Pathways to math difficulties -A longitudinal study from birth to school-age (EARLYMATH)


Rahoittajan antama koodi/diaarinumero: 101002966

Päärahoittajan myöntämä tuki (€)

  • 1 999 608,00


Hankkeen aikataulu

Hankkeen aloituspäivämäärä: 01.09.2021

Hankkeen päättymispäivämäärä: 31.08.2026


According to 2018 OECD PISA reports, on average of 24% of 15-year-olds in the participating countries did not reach even the level of math proficiency that is required for secondary education and everyday life. Mathematical skills and thinking are also the foundation of STEM skills and are, therefore, highly important for the technological and economic development of Europe. Math difficulties (MD) may critically impair educational and career prospects and negatively affect capacity-building and citizenship at the societal level in the digitized workforce of the future. Our recent findings in Finland show that MD constitute even a stronger risk factor for successful educational attainment and well-being than reading difficulties (Parhiala et al., 2018; Aro et al., 2018). Therefore, it is of crucial importance to understand how MD develop and identify the most effective ways to support math development. Individual differences in basic academic skills, reading and math are already remarkable when students enter the school system (Aunola et al., 2004; Eklund et al., 2015; Torppa et al., in press; Zhang et al., 2018) and thus it is critical to understand what early factors contribute to these differences. We still have a very limited understanding of why some children fail to acquire the skills that ensure smooth progress in math development. EARLYMATH aims to fill this gap in knowledge by taking an developmental approach. The novelty of EARLYMATH is the early-onset longitudinal follow-up approach that includes the key intra- and inter-individual factors that are plausible risk and supportive factors for math development from birth to age 9. Such an approach increases our understanding on mechanisms and interactive dynamics in early math development. The findings have impact not only on understanding how some children come to struggle with math but it will also inform theories and interventions. Due to the comprehensive assessment, EARLYMATH will provide also novel insight on the early development of single versus co-morbid difficulties in numerical and non-numerical development. Understanding the developmental pathways to difficulties early in childhood has the potential to deliver significant social and economic benefits since problems are likely to escalate over time, decrease well-being and limit the opportunities of the individual, and result in significant costs to society.

More specifically, EARLYMATH investigates:
(1) Developmental pathways in the emergence of math skills (What are the processes through which individual differences in the early math skills develop? )
(2)The role of the parents on child outcomes (To what extent home math environment (HME) impacts children’s development in math-related skills, emotions and motivation? What is the role of intergenerational transmission, i.e. Do parental math skills, emotions, and beliefs affect children’s early development of math skills, emotions, and motivation directly or via HME?)
(3) Contribution of early environments of education and care (To what extent ECEC learning environment impacts the early development of math skills, emotions and motivation?)
(4) The child’s role in the interaction with environment (How do the child’s interests and skills affect the interactional processes taking place at home and in ECEC?)

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Viimeisin päivitys 2021-14-06 klo 11:22