Local organizing committee Dieter Baeyens Annemie Desoete
Katja Petry Piet Van Avermaet
Scientific committee Pirjo Aunio Dieter Baeyens Joana Cadima Bert De Smedt Annemie Desoete Mariëtte Huizinga Evelyn Kroesbergen Christian Liesen
Gregor Maxwell Katja Petry Liz Todd Piet Van Avermaet Martin Venetz Karine Verschueren Jürgen Wilbert
A Welcome from SIG 15 and JURE
Welcome to Leuven—an excellent place to be in Belgium when it comes to research! After all, the KU Leuven was founded here in 1425. The very first EARLI conference was held here in June 1985. And the intimidatingly multifarious population of Belgian beers can be sampled here in The Capital, or in one of the other local beer cafés, provoking any researcher's exploratory urge: As far as sample size is concerned, bigger is generally better. Give it a try and calculate the right sample size that accurately reflects the population as a whole—how's that for a challenge. From the start, SIGs have served as EARLI's main forum for focused systematic exchange and discussion of ideas in the domain of research on learning and instruction. Our SIG was founded shortly after the turn of the millennium. Here in Leuven, you will once again meet likeminded people who will be more than happy to discuss all the issues that are important to our everyday lifes as researchers in special education. JURE members and PhD students in particular are invited to benefit from a special coaching and speed dating experience. We highly recommend it! Of course, Best Paper and Best Poster will be awarded as well. Take the opportunity to get in contact with more experienced scholars in our field and to become an active part of the future generation of researchers! As usual, an impressive breadth of topics is represented in the programme. We are glad to have symposia on mathematical skills, reading and spelling acquisition, social interactions and the effects of classroom composition on social‐emotional outcomes. The parallel sessions compliment this with their own selection of insights from fields like teacher education, instructional settings, attitude research, and others. A prominent feature of this meeting is the conference topic of bridging the divide between cognition, socio‐emotional functioning and the environment. We are particulary glad to have Ann Dowker (Oxford), Christian Huber (Wuppertal) and Elke Struyf (Antwerp) as keynote speakers, who will introduce these central topics. Thanks to all of them for accepting the invitation! The integration panel —Pirjo Aunio (Finland), Gregor Maxwell (Norway) and Christian Liesen (Switzerland)— will take up the challenge and try to tie together what the contributions that were on offer during the conference achieved in relation to the conference theme. Where are the connecting links? What are the driving forces for future research? Are we ready, or are we missing out on something? You're all invited to join the exchange. So, if one discussion or another moves out of your comfort zone, don't quail. That's where the gains are. And—in case of doubt—there is so much beer in this city for comfort, it's ridiculous. A very warm welcome to you from your SIG15 coordinators, Christian Liesen—Dieter Baeyens—Meret Stöckli
Theme of the conference “Bridging the Divide”
Cognition, socio‐emotional functioning and the environment seem to be distinct domains in special education research. Research schemes that draw on two or all three of these concepts are few and far between. Yet each concept has its own history, and descriptions of "bridges," or links, between them are not difficult to come upon. The general notion here is not so much that of uncharted territory but of rarely tapped potential for research and practice. For instance, to say that learning has a context is trivial. To show that the context of learning can be conceptualized in terms of risk factors or opportunities, and how these factors relate to one another in the case of special educational needs, is consequential. As far as the positioning of the three concepts is concerned in the research domain of special educational needs, it seems clear that they are not on an equal footing. It is primarily cognition that comes with a rich body of theoretical and methodological work that potentially allows for excursions into a foray of other works. Our understanding of cognition should benefit greatly from considering its diverse and dynamic relationship with socio‐emotional and environmental issues, and vice versa. The goal, then, is to further our understanding of rich developmental frameworks and to make these insights productive for special educational research; above all, intervention research. This is what the conference sets out to do. The contributions seek to contribute to bridging the divide. by demonstrating, exploring, or discussing the interactions between cognition, socio‐emotional functioning and the environment. At the conference, an integration panel will seek to work out common denominators from the findings and contributions.
