Children with learning difficulties in mathematics: Relating mathematics skills and reading comprehension
University of Prishtina "Hasan Prishtina", Kosovo and University of Jyväskylä, Finland
University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Niilo Mäki Institute, Finland
The aim of this study is to examine the mathematics skills of fourth-grade children from Kosovo in relation to their background characteristics. Seventy-six children, out of 233 tested, who were identified with learning difficulties in mathematics were further assessed during fifth and sixth grades, in mathematics skills and reading comprehension. The findings showed that there were no gender differences in mathematics achievement, whereas children's urban or rural locations as well as their socio-economic status were observed to have a substantial impact on mathematics performance of children in the main sample, but not for those in the subsample. For children with learning difficulties in mathematics, the initial level of reading skills was a powerful determinant of their later mathematics performance and the initial level of mathematics skills was also similarly predictive of reading comprehension. The children's background characteristics did not add explanatory variance in performance outcomes over their previous mathematics and reading skills learned during the first years of primary school. The high association between mathematics performance and reading comprehension suggests that mathematics and reading problems may result from a similar cognitive background.
[ PDF full text for this article ]
|Authors: Linda Salihu (corresponding author) is a Lecturer in the Department of Pedagogy, Faculty of Education, University of Prishtina, Kosovo. Her research interests are focused on assessment and treatment of children with learning difficulties in mathematics, reading, and writing; learning and instruction, and factors affecting these processes.|
Dr Mikko Aro is a Professor in the Department of Education, Special Education, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
Pekka Räsänen is a Senior Researcher and the Executive Vice Director in the Niilo Mäki Institute, Finland.
Please cite as: Salihu, L., Aro, M. & Räsänen, P. (2018). Children with learning difficulties in mathematics: Relating mathematics skills and reading comprehension. Issues in Educational Research, 28(4), 1024-1038. http://www.iier.org.au/iier28/salihu.pdf