Peuters ontdekken de betekenis van getallen: Is er een verband tussen executieve functies en number sense?
Ven, E.M. van de
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The aim of this study is to investigate if executive functions correlate with number sense in toddlers and if toddlers who receive a lot of stimulation at home have better executive functions and number sense than toddlers that receive less stimulation. The participants are between 34 and 38 months old. The children undertook six tests relating to number sense: counting aloud, insight in counting (counting objects and knowledge of counting), comparing amounts of equal size (1:2 and 2:3) and comparing amounts of different size. Four tests relate to executive functions: A-not-B with and without change, bear-dragon task and card sortingtask. For assessing the stimulation at home one of the parents filled in a questionnaire. The expectation that there would be a positive correlation between number sense and executive functions is partially confirmed: Number sense correlates with some tests that relate to inhibition while there is no correlation between number sense and shifting. The expectation however that toddlers with a lot of stimulation at home have better number sense and executive functions is not confirmed. More investigation is necessary in order to better understand the correlation between number sense and executive functions. The influence of home instruction and the level of education of parents should be investigated more deeply in future studies. Research of this nature is of great importance to the discovery of math problems at an early age making intervention possible.