[MATHLINK] Fwd: MCLS Online Nov 5 2020

Jo-Anne LeFevre joanne.lefevre at gmail.com
Thu Nov 5 06:26:32 CST 2020

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> From: Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society <mathcognitionlearningsociety at gmail.com <mailto:mathcognitionlearningsociety at gmail.com>>
> Subject: MCLS Online Nov 5 2020
> Date: November 5, 2020 at 7:25:01 AM EST
> To: <jo-anne.lefevre at carleton.ca <mailto:jo-anne.lefevre at carleton.ca>>
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> Counting and Cardinality
> Dear MCLS Community,
> Please join us today (Thursday) at 9am EST//2pm GMT for our next symposium on Counting and Cardinality. We will see talks from Elisabeth Marchand (Doctoral Student, University of California San Diego, USA); Pierina Cheung (Research Scientist, National Institute of Education, Singapore); Theresa Wege (Doctoral Student, Loughborough University, UK); and discussant Bert De Smedt (Professor, KU Leuven, Belgium). Abstract below.
> Be sure to also mark your calendars for the following:
> Friday, November 13  <>Problem-solving strategies in algebra: From lab to practice
> Thursday, November 19  <>How environment shapes the mathematical brain: Influences of socioeconomic status, parental behaviors, and education
> Thursday, November 25 NO MEETING (US Thanksgiving)
> The MCLS Training Board
> Abstract
> When counting a set of objects, the last number in an accurate count sequence indicates how many objects there are in the set. This, the so-called cardinality principle, is an essential step on a child’s path to deeper numerical understanding. Whether or not a child understands the cardinality principle has classically been assessed by the give-a-number task (e.g., Wynn, 1990). In the standard version of this task, a child is asked to give a certain number of objects to a puppet. For instance, they may be asked to give four chestnuts to a squirrel. Many 2-4 year old children who can count fail at the give-a-number task (e.g., Le Corre, Van de Walle, Brannon & Carey, 2006), which has been interpreted as evidence that they lack an understanding of the cardinality principle. 
> In this symposium we explore children’s understanding of cardinality in three talks. First, Elisabeth Marchand (Doctoral Student, University of California San Diego, USA) asks how reliable the give-a-number task is. Across two experiments she reports that the task can reliably distinguish subset knowers from cardinal principle (CP) knowers, but that it is less effective at reliably classifying which specific numbers children can comprehend. Elisabeth concludes by offering methodological recommendations useful for researchers who may be considering using the give-a-number task in future studies. In our second talk, Pierina Cheung (Research Scientist, National Institute of Education, Singapore) asks whether CP-knowers, as assessed by the give-a-number task, actually understand cardinality. Specifically, she asks whether CP-knowers understand under what conditions the last word of a count sequence indicates the number of items in the counted set. Pierina reports a study in which CP-knowers were asked to observe a puppet counting inaccurately (perhaps they violated the word-object correspondence principle for instance). She found that some CP-knowers would accept that a set contained n objects despite the puppet having miscounted, as long as the final number in the puppet’s count sequence was n. Finally, Theresa Wege (Doctoral Student, Loughborough University, UK) investigates children’s acquisition of number meanings before understanding cardinality. She evaluates training materials based on the use of contrasting objects to highlight the common abstract property of set size. Theresa reports that this kind of contrast training led to improvements in number discrimination compared to children in a control group. Our symposium concludes with a discussion from Bert De Smedt (Professor, KU Leuven, Belgium).
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