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Title: The role of mental representations of order in mathematical cognition : a developmental approach
Author: O'Connor, Patrick A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 1545
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2019
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Many authors have focused on the importance of magnitude in the development of mathematical abilities. However, given that ordinality is also an important aspect of number, there are now several studies which have shown that numerical ordering abilities are also important to mathematical development, although relatively few developmental studies have considered the contribution of non-numerical ordering skills, and most have not considered the importance of ordering skills involving ordinal sequences that are familiar to even very young children, such as the order of familiar everyday tasks and familiar daily events. The current thesis attempted to address the question of whether order-processing skills were predictive of maths achievement during the foundation years (between the ages of 4-6) and during Key Stage 2 (between the ages of 8-11). Since the school starting age of children in Northern Ireland is the youngest in Europe, the current thesis provides an insight into skills that are important for maths learning amongst very young children at the beginning of primary school, as well as amongst children who are preparing to leave primary school. The findings of the empirical chapters in this thesis support the importance of numerical and non-numerical ordering skills across childhood. The novel finding was that non-numerical ordering skills, involving the ordering of familiar content, were shown to be important to early maths learning. Furthermore, order-processing skills were also shown to be involved in the development of mathematical and reading skills amongst older children, showing that order- processing skills may also be involved in other academic subjects. The findings of the current thesis suggest that order-processing skills are important to mathematical development across childhood. Ordering skills, involving the ordering of familiar content, may be a suitable candidate for the creation of diagnostic tools to identify children with mathematical difficulties at an early stage, as well as providing the basis for a mathematical intervention. Further research into order-processing skills may involve assessing exactly how these skills they are related to reading development, investigating whether ordering skills are linked to other cognitive disorders (such as Gerstmann's syndrome), as well as assessing whether order-processing skills are also linked to maths achievement in children educated via non-mainstream educational pedagogies, such as the Steiner-Waldorf and Montessori pedagogies.
Supervisor: Morsanyi, Kinga ; McCormack, Teresa Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available