Personalised teaching and support

Scientific Committee: Daniela Lucangeli
Periodicity: october, february

Vol. 14, n. 2, 2018

Table of Contents

Daniela Lucangeli

Editoriale

Ricerca internazionale

Nicola J. Pitchford, Chiara Papini, Laura A. Outhwaite, Anthea Gulliford

Fine motor skills predict maths ability better than they predict reading ability in the early primary school years

DOI: 10.14605/DIM1421801

Fine motor skills have long been recognized as an important foundation for development in other domains. We explored concurrent relationships between two components of fine motor skills, Fine Motor Precision and Fine Motor Integration, and early reading and maths development in two studies with primary school children in the UK. Two key findings were revealed. First, significantly better performance was found in reading compared to maths across both studies. Second, fine motor skills were a better predictor of early maths ability than they were of early reading ability. Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that fine motor skills did not significantly predict reading ability when verbal short-term memory was taken into account. In contrast, Fine Motor Integration remained a significant predictor of maths ability, even after the influence of non-verbal IQ had been accounted for. These results suggest that fine motor skills should have a pivotal role in educational interventions designed to support the development of early mathematical skills.

Esperienze di ricerca in ambito educativo

Cristina Cunial

From screening to developing calculation prerequisites in nursery school

DOI: 10.14605/DIM1421802

Contemporary scientific research has revealed that numerical intelligence occurs extremely early on in the cognitive development of a child, so much so that we can argue that we are born to count: this natural pre-verbal ability to recognise and manipulate small quantities, known as «subitizing», precedes the development of actual language and accompanies the child in establishing mathematical thinking right from nursery school. This project centres on screening (with the standardised tool BIN 4-6) and early intervention in developing calculation prerequisites (from September to November 2016) in a group of 10 children from the province of Treviso in their last year of nursery school, favouring «play» as the teaching tool of preference.

Esperienze di ricerca in ambito educativo

Claudio Girelli, Silvia Mora, Margherita Achille

«Mathematics in hand». Results of a study aimed at assessing the effectiveness of after-school workshops using Montessori materials

DOI: 10.14605/DIM1421803

Taking into consideration the fact that mathematical difficulties in many cases stem from motivational and methodological problems in the initial learning phases, an after-school workshop was set up using Montessori materials. The aim was to evaluate whether a child’s exposure to the spontaneous and playful use of material centred on numbers and calculations could result in increased interest and motivation, with positive repercussions on the performances of pupils with specific difficulties. The study involved 11 children, aged between 5 and 11 years, some of whom manifested various difficulties related to mathematical learning. The study involved the use of the following tools: AC-MT 6-11. Test for assessing calculation and problem-solving skills (Cornoldi, Lucangeli and Bellina, 2012), AC-MT 11-14. Test for assessing calculation and problem-solving skills (Cornoldi and Cazzola, 2004) and BIN 4-6. Battery for assessing numerical intelligence (Molin, Poli and Lucangeli, 2007). The results hint at the effectiveness of the project, providing useful recommendations for the development of education and development programmes to be analysed and evaluated with future projects.

Esperienze di ricerca in ambito educativo

Anna Busolli, Elena Zappaterra

From the experience to the rule. An initiative to improve problem solving in primary schools

DOI: 10.14605/DIM1421804

This article gives an account of an initiative focused on problem solving abilities in primary school. This initiative was part of a wider project which involved the entire unified institute «Sicchirollo» in Rovigo, from nursery school to lower secondary school, and aimed to attribute a positive meaning to the term problem right from nursery school, promoting greater awareness of procedures and encouraging pupils to search for multiple solutions to the same problem. The initiative comprised an initial testing phase, which gave us a clear profile of the pupils’ strengths and weaknesses in this field. Subsequently, a series of activities aimed at developing the various cognitive processes underlying problem solving were organised. Finally, the initial test was re-administered in order to observe changes. Data appear to confirm the usefulness of such an approach as during re-testing all areas assessed showed significant improvements.