Early mathematical competencies and later outcomes: Insights from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children

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Abstract

International research suggests that early mathematical competences predicts later mathematical outcomes. In this paper, we build on our previous study of young children’s mathematical competencies (MacDonald & Carmichael, 2015) to explore the relationship between mathematical competencies at 4-5 years, as measured by teacher ratings, and later results on Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 NAPLAN numeracy tests. Data from a nationally-representative sample of 2343 children participating in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) are examined. In line with overseas studies, we report moderate correlations between pre-entry mathematics and later NAPLAN results. However, analysis of individual growth trajectories suggests that in fact early mathematics predicts the initial (Year 3) level, but not subsequent growth. This suggests that early mathematical competences are important for enhancing outcomes in early schooling, but that the quality of mathematics education provided in the schooling years is critical for future development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia
Subtitle of host publicationOpening Up Mathematics Education Research
Place of PublicationAdelaide
PublisherMathematics Education Research Group of Australasia
Pages413-420
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event39th Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) Conference 2016 - University of South Australia, City West campus, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 03 Jul 201607 Jul 2016
https://www.merga.net.au/Public/Public/Publications/Annual_Conference_Proceedings/2016_MERGA_Conference_Proceedings.aspx (Conference proceedings)

Conference

Conference39th Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) Conference 2016
Abbreviated titleOpening Up Mathematics Education Research
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityAdelaide
Period03/07/1607/07/16
Internet address

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