Mathematical component strengths and weaknesses of Year 4 and Year 5 primary school students
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
A lack of skill in particular component skills has been hypothesised as a cause of learning delays in children and this has been found to be the case in previous studies of reading delays (Smith, 2007; Williams, 2002). The present study explored this hypothesis with regard to the development of mathematical skills. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the delays of children who are delayed in mathematical development are in part due to a lack of skill, particularly a lack of fluency, in particular component skills. Performance on several component skills was investigated: The ability to read and write numbers, to recognise quantities and equality, and to perform simple and more complex operations. Performance of each of these skills was compared in two groups of Year 4 and 5 (8-9 year old) children: a group of typically developing children and a group of children showing delayed development in mathematics. Children whose mathematical development was delayed were likely to be less fluent at performing each of the component skills tested than children whose development was typical. Additionally, children whose development was delayed were more likely to have low levels of fluency in several of the component skills. The results of the present study highlight the importance of building component mathematical skills to fluency.