Figuring out children's number representations: Lessons from cross-cultural work

John Towse, Kevin Peter Muldoon, Victoria Simms

Abstract

This chapter explores how numbers are represented amongst children in different cultures, and shows how this can enrich our understanding of mathematical cognition. It focuses on two specific, related topics: the representation of multi-digit numbers and the scaling of a mental number line. The authors consider whether linguistic differences in number structures directly influence children’s understanding of place value. They also consider whether cross-cultural and developmental differences in the quality of children’s mental representations of number are direct influences on mathematical skill. Together, these two topics allow us to consider evidence for the existence of cross-cultural difference in mathematics and investigate factors that might underlie them. The authors propose that whilst the interpretation of data needs to proceed cautiously, valuable insights can be gained from relevant research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Numerical Cognition
EditorsRoi Cohen Kadosh, Ann Dowker
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages402-414
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780199642342
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

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Mathematics
Linguistics
Cognition

Keywords

  • cross-cultural research
  • number representations
  • mental number line
  • place value

Cite this

Towse, J., Muldoon, K. P., & Simms, V. (2015). Figuring out children's number representations: Lessons from cross-cultural work. In R. Cohen Kadosh, & A. Dowker (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Numerical Cognition (pp. 402-414). Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199642342.013.013

Towse, John; Muldoon, Kevin Peter; Simms, Victoria / Figuring out children's number representations: Lessons from cross-cultural work.

The Oxford Handbook of Numerical Cognition. ed. / Roi Cohen Kadosh; Ann Dowker. Oxford University Press, 2015. p. 402-414.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Towse, J, Muldoon, KP & Simms, V 2015, Figuring out children's number representations: Lessons from cross-cultural work. in R Cohen Kadosh & A Dowker (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Numerical Cognition. Oxford University Press, pp. 402-414. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199642342.013.013

Figuring out children's number representations: Lessons from cross-cultural work. / Towse, John; Muldoon, Kevin Peter; Simms, Victoria.

The Oxford Handbook of Numerical Cognition. ed. / Roi Cohen Kadosh; Ann Dowker. Oxford University Press, 2015. p. 402-414.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Towse J, Muldoon KP, Simms V. Figuring out children's number representations: Lessons from cross-cultural work. In Cohen Kadosh R, Dowker A, editors, The Oxford Handbook of Numerical Cognition. Oxford University Press. 2015. p. 402-414. Available from, DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199642342.013.013