Presentations
2020

Mononen, R. & Niemivirta, M. (2020). Patterns of symbolic numerical magnitude processing and working memory as underlying factors in early mathematics performance. Accepted as a symposium presentation for MCLS2020, 2729 June, Dublin, Ireland. The conference was cancelled due to COVID19 situation.
Abstract:
Aim. We investigated the patterns of symbolic numerical magnitude processing (SNMP) and working memory (WM) as underlying factors in early mathematics performance.
Methods. 256 Norwegian first graders were tested on WM, SNMP, counting and arithmetic skills. Latent class cluster analysis and AN(C)OVAs were used, with age, gender, parents’ educational level, intelligence, rapid automatized naming, and word comprehension as covariates.
Results. Five groups were identified with different patterns of WM and SNMP. The ANCOVAs showed group differences in counting and arithmetic to be significant with explained variance ranging from 11% to 21%, even after controlling for all covariates.

Niemivirta, M., & Mononen, R. (2020). Longitudinal stability of and reciprocal predictions between mathematics performance and motivation among school beginners. Accepted as a symposium presentation for MCLS2020, 27–29 June, Dublin, Ireland. The conference was cancelled due to COVID19 situation.
Abstract:
Aim. We investigated longitudinal stability of and reciprocal predictions between mathematics performance and motivation among school beginners.
Methods. Students (N = 265) completed various tests assessing cognitive and mathematical skills, and rated their interest and perceived competence in mathematics during grade one and two. A latent crosslagged panel model was estimated with cognitive skills, gender and parents’ education as covariates.
Results. Both performance and motivation showed stability over time, but only one crosslagged effect reached significance after controlling for the effects of cognitive skills and demographics: previous mathematics performance predicted later perceived competence, thus lending support for the skill development model.

Tuominen, H., Mononen, R., Korhonen, J., Tapola, A., & Niemivirta, M. (2020). Patterns of math skills and motivation among schoolbeginners. Accepted as a lightning talk for MCLS2020, 2729 June, Dublin, Ireland. The conference was cancelled due to COVID19 situation.
Abstract: High competence perceptions and interest are often linked to good academic performance, but we still know fairly little about the interplay between competence perceptions, interest, and math performance in young children. Also, the associations between skills and motivation are not necessarily similar for all children. In order to increase understanding of the potentially different patterns of mathematical skills and motivation among schoolbeginners, the aim of this study was to investigate what kinds of profiles of math skills, interest, and competence perceptions can be identified among first grade students.
The participants were 265 Norwegian firstgraders (Mage = 6y 9mo; 45% girls), who completed various math tests related to number sense (comparison of 1 and 2digit numbers) as well as counting and arithmetic (number word sequences, addition and subtraction fluency, word problem solving), and a questionnaire assessing their interest and competence perceptions in math.
Following a personoriented approach and using TwoStep cluster analysis, five distinct profiles were identified. There was a large group of students (33%) characterized by above average skills and positive motivation and, also, a small group of students displaying very high skills and positive motivation (9%). In contrast, a group of students with low skills and negative motivation (25%) was found. In addition, interesting patterns of above average skills but very low interest (16%) and low skills but positive motivation (17%) were extracted. Configural frequency analyses revealed that boys were overrepresented in the very high skills and positive motivation group and that students having Norwegian as second language were overrepresented in the low skills but positive motivation group. The findings indicate that skills and particularly interest do not always go hand in hand. Some children might need support for math skills, some for motivation, and some for both.
2019

Tuominen, H., Mononen, R., Korhonen, J., Tapola, A., & Niemivirta, M. (2019). Matematiikan taitojen ja motivaation profiilit ensimmäisen luokan oppilailla. Paper presented at the FERA Conference on Education, 21–22 November, Joensuu, Finland.
Abstrakti: Luottamus omiin kykyihin ja korkea kiinnostus linkittyvät usein myös hyviin suorituksiin, mutta pienten lasten minäpystyvyyden, kiinnostuksen ja osaamisen välisistä yhteyksistä tiedämme varsin vähän. Lisäksi nämä yhteydet eivät välttämättä ole samanlaisia kaikilla oppilailla. Tämän tutkimuksen tarkoituksena olikin selvittää, voidaanko ensimmäisellä luokalla tunnistaa ryhmiä, joiden profiilit matematiikan taidoissa ja motivaatiossa ovat erilaisia. Tutkimus on osa iSeeNumbershanketta, jossa selvitetään norjalaisten lasten matematiikan taitojen kehitystä ensimmäiseltä kolmannelle luokalle. Tämän tutkimuksen osallistujat olivat ensiluokkalaisia (N = 265; ikä ka = 6v 9kk; tyttöjä 45%), joiden matematiikan taidoista arvioitiin lukumääräisyyden tajua (1 ja 2numeroisten lukujen vertailu) sekä laskemisen taitoja (lukujonotaidot, yhteen ja vähennyslaskujen sujuvuus, sanalliset tehtävät). Motivaation osalta oppilaat arvioivat kiinnostustaan ja minäpystyvyyttään matematiikassa. Oppilaat voitiin luokitella TwoStepryhmittelyanalyysin avulla viiteen ryhmään matematiikan taitojen ja motivaation perusteella. Suurin ryhmä (33%) koostui oppilaista, joilla oli sekä suhteellisen hyvät taidot että myönteinen motivaatio, kun taas toiseksi suurimman ryhmän (25%) oppilailla oli keskimääräistä heikommat taidot ja kielteisempi motivaatio. Lisäksi tunnistettiin ryhmä (17%), jolla oli suhteellisen heikot taidot, mutta siitä huolimatta korkea kiinnostus ja minäpystyvyys, sekä ryhmä (16%), jolla oli päinvastoin hyvät taidot, mutta selkeästi muita matalampi kiinnostus. Pienintä ryhmää (9%) luonnehtivat muita huomattavasti paremmat taidot ja melko myönteinen motivaatio. Pojat olivat yliedustettuina tässä pienimmässä ryhmässä, kun taas oppilaat, joiden äidinkieli ei ole norja, olivat yliedustettuina ryhmässä, jolla oli heikoista taidoista huolimatta myönteinen motivaatio. Oppilaat olivat yleisesti ottaen hyvin motivoituneita matematiikan oppimisesta koulupolkunsa alussa, mutta on mielenkiintoista, etteivät taidot ja kiinnostus kulkeneet aina käsi kädessä. Osa oppilaista siis tarvinnee jatkossa tukea joko matematiikan taidoissa tai kiinnostuksen herättämisessä, osa molemmissa.

Mononen, R. (2019). Tracking individual differences in numeracy development – interplay between skills, motivation and wellbeing. Invited speaker in Brown Bag seminar, 5.11.2019, University of Oslo.
Abstract: Currently, there is little knowledge about the interplay of factors that contribute to numeracy development, especially in the early years of schooling. In order to address this gap, our research project iSeeNumbers focuses on tracing individual differences in children’s numeracy development from Grade 1 to Grade 3 (n = 265). More precisely, the focus is on the developmental interplay between skills (numeracy, language and executive functions), motivation (interest and competence perceptions) and wellbeing (school value and math anxiety) during the early school years. In this talk, project’s study design – with opportunities and challenges – and some preliminary results from the first time point (first grade) are presented.