Venue Situated in Belgium, in the heart of Western Europe, KU Leuven has been a centre of learning for nearly six centuries. Today, it is Belgium's largest university and, founded in 1425, one of the oldest and most renowned universities in Europe. As a leading European research university and co‐founder of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), KU Leuven offers a wide variety of international master’s programs, all supported by high‐quality, innovative, interdisciplinary research. Since its founding, KU Leuven has been based in the city that shares its name. Leuven is a pleasant, safe and bustling student town, where centuries‐rich history meets cutting‐edge science. The university also offers degree programs at campuses in 11 Belgian cities, including Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp.
The conference is held at the Maria Theresia College (MTC) of KU Leuven: Maria Theresia College Sint‐Michielsstraat 2 Leuven ‐ Belgium
Belgium's specialties include chocolate, fries and ... beer! The reception will be held at The Capital (Grote Markt 14, Leuven). This is the largest beer bar of Leuven with a selection of over 2000 (Belgian) beers. Non‐alcoholic drinks will also be available.
We will meet for the conference dinner in restaurant Kokoon ('s‐meiersstraat 1, Leuven). If you did not buy a dinner ticket yet and you would still like to join, please turn to the info desk (MTC 00.03). You can also let us know if you prefer a vegetarian meal.
The componential nature of arithmetic: implications for interventions for children with arithmetical difficulties" by prof. dr. Ann Dowker (University of Oxford, UK)
Ann Dowker is University Research Lecturer at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. She has carried out extensive research on mathematical development and mathematical difficulties. She is the lead researcher on the Catch Up Numeracy intervention project. She has published numerous academic articles and produced two reports for the British government on ‘What works for children with mathematical difficulties?’ She is author of ‘Individual Differences in Arithmetic: Implications for Psychology, Neuroscience and Education’ (Psychology Press, 2005).
"Moving beyond Groundhog Day: the routinely confirmed social rejection of children with SEN and the necessity to move a step further" by prof. dr. Christian Huber (University of Wuppertal, Germany)
Christian Huber is a full professor for special education at the University of Wuppertal (Germany). From 2004 to 2010 he worked as a school psychologist in Leverkusen. In 2010 he was assigned to a junior professorship at the University of Cologne. From 2013 to 2015 he worked as a professor for inclusive education at the University of Potsdam. His current fields of research are social inclusion, the effect of teacher feedback and intergroup contact on social acceptance and behavioural progress monitoring.
"Bridging the divide: What can we learn from what really works in special and inclusive education?" by prof. dr. Elke Struyf (University of Antwerp, Belgium) Elke Struyf is professor in Education Sciences at the Department of Training and Education Sciences of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the Antwerp School of Education at the University of Antwerp. Her teaching assignment is mainly situated in the Teacher Education Program. She conducts research on teachers’ expertise development, its relation with characteristics in the contextual (classroom or school) environment and students’ outcomes.
Program day 1 – Monday August 29th 2016 8h15 ‐ 9h00
prof. dr. Dieter Baeyens, local organizer and coordinator of EARLI SIG15. prof. dr. Bea Maes, Dean of the Faculty Psychology and
9h00 ‐ 9h30
Educational Sciences (KU Leuven)
prof. dr. Pol Ghesquière, head of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Coordination (KU Leuven) and president of Network Learning Disabilities Flanders 9h30 ‐ 10h30 Room 00.15
Keynote prof. dr. Ann Dowker (University of Oxford)
10h30 ‐ 11h00 Room 00.03
Room 00.08 Room 00.12 11h00 ‐ 12h30
Parallel sessions Room 00.15 Room 01.15 Room 00.03
12h30 ‐ 14h30
Lunch (until 13h30) & Poster sessions with speeddating Room 00.07
14h30 ‐ 15h30 Room 00.15
Keynote prof. dr. Christian Huber (Wuppertal University)
Room 00.08 Room 00.12 15h30 ‐ 17h15
Parallel sessions Room 00.15 Room 01.15 Room 00.15
17h15 ‐ 17h45
Reflection session for professionals (in Dutch) by prof. dr. Annemie Desoete and prof. dr. Pol Ghesquière (on behalf of the Netwerk Leerproblemen Vlaanderen) “Reflectie over de Vlaamse implementatie van congresinzichten over personen met een leerstoornis”
17h15 ‐ 18h30 The Capital
Reception (The Capital: Grote Markt 14, Leuven)
Conference dinner (Kokoon: 's‐meiersstraat 1, Leuven)
Symposia and paper sessions A detailed program of the symposia and paper sessions of day 1 can be found on the next pages. Paper sessions that include JURE‐members or PhD students will be coached (rather than chaired) by members of the local organizing committee allowing reflection and positive input on the research design and the link with the conference theme. Prior to the conference, session coaches will also be available for JURE‐members or PhD students (e.g., practical info, critical reflection on the powerpoint).
