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Title: The Role of the Narrative Context in Mathematics Learning from Picture Books
Authors: Wagner, Alissa
Advisors: Lew-Williams, Casey
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: Mathematical proficiency is essential for a variety of careers, and therefore it is important for children to have the opportunity to successfully acquire basic mathematics skills. Many students are underperforming in mathematics, however, thus creating a need for research that identifies effective interventions for improving learning outcomes. Across a number of studies, the ability to measure length seems to be an area of particular difficulty for young children. This study explored the question of whether picture books with a narrative structure were more effective than expository picture books for teaching children about the measurement of length. Forty-five preschool- and kindergarten-aged children (4-5 years old) listened to an experimenter read a book with or without a narrative context, and measurement ability was assessed before and after the reading session with tasks of varying difficulty. Results showed that children reading a book with narrative context demonstrated significant improvement on easy measurement questions. Children reading a book without narrative context, on the other hand, demonstrated significant improvement on questions of medium difficulty. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.
Extent: 61 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2017

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