Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/15455
Title: 
Are patterns important? An investigation of the relationships between proficiencies in patterns, computation, executive functioning, and algebraic word problems
Authors: 
Keywords: 
Working memory
Cognitive development
Academic achievement
Mathematics
Issue Date: 
May-2011
Citation: 
Lee, K., Ng, S. F., Bull, R., Lee, M. P., & Ho, R. H. M. (2011). Are patterns important? An investigation of the relationships between proficiencies in patterns, computation, executive functioning, and algebraic word problems. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(2), 269-281.
Abstract: 
Although mathematical pattern tasks are often found in elementary school curricular and are deemed a building block for algebra, a recent report (US National Mathematics Advisory Panel, 2008) suggests there needs to be a re-balance in the resources devoted to its teaching and assessment. We examined whether children’s developing proficiency in solving algebraic word problems is related to their proficiencies in patterns, computational, and working-memory tasks. Children (N =151, 10 year olds) were tested twice, one year apart, and were administered tests of updating capacities (two complex span and a running span task), computation (from the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test), patterns (function machine, number patterns), and algebraic word problems. Proficiencies on the patterns and computational tasks predicted algebraic proficiency. Proficiencies on the computational and patterns tasks are in turn predicted by updating capacity. These findings suggest that algebraic reasoning may be difficult if the child has poor updating capacity and either poor facility with computation or difficulty in recognizing and generalizing rules about patterns.
Description: 
This is the original draft, prior to peer-review, of a manuscript published in Journal of Educational Psychology. The published version is available online at Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(2), 269-281, DOI: 10.1037/a0023068
URI: 
ISSN: 
0022-0663
Other Identifiers: 
10.1037/a0023068
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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