Poster sessions with speeddating In order to make the poster sessions as informative and interactive as possible, we organize three poster tours on Monday. A poster tour takes 30 minutes during which each poster presenter will have the opportunity to present the highlights of his/her poster in 2 minutes. After all 2 minute presentations, the audience will be invited to start discussing with poster presenters individually. Poster tours 1, 2 and 3 begin at 13h00 and again at 13h30 and 14h00. A detailed program of the poster sessions of day 1 (including info on the rooms where the presentations will be held) can be found on the next pages. All posters are nominated for “Best Poster” and will be evaluated by members of the scientific committee. The winning poster will be announced at the closing of the conference.
Reflection session for professionals (in Dutch) At the end of day 1 we hold a reflection session (hosted by prof. dr. Annemie Desoete and prof. dr. Pol Ghesquière) on the implementation of the conference highlights in Flemish health care. This session will be held in Dutch and is focusing on professionals (of the Netwerk Leerproblemen Vlaanderen) who are attending the meeting.
Program day 2 – Tuesday August 30th 2016 8h30 ‐ 9h30
Keynote prof. dr. Elke Struyf (University of Antwerp)
Room 00.08 Room 00.12 9h30 ‐ 11h00
Parallel sessions Room 00.15 Room 01.15
11h00 ‐ 11h45 Room 00.03
11h00 ‐ 12h00 Room 00.15
12h00 ‐ 13h45 Room 00.03
Lunch (until 13h00) & Poster sessions with speeddating
Room 00.08 Room 00.12 13h45 ‐ 15h30
Parallel sessions Room 00.15 Room 01.15 Room 00.15
prof. dr. Pirjo Aunio (University of Helsinki, Finland) 15h30 ‐ 16h25
prof. dr. Gregor Maxwell (University of Tromso, Norway) prof. dr. Christian Liesen (University of Applied Sciences of Special Needs Education, Switzerland)
16h25 ‐ 16h30 Room 00.15
Symposia and paper sessions A detailed program of the symposia and paper sessions of day 2 can be found on the next pages. Paper sessions that include JURE‐members or PhD students will be coached (rather than chaired) by members of the local organizing committee allowing reflection and positive input on the research design and the link with the conference theme. Prior to the conference, session coaches will also be available for JURE‐members or PhD students (e.g., practical info, critical reflection on the powerpoint).
Poster sessions with speeddating In order to make the poster sessions as informative and interactive as possible, we organize two poster tours on Tuesday. A poster tour takes 30 minutes during which each poster presenter will have the opportunity to present the highlights of his/her poster in 2 minutes. After all 2 minute presentations, the audience will be invited to start discussing with poster presenters individually. Poster tours 4 and 5 begin at 12h30 and again at 13h00 in room 00.03 (where lunch will be served as of 12h00). A member of the local organizing committee will chair the sessions. All posters are nominated for “Best Poster” and will be evaluated by members of the scientific committee. The winning poster will be announced at the closing of the conference. A detailed program of the poster sessions of day 2 can be found on the next pages.
Members meeting To learn more on new EARLI activities, SIG15 initiatives and upcoming meetings, please meet us at the members meeting. Here, all participants are welcomed to share their views, ideas and questions.
