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Chinese children excel on novel mathematics problems even before elementary school.

Authors
  • Siegler, Robert S
  • Mu, Yan
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychological Science
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2008
Volume
19
Issue
8
Pages
759–763
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02153.x
PMID: 18816281
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Kindergartners in China showed greater numerical knowledge than their age peers in the United States, not only when tested with arithmetic problems, which Chinese parents present to their children more often than U.S. parents do, but also when tested with number-line estimation problems, which were novel to the children in both countries. The Chinese kindergartners' number-line estimates were comparable to those of U.S. children 1 to 2 years more advanced in school. Individual differences in arithmetic and number-line-estimation performance were positively correlated within each country. These results indicate that performance differences between Chinese and U.S. children on both practiced and unpracticed mathematical tasks are substantial even before the children begin elementary school.

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