Prediction of elementary mathematics grades by cognitive abilities
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In the present study, the relationship between the mathematics grade and the three basic cognitive abilities (inhibition, working memory, and reasoning) was analyzed regarding possible alterations during elementary school. In a sample of N = 244 children, the mathematics grade was best predicted by working memory performance in the second grade and by reasoning in the third and fourth grades. Differentiation of these abilities during elementary school was considered as a cause for this pattern but discarded after the analysis of structural equation models. Thus, with respect to output-orientated curricula, scholastic standards, and a large inter-individual heterogeneity of students, it is implied for teachers to account for different cognitive strengths and weaknesses of their students, using adequate tasks and teaching strategies like self-differentiating tasks and adaptive explorative learning.