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The British journal of educational psychology

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BACKGROUND: Research into numerical cognition has contributed to a large body of knowledge on how children learn and perform mathematics. This knowledge has the potential to inform mathematics education. Unfortunately, numerical cognition research and mathematics education remain disconnected from one another, lacking the proper infrastructure to allow for productive and meaningful exchange between disciplines. The present study was designed to address this gap. AIM: This study reports on the design, implementation, and effects of a 16-week (25-hour) mathematics Professional Development (PD) model for Kindergarten to Grade 3 educators and their students. A central goal of the PD was to better integrate numerical cognition research and mathematics education. SAMPLE: A total of 45 K-3 educators and 180 of their students participated. METHODS: To test the reproducibility and replicability of the model, the study was carried out across two different sites, over a two-year period, and involved a combination of two different study designs: a quasi-experimental pre-post-research design and a within-group crossover intervention design. RESULT: The results of the first implementation (Year 1), indicated that compared to a control group, both teachers and students benefited from the intervention. Teachers demonstrated gains on both a self-report measure and a test of numerical cognition knowledge, while students demonstrated gains in number line estimation, arithmetic, and numeration. In Year 2, teachers in the intervention group demonstrated greater improvements than the control group on the self-report measure, but not the test of numerical cognition knowledge. At the student level, there was some evidence of gains in numeration. CONCLUSION: The current PD model is a promising approach to better integrate research and practice. However, more research is needed to determine in which school contexts the model is most effective.

Citation of this paper:

Hawes, Z., Merkley, R., Stager, C.L. and Ansari, D. (2021), Integrating numerical cognition research and mathematics education to strengthen the teaching and learning of early number. Br J Educ Psychol, 91: 1073-1109 e12421.

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