The influence of cognition and the home environment on early numeracy

This project will examine the influence of the home learning environment, language skills and cognitive abilities on children's early number skills.

Although the main focus will be on the influence of the home learning environment, the researchers will also analyse other factors, such as the quality of the preschool environment and socioeconomic status.

Understanding the factors that support the development of early numbers skills is important, because these skills are excellent predictors of later mathematical attainment.

250 preschool children will take part in the study. During the children's preschool year (the academic year in which they turn 4), the researchers will first assess the quality of the home learning environment and the preschool experience, and assess each child's number skills. This will be followed by an assessment of each child's cognitive and language skills.

One year later – in the summer term of children's Reception year – the researchers will assess their number skills.

The team will use this longitudinal data to examine three key questions:

  • To what extent do preschool language and cognitive skills predict growth in early number skills?
  • To what extent do aspects of the home learning environment that relate to number, language and literacy predict growth in early number skills?
  • How directly does the quality of the home learning environment influence early number skills, and how does this relate to the promotion of language skills?
Project details

 

Researchers:

Dr Fiona SimmonsDr Anne-Marie Adams and Dr Catherine Willis

School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moore University

Grant amount and duration:

£151,609

1 August 2016 - 1 October 2018

Funding programme:

Early Years Education and Childcare