Arithmetic Accuracy in Children From High- and Low-Income Schools: What Do Strategies Have to Do With It?

Resource Type
  • Laski, Elida V. (Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human Development)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
arithmetic; strategy; SES; income groups; early childhood
  • Abstract

    This study investigated income group differences in kindergartners’ and first graders’ (N = 161) arithmetic by examining the link between accuracy and strategy use on simple and complex addition problems. Low-income children were substantially less accurate than high-income children, in terms of both percentage of correctly solved problems and the magnitude of errors, with low-income first graders being less accurate than high-income kindergartners. Higher-income children were more likely to use sophisticated mental strategies than their lower-income peers, who used predominantly inefficient counting or inappropriate strategies. Importantly, this difference in strategies mediated the relation between income group and addition. Examining underlying strategies has implications for understanding income group differences in arithmetic and potential means of remedying it via instruction.
Geographic Coverage
  • Boston, MA
Sampled Universe
Kindergarten and first grade students from predominantly low-income and predominantly high-income schools. 

Update Metadata: 2019-02-26 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2019-02-26