De predictieve validiteit van de UGT-R
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Background: Mathematics is an ability used in every day life and starts developing at a young age. A lot of research has been done regarding early numeracy and it’s relevance towards mathematical competence and performance. Researchers have demonstrated that difficulties with early numeracy in kindergarten can interfere with the acquisition of mathematical skills. This means that the problems children in kindergarten have in acquiring early numeracy also have consequences for their mathematical skills later on. Research has also shown that an insufficient development of early mathematical competence can lead to arithmetic difficulties later in life. Early math intervention is therefore important. Aim: The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the ENT-R testscores of low-performing young children in kindergarten and first grade are predictive their mathematical performance one year later. Differences between ENT-R comprehension and testscores are examined, as well as the correlation between these two. Method: The Utrecht Early Mathematical Competence Test-Revised has been used to assess the hypothesis mentioned above. Out of 2137 young pupils, aged 4 to 7 years old, 41 pupils were selected on a bases of availability and 34 pupils actually participated in the present study. Children in kindergarten and grade 1 and 2 were tested with the ENT-R during three assessments to examine their early mathematical competence. Results: In the first year of pre-primary education significant differences where found between ENT-R comprehension scores during three testing cycles. In the last year of pre-primary education significant differences were found in ENT-R comprehension scores between assessment 2 and 3 and between assessment 1 and 3. In grade 1 no significant differences where found between ENT-R comprehension scores during the three testing cycles. ENT-R comprehension scores during the first testing cycle were predictive for the following ENT-R scores, more on short-term than on long-term. Conclusion: The results indicate that the ENT-R is a moderate predictive valid instrument. The ENT-R testscores of children in kindergarten and first grade are indeed predictive for their mathematical performance one year later, whereas the mathematical performance of children in the last year of pre-primary education could not be predicted accurately based on the ENT-R testscores measured in the first year of pre-primary education. In kindergarten and grade 1 the ENT-R is more predictive on short-term than on long-term. Since the design and sample size of this research contains several limitations, caution in interpreting the results is highly recommended. Nevertheless, pupils with extremely low testscores should be carefully monitored during their mathematical learning process in order to perform early intervention and prevent the development of mathematical difficulties.