Now showing 1 - 10 of 16
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Numeracy support in the early years
    (National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (NIE NTU), Singapore, 2024) ;
      69  466
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Working memory training and math achievement evidence from a large-scale intervention in a real learning environment.
    (National Institute of Education (Singapore), 2020) ; ;
    Lee, Kerry
    ;
    Bull, Rebecca
    ;
    Cheam, Fiona
    ;
    Ridzuan Abdul Rahim
      195  197
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Ratio reasoning and kindergarteners’ math ability
    (National Institute of Education (Singapore), 2022) ; ;
    Bull, Rebecca
      58  54
  • Publication
    Embargo
    Mapping skills between symbols and quantities in preschoolers: The role of finger patterns
    (Wiley, 2024)
    Orrantia, Josetxu
    ;
    ;
    Sanchez, Rosario
    ;
    Matilla, Laura

    Mapping skills between different codes to represent numerical information, such as number symbols (i.e., verbal number words and written digits) and non-symbolic quantities, are important in the development of the concept of number. The aim of the current study is to investigate children's mapping skills by incorporating another numerical code that emerges at early stages in development, finger patterns. Specifically, the study investigates (i) the order in which mapping skills develop and the association with young children's understanding of cardinality; and (ii) whether finger patterns are processed similarly to symbolic codes or rather as non-symbolic quantities. Preschool children (3-year-olds, N = 113, Mage = 40.8 months, SDage = 3.6 months; 4-year-olds, N = 103, Mage = 52.9 months, SDage = 3.4 months) both cardinality knowers and subset-knowers, were presented with twelve tasks that assessed the mappings between number words, Arabic digits, finger patterns, and quantities. The results showed that children's ability to map symbolic numbers precedes the understanding that such symbols reflect quantities, and that children recognize finger patterns above their cardinality knowledge, suggesting that finger patterns are symbolic in essence.

      25  13
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Cross- and within-domain associations of early reading and mathematical skills: Changes across the preschool years
    (2021)
    Kwok, Fu Yu
    ;
    Bull, Rebecca
    ;
    Existing research has mainly examined the role of cognitive correlates of early reading and mathematics from a stationary perspective that does not consider how these skills unfold and interact over time. This approach constraints the interpretation of cross-domain associations and the specificity of domain-specific covariates. In this study, we disentangle the role of these predictors and investigate cross-domain associations between reading, math, and two related domain-specific predictors (phonological awareness and fluency with number sets) over the kindergarten years (n = 512, Mage = 54 months, SDage = 3.5, 52% females). Results reveal that the overlap between reading and math skills changes over development. Reciprocal associations between reading and math abilities are observed at earlier stages; then, reading abilities become the lead force. Findings also show that phonological awareness and fluency with number sets are domain-specific predictors that do not contribute to cross-domain gains in academic skills. Indeed, there is a trend for domain-specific skills to be more strongly related to achievement at the beginning of formal education than at the beginning of kindergarten, which suggests an increasing differentiation of domains over the kindergarten years. Such findings have implications for the timing and nature of interventions that aim to support children's reading and mathematical development.
    WOS© Citations 2Scopus© Citations 3  68  68
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Rasch modeling of the test of early mathematics ability: Third edition with a sample of K1 children in Singapore
    (2017)
    Yao, Shih-Ying
    ;
    ;
    Bull, Rebecca
    ;
    Lee, Kerry
    ;
    ;
    The Test of Early Mathematics Ability – Third Edition (TEMA-3) is a commonly used measure of early mathematics knowledge for children aged 3 years to 8 years 11 months. In spite of its wide use, research on the psychometric properties of TEMA-3 remains limited. This study applied the Rasch model to investigate the psychometric properties of TEMA-3 from three aspects: technical qualities, internal structure, and convergent evidence. Data were collected from 971 K1 children in Singapore. Item fit statistics suggested a reasonable model-data fit. The TEMA-3 items were found to demonstrate generally good technical qualities, interpretable internal structure, and reasonable convergent evidence. Implications for test development, test use, and future research are further discussed.