Integration panel Throughout the conference contributions help to bridge the divide between cognition, socio‐ emotional functioning and the environment by demonstrating, exploring, or discussing their instructions. At the end of the conference, an integration panel will seek to work out common denominators from the findings and contributions. The integration panel consists of prof. Aunio, prof. Maxwell and prof. Liesen.
Keynote Address Monday August 29th 2016 – 9h30‐10h30 Room MTC 00.15 The componential nature of arithmetic: implications for interventions for children with arithmetical difficulties Ann Dowker University of Oxford, United Kingdom Behavioural and brain imaging research with adults with dyscalculia resulting from brain damage; typically developing children and adults; and children with developmental mathematical difficulties converge in indicating that arithmetical ability is not a single entity. Rather, it is made up of many components; and marked within‐individual discrepancies between performance on different components are not uncommon. The componential nature of arithmetic is important in planning and formulating interventions with children with arithmetical difficulties. Given the varied nature of mathematical difficulties, it is important to devise and use individualized and targeted interventions for children with mathematical difficulties. I will here discuss the Catch Up Numeracy intervention for primary school children with arithmetical difficulties, which is based on the principle of assessing and targeting different components of arithmetic. It is a relatively non‐intensive targeted intervention for children who are low‐attaining in mathematics, which involves 30 minutes per week of individualized teaching. Two studies show that children receiving Catch Up Numeracy intervention attained average gains more than twice that expected of typically attaining children over the same period of time, and significantly more than controls. Thus, the evidence suggests that Catch Up Numeracy is effective for children who are low‐attaining in mathematics. More generally, it suggests that many children’s arithmetical difficulties are highly susceptible to intervention based on assessing and targeting the components with which they are experiencing difficulties.
Keynote Address Monday August 29th 2016 – 14h30‐15h30 Room MTC 00.15 Moving beyond Groundhog Day: the routinely confirmed social rejection of children with SEN and the necessity to move a step further Christian Huber Wuppertal University, Germany Due to the incipient development towards inclusive education, the European school system is facing enormous changes. Several international studies suggest that the initial goal of social acceptance of children with special educational needs is less satisfactorily put into practice than intended. To the present day a huge number of studies exhibit the same result again and again: Although integrative settings provide positive experiences and friendships between children with and without SEN, still, children with SEN have fewer friends and are disliked in their classes more often. This resembles the storyline of the Hollywood movie “Groundhog Day” in which the main actor experiences the same day over and over again Research on social integration of children with SEN needs to move beyond Groundhog Day and shift from a summative evaluation of children’s social status to the development of evidence based methods to foster social acceptance in inclusive classrooms. Surprisingly, just a small percentage of current studies focus on the question of how to foster social inclusion of children with disabilities in inclusive classrooms. First, the talk gives a short overview of research on social acceptance in inclusive education. In a second step, the facilitation of social acceptance is in the spotlight. Is poor social inclusion of children with SEN an unchangeable side effect of inclusive education that must be accepted by practitioners and scientists or are there promising approaches for an evidence based facilitation of social acceptance? With respect to this question the lecture tries to work out starting points and discusses current research results.
Keynote Address Tuesday August 30th 2016 – 8h30‐9h30 Room MTC 00.15 Bridging the divide: What can we learn from what really works in special and inclusive education? Elke Struyf University of Antwerp, Belgium In this keynote I will try to bridge the divide between cognition, socio‐emotional functioning and the environment by discussing several strategies that are mentioned in David Mitchell’s book ‘What Really Works in Special and Inclusive Education: Using Evidence-based Teaching Strategies’ (2nd edition). In his book Mitchell breaks new ground with revised and updated strategies based on evidence from the most recent studies in the field. From the myriad of related research available, only those studies with genuine potential for improving the practices of teachers and schools have been included, with the aim of facilitating high‐quality learning and social outcomes for all learners – including special needs students – in schools. Mitchell situates the 27 strategies in an explicit model of learning and teaching, and emphasizes the decision‐making skills of teachers to choose between these strategies. Interestingly, most of the strategies can be used by all teachers addressing the inclusive idea that all children benefit from improving the quality of teaching and learning. Discussing the effectiveness of the strategies, Mitchell often refers to results of special education research. In the keynote I will discuss strategies that explicitly can be linked with the domains that are addressed in the Earli SIG15 Meeting: research on cognition, socio‐emotional functioning or the environment, looking for evidence that bridge the divide.
