Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

School Psychologists' Early Numeracy Training and Practices
by Liu-Trofimovsky, Jia, Psy.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2014, 289; 3621899
Abstract (Summary)

An emergent area of research pertains to early numeracy, or number sense. Early numeracy plays a significant role in the development of mathematics skills, and researchers have recognized its importance for overall academic achievement. This study surveyed practicing school psychologists to investigate current early numeracy training and practices. A nationwide sample of 279 school psychologists completed a Web-based survey modeled after the available early numeracy research. The majority of individuals reported receiving at least one professional development training for academic concerns per year. A larger number of participants had training for reading and early literacy compared to early numeracy. Related to early numeracy practices, more respondents reported being involved in screening and assessment in contrast to intervention and progress-monitoring. Typically, students were screened in kindergarten through fifth grade using measures such as AIMSweb: Computation and AIMSweb: Problem-Solving. The most often utilized early numeracy instrument was AIMSweb: Number Identification. Most frequently, group academic assessments used were comprised of state tests, and individual measures were often broadband or screener-type measures. Commonly used curricular interventions have demonstrated limited to moderate levels of evidence. Only Classwide Peer Tutoring had a strong level of intervention effectiveness. Intensive interventions that were noted as being regularly implemented (e.g., Board Games, Explicit Instruction, Peer Tutoring, Touch Math) were mainly instructional in nature. The results for consistently used progress-monitoring tools were similar to those for screening (computation, problem-solving, and number identification). Perceived facilitators of participants' early numeracy involvement entailed administrator support and the topic being a current need in schools. School psychologists noted lack of resources and time as two main hindrances for their involvement in early numeracy activities. The implications of this study include increased early numeracy training, involvement in intervention and progress-monitoring, screening practices, alignment with the Common Core Standards, and time allocation and resources. Limitations of the current research were: low response-rate, lengthy survey, and non-response for specific early numeracy components. Finally, potential future research includes investigating progress-monitoring instruments for students in earlier grades, interventions for students with mathematics disabilities (e.g., retention, generalization of skills), home-school partnerships for early numeracy skills, and validation of technological applications.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kundert, Deborah
Commitee: Northrup, Jason, Saddler, Bruce
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: School Psychology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 75/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Mathematics education, Early childhood education, Educational psychology
Keywords: Early math skills, Early numeracy, Number sense, School psychology, School readiness
Publication Number: 3621899
ISBN: 9781303933738
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