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Advances in Psychological Science    2016, Vol. 24 Issue (10) : 1556-1567     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01556
Meta-Analysis |
Working memory and mathematics learning: A meta-analysis in early childhood
LI Li1,3; ZHOU Xin1,2; GUO Liping1,2
(1 Department of Preschool Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China) (2 Collaborative Innovation Center of Assessment toward Basic Education Quality, Beijing 100875, China) (3 Elementary Education Department, Zhengzhou Normal University, Zhengzhou 450044, China)
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Abstract  

Studies have indicated that working memory (WM) play an important role in mathematics learning. However, results reported with regard to the associations between working memory components and early mathematics learning were inconsistent. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to explore the strength of this relationship, and the factors affecting this relationship. In this meta-analysis, 307 effect sizes from 33 studies including 42423 children aged 3~8 years old were reviewed. The results indicated a strong correlation between working memory and mathematics learning. All working memory components were associated with mathematics learning, with the highest correlation between central executive (CE) and mathematics. As to the relationship between WM components and different mathematics abilities, CE didn’t show significant different relationships across different aspects of mathematics learning, phonological loop (PL) and visuospatial sketchpad (VSSP) both showed a significant closer relationship with number operation than number concept. In addition, Age had a significant effect on the correlation between CE, PL and mathematics learning. However, it didn’t have effect on the correlation between VSSP and mathematics. Literature review also helped to identify the shortcomings of previous studies, particularly focus of the studies was mostly on number concepts and number operations. More studies should focus on the area of geometry, space, and measurement in the future.

Keywords working memory      mathematics learning      early childhood      meta-analysis     
Corresponding Authors: ZHOU Xin, E-mail: xzhou@pie.ecnu.edu.cn   
Issue Date: 15 October 2016
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LI Li,ZHOU Xin,GUO Liping. Working memory and mathematics learning: A meta-analysis in early childhood[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2016, 24(10): 1556-1567.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlkxjz/EN/ 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01556     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlkxjz/EN/Y2016/V24/I10/1556
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