Parallel sessions Monday August 29th 2016
Symposium 1 Early cognitive and mathematical skills development ? Assessment and (special) educational interventions Monday 29th 2016 – 11h00‐12h30 Room MTC 00.15 Chair: Pirjo Aunio University of Helsinki, Finland Discussant: Johan Korhonen Åbo Akademi, Vaasa, Finland The aim of this symposium is to report and discuss about ongoing research related to early development of cognitive components and mathematical skills. The topic is approached from research‐ based assessment and intervention (group and computer based) perspectives, which are highly important for scientific community and educational practice. The studies are done with different children’s groups (average performing, low performing and special needs children) and in different educational contexts (Finland, Norway & South‐Africa). The first paper is done by the group in Oslo University, which is starting their work on early numeracy interventions and needs to develop assessment tools to be used in their intervention study. Their work is also practically relevant as Norway is currently lacking the researched‐based assessment tools for educators to identify the young children with low performance in mathematical skills. The second paper presents research results from an intervention study for low performing South‐African first graders, providing important information concerning the development of math learning in developing society. The third paper presents the results from a study investigating the effects of educational executive functions intervention on performance in special education group of children. The fourth paper presents results from computer‐ game intervention targeting young children with low early numeracy performance. Different children groups provide possibilities to discuss what kind of assessment and intervention tools serve best these various groups. Results from different educational contexts challenge us to think what is universal (and what is not universal) in children’s developing cognitive components and mathematical skills. S1.1 ‐ Developing Mathematical Skills Assessment Tool for Identification of Low‐performing Norwegian First Graders Anita Lopez‐Pedersen1, Riikka Mononen1, & Pirjo Aunio2 1 2
University of Oslo, Norway
University of Helsinki, Finland
The importance of educational support in children’s early schooling is widely acknowledged. In order to identify the children in need of extra support in mathematical skills (i.e., those who perform in the lowest 25th percentile; Geary, 2011), the need for research‐based and validated mathematical assessment tools is paramount. In many countries, there are good tools for identification of the low‐ performing children (e.g., Van Luit, Van de Rijt, & Aunio, 2006; Wright, Martland, & Stafford, 2006), 23
but there is a lack of such tools in Norway. This development is now starting. The aim is to develop an assessment tool that addresses the most critical numerical skills that we know have a great impact on children’s mathematical development (Aunio & Räsänen, 2015; Desoete et al., 2009). The development of the assessment tools in Norway is based on the Finnish mathematical assessment tools for kindergarteners and first graders (Aunio & Mononen, 2012a, 2012b). Schooling in Norway is quite similar to schooling in Finland, making the choice of having the basis from Finnish assessment tool relevant. The new assessment tool for Norwegian first graders will include tasks measuring the core numerical skills, such as, understanding mathematical relations, counting skills and basic skills in arithmetic. These areas were selected as they are in the core of early mathematical development and predict the later outcome in mathematical achievement (e.g., Aunio & Räsänen, 2015). In the piloting phase of the study, during spring 2016, data will be collected from about 120 first graders (6 years old) in the Oslo‐region of Norway. The selection was based on schools that volunteered to participate in the piloting (N = 2). The assessment is done in small groups of children. It is teacher instructed paper and pencil version, and will take about 45 minutes to conduct. In Norway the first graders are one year younger than in Finland, and having considered both the Norwegian and Finnish curriculums in mathematics (LK06; Finnish National Board of Education, 2014), we will merge the items used in the assessment tools for Finnish kindergarteners and first graders. As a result of this piloting study, relevant items will be selected for a shorter final version of the assessment tool. In the second phase of the study, during autumn 2016, new data will be collected for standardization of the measurement. The relevance of this study is both practical and scientific. First, it will provide information of the performance of mathematical skills of Norwegian children at this age group. Second, it will provide the schools with a research‐based assessment tool, in order to identify low‐performers in mathematics and thus supporting these children with a remediation of these difficulties. S1.2 ‐ ThinkMath intervention programme for low performing South African first graders: findings from a pilot Lara Ragpot1, Minna Törmänen2, & Pirjo Aunio2 1
