CAREER: Early Number-Concept Development in Low-Income English-Language Learners: Observation and Intervention

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

The purpose of this study is twofold: First, it will provide the first comprehensive description of early number-concept learning in three- to four-year old children from low-income, Spanish-speaking families. Second, the study will develop and test a bilingual number-learning intervention for these children.

Setting: 

The study will be conducted in Head Start centers in Southern California.

Research Design: 

This project has a longitudinal, cross-sectional, and comparative research design and will generate evidence that is descriptive [standardized and experimenter-generated assessments of children's knowledge], associative/correlational [quasi-experimental, correlations between number knowledge and language knowledge, comparisons between low- and middle-income groups] and causal [experimental]. Original data are being collected from three- and four-year old children from low-income, Spanish-speaking families using assessments of learning.

The project is evaluating a four-week-long, number-concept learning intervention, with a control condition providing non-numerical input; there are also comparison groups of higher-income children. Instruments or measures include PPVT and TVIP for language development, plus a battery of experimenter-designed number-development measures (intransitive & transitive counting tasks, Give-N task, verbal magnitude comparison, written numeral identification, scaffolded number-line task, Siegler's number-line estimation task, and nonsymbolic approximate-number estimation task). The analysis plan for this project involves primarily regression and growth modeling.

Findings: 

Findings will be posted as they become available.

Other Products: 

The project expects to contribute to development of curricula and assessments of preschool number sense.