade math reasoning. First-grade arithmetic skills significantly predicted math reasoning-analytical. Early verbal skills were not directly related to fifth-grade math reasoning, although there was an indirect pathway connecting them through early spatial skills. Thus, spatial skills, assessed by first grade, already function as key long-term predictors of analytical as well as spatial math-reasoning skills as late as fifth grade.
Classification: C42 G22 F22 C52 C32 C33 E53 C62 C63
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