University of Johannesburg, South Africa 2
University of Helsinki, Finland
The low performance of South African (SA) children in mathematics on global assessments is cause for great concern (Taylor and Taylor, 2013). Strategies to remediate this low performance need to focus on children in the early grades or even before they begin formal schooling (Spaull & Kotze, 2015; Aunio & Niemivirta, 2010) when the basic concepts are formed and foundational procedures are learned. Globally, practical actions are suggested to provide learning support for children (Lembke, et al., 2012) with the use of well researched interventions (Aunio & Räsänen, 2015; Jordan et al., 2009; Van Luit et al., 2006). In SA this support is accepted in policy [White Paper 6, DoE, 2001; Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support (SIAS) draft document, DoE, 2014], albeit not always delivered in practice. The main reason being that there are no locally researched intervention programmes available. This paper reports on the findings of a pilot study which investigates whether South African low‐ performing first grade children’s mathematics skills could be improved, using the ThinkMath (Aunio, 2012) intervention programme, which was translated into English. In addition results will show the relation of Grade 1 children’s mathematics learning to their executive functions and their language skills. The participants are 305 first graders from 15 classrooms in the greater Johannesburg area. This 24
quasi‐experimental intervention study focuses on the use of cognitive and academic skills measures, utilised at three time‐points: T1 ‐ to identify the low performers; T2 ‐ immediately after the intervention phase; and T3 ‐ three months after the intervention programme phase. The maths measurement is a mathematical competence test developed by Aunio & Mononen (2014). In addition, an adapted listening comprehension test (Snow, 2016; originally developed by Snow, et al., 1998) and an executive functions measurement (Roebers & Kauer, 2009), complements the data of the children’s scores on the maths measurement– aiming to advance fidelity of the intervention programme (Gresham et al., 2000). The programme consists of intervention sessions with the low performing children in small groups of five to six children, for three lessons per week, during a six week period. This study is ongoing and takes place in February‐June 2016. In EARLI sig‐Meeting the result from this ongoing study will be presented, which will include an analysis of the mathematical performance of the entire group (at T1) and an analysis of the development of the low performing children during the time from T1 to T2, and then from T1 to T3. In addition we will report on the relation between EF and mathematics, as well as EF and language skills in the beginning of the intervention and as a predictive capacity for later performance. The results from this research will inform policy development for support and intervention of SA children in the elementary phase. S1.3 ‐ Intervention study on executive functions with children with special educational needs Minna Törmänen1,2, Pirjo Aunio1, Elina Kontu1, & Claudia Roebers2 1 2
University of Helsinki, Finland
University of Bern, Switzerland
There is a growing interest in executive functioning, especially with children during preschool and primary school years. Executive control processes are widely recognized to play an essential role not only for children’s cognitive, social, and motor development, but have also been shown to constitute significant predictors for promoting school readiness and later school success (Roebers et al. 2011; Röthlisberger et al. 2011; Bull et al., 2008). Children with dyslexia, AD/HD and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), developmental disabilities have demonstrated impairments in a variety of executive functions (e.g. Schoemaker et al., 2012; Robinson et al. 2009; Lyytinen et al. 2006; Reiter et al. 2005; Gioia, et al. 2002). The study of Röthlisberger et al. (2011) examined the effect of intervention implemented in kindergarten settings focusing on basic components of executive functions, like working memory, interference control/inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. According to results intervention promoted gains in all three included components of executive functions: kindergarten children (mainly play‐ oriented context) substantially improved their working memory and cognitive flexibility processes, whereas significant training effects were found for the preschool children (with some early pre‐ academic instructions) in interference control (Röthlisberger et al. 2011). However, the role of executive functions needs further studies. The aim of the study is to examine the role of executive functions and its effects on development and academic outcomes in children and adolescents with SEN, especially in children with developmental disabilities. An intervention focusing on basic components of executive functions, like working memory, inhibition and cognitive flexibility will be studied. Another aim is to study the use of research‐based intervention conducted by special educators.
