Cognition 107 (3):932-945 (2008)
In learning mathematics, children must master fundamental logical relationships, including the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction. At the start of elementary school, children lack generalized understanding of this relationship in the context of exact arithmetic problems: they fail to judge, for example, that 12 + 9 - 9 yields 12. Here, we investigate whether preschool children’s approximate number knowledge nevertheless supports understanding of this relationship. Five-year-old children were more accurate on approximate large-number arithmetic problems that involved an inverse transformation than those that did not, when problems were presented in either non-symbolic or symbolic form. In contrast they showed no advantage for problems involving an inverse transformation when exact arithmetic was involved. Prior to formal schooling, children therefore show generalized understanding of at least one logical principle of arithmetic. The teaching of mathematics may be enhanced by building on this understanding.
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References found in this work BETA
Large Number Discrimination in 6-Month-Old Infants.F. Xu & E. S. Spelke - 2000 - Cognition 74 (1):1-11.
Exact and Approximate Arithmetic in an Amazonian Indigene Group.Pierre Pica, Cathy Lemer, Véronique Izard & Stanislas Dehaene - 2004 - Science 306 (5695):499-503.
The Construction of Large Number Representations in Adults.Elizabeth Spelke & Hilary Barth - 2003 - Cognition 86 (3):201-221.
Non-Symbolic Arithmetic in Adults and Young Children.Hilary Barth, Kristen La Mont, Jennifer Lipton, Stanislas Dehaene, Nancy Kanwisher & Elizabeth Spelke - 2006 - Cognition 98 (3):199-222.
The Development of Ordinal Numerical Knowledge in Infancy.Elizabeth M. Brannon - 2002 - Cognition 83 (3):223-240.
Citations of this work BETA
Exact Equality and Successor Function: Two Key Concepts on the Path Towards Understanding Exact Numbers.Véronique Izard, Pierre Pica, Elizabeth S. Spelke & Stanislas Dehaene - 2008 - Philosophical Psychology 21 (4):491 – 505.
Working Memory in Nonsymbolic Approximate Arithmetic Processing: A Dual‐Task Study With Preschoolers.Iro Xenidou‐Dervou, Ernest C. D. M. Lieshout & Menno Schoot - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (1):101-127.
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