Browsing by Subject "matemaattiset taidot"

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  • Kainulainen, Julia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Cognitive abilities, native language and mathematical skills in primary school children: is there a relationship? Introduction Mathematical abilities are important for the future of the individual, as they are related to for example education, employment and exclusion. Previous research has shown that cognitive abilities are related to mathematical skills, although the results are contradictory. According to literature, visual and verbal reasoning skills have independent effects on different areas in mathematics. In addition, working memory seems to play a major role in mathematical abilities. This study examines the relationship between visual and verbal reasoning skills, working memory and mathematical skills. In addition, we were interested in how the mathematical abilities of the children developed during this two-schoolyear-long follow-up period, as well as the impact of special education, home language and gender on mathematical abilities. Methods A total of 73 students, of whom 34 were girls, participated in this follow-up study. At the beginning of the study they were in the third grade of primary school. The data is part of the Arts@School project. The children’s cognitive abilities were assessed with the block design, comprehension and digit span subtests of the WISC-IV -test battery. Mathematical abilities were assessed using the MATTE test which includes verbal mathematical problems and the RMAT test which consist of basic arithmetic tasks. Three measurement points of the tests were used in the analyses. Linear mixed models were used in the statistical analyses. Results and conclusions Cognitive abilities were found to be related to mathematical skills. Visual and verbal reasoning skills predicted performance in verbal mathematical problems, while working memory predicted performance in the basic arithmetic test. Special education status was associated with poorer performance in the mathematical tasks. No gender differences were found in this data. Language had no independent effect on mathematical skills, but language influenced the development of mathematical skills. Finnish-speakers developed steadily throughout the study, while the development of foreign language-speakers subsided between the second and third measurements. The difference between Finnish-speakers and foreign language-speakers was statistically significant at the last measurement point. The results are in line with previous studies, with the difference that in this study, working memory predicted only performance in the basic arithmetic test and not in the more complicated word problems
  • Vartiainen, Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Aims. The aim of this Master’s Thesis (Special Education) is to evaluate reliability and validity of the CodyTest in Finland with grade 2–4 children. The CodyTest is designed to identify children who are at risk for mathematical learning difficulties. The test’s reliability and validity has been evaluated in German sample, but not before with Finnish sample. Methods. Fivehundredthirteen children participate the study. Data was collected during years 2016–2017 and that was part of teacher’s training program of Niilo Mäki Instituutti. The teachers used the test with children in their own classes. The data is owned by Niilo Mäki Instituutti, which granted it to be used in this study. The construction of CodyTest was evaluated by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and the reliability was evaluated by Cronbach’s alfa. Configural freqvency analysis and Pearson’s correlation was used to assess if the results of CodyTest were stable over seven months. The concurrent validity of CodyTest was evaluated with correlations between CodyTest and other mathematical skills tests. Results. The structural equation model which was found by CFA has a good fit (X^2 (33)=99.427, p<0.001, CFI=0.96, TLI=0.93, RMSEA=0.06). The analysis showed that CodyTest has two latent factors, namely “subitizing and comparing” (α=0.75) and “number sequence and basic arithmetic skills” (α=0.74). The composite test’s reliability was 0.77. The stability of CodyTest’s scores were reliable between seven months, the test-retest correlations were high, and it was possible to identify low performing children both times. The two factor and composite scores were correlating with mathematics skills test total scores. The results in this thesis show that the reliability and validity of CodyTest are good in Finnish sample.
  • Keskinen, Hanna-Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    A decline in math performance has been a topic of discussion in recent years. Specifically the lowering achievement of boys has raised concern. This study investigates the extent to which mathematics achievement level and students’ background explain the decline. It is known that math skills develop hierarchically and there is a strong association between previous and later math performance. The achievement level of middle school aged students is already quite stable. In addition, higher achievement level is related to better cognitive abilities, more positive attitudes towards learning and higher socioeconomic status (SES). Based on previous research on the development of math achievement, three hypotheses were tested. It was assumed that the loss of math skills is mediated by lower achievement level, immigrant background, lower SES and male gender. It was also assumed that the three-tiered support for learning protects from the decline. The data (N=6021) were drawn from the MetrOP-research project, and consisted of students who participated in the math assessment in the beginning of 7th grade in 2011 and at the end of 9th grade in 2014. The sample was coded according to two categories: those whose performance declined and those whose performance remained stable or improved based on the difference of the two test results. Three models were tested with logistic regression. The first model focused on achievement level, and included the test result of 2011 and math grade of 6th grade as independent variables. In the second model the effects of student characteristics were tested, and it included immigrant status, SES and gender as independent variables. The third model tested if the support for learning protects from the decline, and the information about the three-tiered support was added as an independent variable in addition to the variables in the first two models. The results indicate that there is no strong association between the ability level or student background characteristics and the loss of math achievement. The achievement level had minor and inconsistent effect, since lower grades and the higher test performance of 2011 both had positive effects. The variables of student characteristics were inadequate to explain the decline in the second model, and only the immigrant status and SES had minor effects when the achievement level was in the model. The three-tiered support also had no effect. Overall it seems that there is a loss of curriculum based math skills across ability levels and there is a need to strengthen the basic math skills of middle school students.
  • Leminen, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    According to earlier research, Finnish students and students with immigrant background have significant differences between their mathematic skills during comprehensive school. Previous research also shows that mathematic skills are linked with working memory skills. Children’s biological primary skills, cognitive development, social interaction, and common cultural factors affect their mathematic skill development. According to earlier studies, mother’s level of education, linguistic expression, assignment orientation are explanatory factors in the beginning of school. The purpose of this study was to examine if there is a difference between Finnish students’ and students with immigrant background in their mathematic skills at grade six. If there are differences is it possible to explain them with working memory skills? Another purpose was to examine other explanatory factors for these differences. Theoretical framework is based on working memory, mathematical skills and students with immigrant background. The data were collected by Centre for Educational Assessment in spring 2016. A total of 2014 sixth grade students from one municipality in the Helsinki metropolitan area participated in this assessment. In this study, two different mathematical tasks and working memory skills task were used. The differences between Finnish population and immigrant background population in mathematic performance were first analysed by one way ANOVA. Regression analysis was used to examine whether the differences could be explained by working memory skills and the level of mother’s education. According to this study, there are significant differences between Finnish students and students with immigrant background in mathematic skills and also working memory skills. The explanatory factors that influence students’ mathematic skills are their working memory capacity, mother’s education level and their native language. The results of this study are parallel with previous studies. According to this study, students with immigrant background need more support with their school work. By supporting immigrant families to integrate to Finnish society will improve student’s school success.