Participants: In our study there were 58 pre‐ and primary school children (6‐10yrs), and adolescents from secondary schools (13‐16 yrs) with developmental disabilities, like ASD and Down syndrome. In addition eight special educators from five different schools were conducting the intervention sessions with children Design: A pre‐tests‐intervention‐post‐tests–design, and experimental and waiting group design were used. As intervention a Swiss “Nele und Noa im Regenwald” ‐ Berner Material zur Förderung executive Funktionen ‐intervention (Roebers et al. 2014) is utilized in a Finnish special educational setting. Methods: Executive functions were measured in a natural school setting from two different aspects; from behavioral point of view by using questionnaires (Klenberg et al. 2010) for special educators, and with computerized test (e.g. Roebers & Kauer, 2009). In addition children`s skilled‐based mathematical abilities will be measured (van Luit et al., 2006). Measurements as well as intervention are piloted and adjusted for use with children with developmental disabilities. The preliminary analysis shows positive effects. More closely, intervention possibly has near transfer effects on executive functions and far transfer effects on mathematical skills. In addition it is hypothesized that such interventions are beneficial and manageable in natural school settings, and special educators find intervention on executive functions an important and effective educational method. S1.4 ‐ Lola´s World: educational game´s effects on low performing children´s early numeracy skills – an intervention study in preschool setting Pirjo Aunio1 & Riikka Mononen2 1
University of Helsinki, Finland 2
University of Oslo, Norway
Studies have shown that early numeracy skills are important for the development of later mathematical skills and it is important to support these skills already before formal schooling. A set of longitudinal studies targeting the developmental trajectories of children’s mathematical skills revealed that children who enter kindergarten with low performance in mathematics remain behind their peers throughout school years (Morgan, Farkas, & Wu, 2009). The previous studies have also showed that computer‐assisted instruction (CAI) have positive results, reporting small effects on early numeracy skills (Räsänen ym., 2009) and for those students with learning difficulties (Kroesbergen & van Luit, 2003). The aim of this study was to look for the effects of Lola´s World (Beiz, 2014) educational game on children´s early numeracy skills. This study concentrates on children with a risk for later mathematical learning difficulties (i.e. low early numeracy). Four preschools and 33 children aged 5.5 years took part in this study from a metropolitan low socio‐economical‐status area. From 33 children, 23 children were split randomly into two groups: an intervention group played Lola´s World and the other formed an active control group playing a game practicing language skills (Lola´s ABC party). There was also one preschool as a passive control group (n=10), following regular preschool activities. Intervention phase was three weeks, children played games every day for about 15 minutes. Children’s numeracy skills were measured with Early Numeracy Test (Van Luit et al. 2006). Children´s general intelligence was assessed with Raven test. The other variables used in analysis were parental education level, home language and time played. For the analysis, data was first investigated in group level: intervention (Lola World) n = 12, active control (Lola ABC party) n = 11 and passive control (average preschool activities) 26
n = 10. Secondly, for the further analysis the data was divided to subgroups of average performing, low performing and very low performing children. This resulted in nine subgroups: average performing Lola World (n = 5), average performing Lola ABC party (n = 3), average performing passive group (n = 3), low performing (1sd below mean) Lola World (n = 5), low performing (1sd below mean) Lola ABC party (n = 6), low performing (1sd below mean) passive group (n = 4), very low performing (2sd below mean) Lola World (n = 2), very low performing (2sd below mean) Lola ABC party (n = 2) and very low performing (2sd below mean) passive group (n = 3). There were some positive developmental trends in early numeracy skills. In the analysis on three group levels, no statistically significant results were found related the effects of intervention. When analysis was done with subgroups, there was a growth trend especially in very low performing intervention groups. These results indicate that it is wise to design and investigate thoroughly the educational games targeting to increase the level of early numeracy