    WOS© Citations 9Scopus© Citations 12  338  664
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Socioeconomic status, home mathematics environment and math achievement in kindergarten: A mediation analysis
    (2021) ;
    Bull, Rebecca
    ;
    Lee, Kerry
    Growing evidence suggests that parents’ practices contribute to their children's cognitive development and that such practices may reflect SES disparities. This study investigated longitudinal interrelations between home mathematics environment (HME), children's math achievement, and two facets of SES (mother's educational attainment and household income—subsidy status) during the first year in kindergarten (n = 500 children; Mage at T1 = 57.3 months, SD = 3.8). Results revealed that these facets of SES operated through different mechanisms in kindergarten—the association between mothers’ education and math growth at the end of K1 is fully mediated by HME and children's baseline math knowledge. Furthermore, only home math activities that explicitly supported the understanding of addition and subtraction contributed to children's math growth independently of SES background. The pattern of longitudinal associations suggests that the provision of home math activities may reflect children's mathematical abilities rather than SES disparities.
    WOS© Citations 12Scopus© Citations 17  66  176
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Maternal education and siblings: Agents of cognitive development in kindergarten
    (2022) ;
    Bull, Rebecca
    ;
    Lee, Kerry
    In this study (n = 1000, Mage at K1entry = 53.4 months, SD = 3.4; 53% females), we investigated the contributions of the family socioeconomic status (SES; maternal education and an income-related measure) and number and age of siblings to the development of children's math, reading, and working memory (WM) updating skills over the kindergarten years. Results from a multivariate multilevel growth curve model showed that children from more disadvantaged SES backgrounds already had a multifaceted developmental lag at kindergarten entry. Maternal education was the aspect of SES that more clearly affected the child's cognitive development; the mother's education predicted children's math, reading, and WM-updating skills at kindergarten entry as well as the rate of development of reading skills over the kindergarten years. Independently of SES status, children with more siblings also showed poorer reading and math skills than those in one-child families at kindergarten entry. We also found that both older and younger siblings affected, negatively, children's reading skills before they attended kindergarten—which suggests that the development of reading skills is more responsive to environmental factors during the first years than other aspects of the child development. The findings underscore the independent role of siblings upon entry to kindergarten, and the enduring role of maternal education even after children are exposed to formal schooling.
    WOS© Citations 7Scopus© Citations 7  44  106
  • Publication
    Embargo
    The development of number line estimation in children at risk of mathematics learning difficulties: A longitudinal study
    (Elsevier, 2024)
    Ruiz, Carola
    ;
    Kohnen, Saskia
    ;
    ;
    Bull, Rebecca
    Children with mathematics learning difficulties (MLD) show poorer performance on the number line task, but how performance on this task relates to other mathematical skills is unclear. This study examined the association between performance on the number line task and mathematical skills during the first 2 years of school for children at risk of MLD. Children (N = 100; Mage = 83.63 months) were assessed on four occasions on the number line task and other mathematical skills (math fluency, numerical operations, and mathematical reasoning). Estimation patterns were analyzed based on the representational shift and proportional judgment accounts separately. More consistent longitudinal trends and stronger evidence for differences in mathematical skills based on estimation patterns were found within the representational shift account. Latent growth curve models showed accuracy on the number line task as a predictor of growth in some mathematical skills assessed. We discuss impacts of methodological limitations on the study of estimation patterns.
      11  15
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Heterogeneity in children at risk of math learning difficulties
    (2023) ;
    Bull, Rebecca
    ;
    Lee, Kerry
    ;
    Ruiz, Carola
    This study recruited 428 Singaporean children at risk of math learning difficulties (MLD; Mage = 83.9 months, SDage = 4.35 months; 41% female). Using a factor mixture model that considered both quantitative and qualitative differences in math ability, two qualitatively different groups were identified: one with generalized difficulties across different math skills and the other with more focal difficulties in arithmetic fluency. Reading, working memory capacity, and numeracy (number line estimation skills and numerical discrimination) uniquely explained group membership. Children within each group differed in the extent of difficulties they exhibited, with numeracy variables differentially contributing to math ability in each group. Findings speak against a dimensional view of MLD and underscore the conceptual limitations of using basic numeracy performance to profile learning difficulties.
    Scopus© Citations 1  42  16