Study Helps Pinpoint Math Disability
Burgeoning research into students’ difficulties with mathematics is starting to tease out cognitive differences between students who sometimes struggle with math and those who have dyscalculia, a severe, persistent learning disability in math.
A new, decade-long longitudinal study by researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, published Friday in the journal Child Development , finds that 9th-graders considered dyscalculic—those who performed in the bottom 10 percent of math ability on multiple tests—had substantially lower ability to grasp and compare basic number quantities than average students or even other struggling math students.
“Formal math requires some effort, and it requires effort to different degrees for different children,” said Michèle M. M. Mazzocco, the director of the Math Skills Development Project at Kennedy Krieger. “Just because someone is having difficulty with math doesn’t necessarily mean they have a math learning disability. This study points to a core...
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