skills in low performing children. The weak effects of intervention may indicate that children need more practice the essential early numeracy skills. Symposium 2 Training morphemes to enhance reading and spelling aquisition in children with special educational needs (SEN) Monday 29th 2016 – 11h00‐12h30 Room MTC 00.12 Chair: Elisabeth Fleischhauer University of Wuppertal, Germany Discussant: Michael Grosche University of Wuppertal, Germany A key skill influencing reading and spelling acquisition in primary school children is morphological processing (Deacon et al. 2015). Roughly half of the words that children encounter contain more than one morpheme (Nagy et al. 1993 for English) and every morpheme conveys meaning (e.g. walked = walk ‘proceeding by foot‘ + ‐ed ‘past‐tense of a verb form’). Therefore, processing morphemes helps reading and spelling words efficiently. Still, the importance of teaching morphemes to enhance reading and spelling in children with SEN has been widely neglected, which is in stark contrast to dozens of studies focusing on phonological awareness and other reading skills (e.g., Joanisse et al. 2000). The aims of the symposium are to discuss (1) the relevance of morphemes in adults’ and children’s reading and spelling and (2) the effectiveness of training morphemes to enhance SEN children’s reading and spelling. Regarding (1), Vera Heyer presents experimental data on the role of morphemes in adults’ word recognition. Elisabeth Fleischhauer & Michael Grosche compare these findings to their experimental findings from primary‐school children, showing that morphemes are relevant in adults’ and children’s processing. Regarding (2), Evdokia Pittas presents data from a longitudinal study on Greek Cypriot primary‐school children’s reading and spelling and Laura Burton presents data from an intervention study on British primary‐school children’s spelling (with and without SEN), illustrating that 27
training morphemes enhances primary‐school children’s reading and spelling and that this benefit holds across SEN children. Michael Grosche discusses theoretical and practical implications for the field of special needs education. S2.1 ‐ The search for structure: How expert readers process morphologically complex words Vera Heyer University of Braunschweig, Germany Derived word forms, such as softness or drummer, consist of more than one morpheme (e.g. soft + ness). Psycholinguistic research has investigated whether the theoretical morphological structure of such forms has psychological reality. Understanding what happens mentally when expert readers read words can ultimately help to improve reading in struggling readers (e.g. through intervention). While it has been established that derived forms can be retrieved as whole forms (comparable to simple forms such as cuddle or koala), masked priming research has shown that morphological structure influences early processing stages, i.e. the very first moments when expert readers read a word: Participants recognise targets such as soft faster following a related prime (softness) than an unrelated prime – even though participants were unaware of the primes (due to very short display durations). This has been interpreted as evidence for decomposition or ‘affix‐stripping’ (here: ness) and subsequent access of the stem (here: soft). Similar effects have been reported for pseudo‐derived (corner – corn; e.g. Rastle, Davis & New 2004) and, in French, novel derived forms (rapidifier ‘quickify’ – rapide ‘quick’; Meunier & Longtin 2007), suggesting an affix‐detection mechanism. This study extends Meunier and Longtin’s design to English, investigating whether adult readers make use of morphological structure to process novel complex forms. In a masked priming experiment, 50 English native speakers saw adjectival targets (e.g. dark, silent) preceded by the corresponding ness nominalisation (e.g. darkness) or a novel (but grammatical) ness form respectively (e.g. silentness), shown for 33 (Experiment 1) or 67 milliseconds (Experiment 2). In order to exclude confounds due to orthographic overlap between primes and targets, we included an orthographic control set (e.g. example – exam) matched to the two derived sets. Participants made lexical decisions to the targets, preceded by related (established, novel or orthographic) versus matched unrelated primes. Linear mixed‐effects models on the lexical decision times revealed priming effects for the two item sets in both Experiment 1 and 2, i.e. the target adjectives were recognised significantly faster following ness forms (in comparison to the unrelated primes) irrespective of whether the forms were established or novel (ts > 2.15); crucially, no such effects were observed for the orthographic set (ts