Children's mathematical achievement and how it relates to working memory, test anxiety and self-regulation: A person-centred approach

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Nyroos, Mikaela ; Jonsson, Bert ; Korhonen, Johan ; Eklöf, Hanna (2015)
  • Publisher: Education Inquiry
  • Journal: Education Inquiry (issn: 2000-4508, eissn: 2000-4508)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/edui.v6.26026
  • Subject: Working memory; test anxiety; self-regulation; mathematics; primary-school level

Meeting the challenges of teaching to all individuals requires a multifaceted approach, especially from the Swedish standpoint of inclusive education for all pupils. In the context of applied standards for receiving special educational provision, the present paper strives to shed light on the scope of novel indicators which can accommodate pupils’ different needs. Founded on three established and robust psycho-educational concepts – working memory, test anxiety and self-regulation – all of which are important for educational, social, emotional and behavioural development, the present study examines those concepts in terms of profiles and their relations to mathematical achievement. A battery of tests was completed by 624 children between the ages of 8 and 10 to assess their working memory, test anxiety, self-regulation, and mathematical achievement. Person-centred analyses confirmed the negative academic outcomes associated with the aforementioned variables but also revealed individual variations that warrant attention. Further, pupils labelled with an ‘At-risk’ profile were more likely to achieve low Maths scores, compared to pupils with an ‘In-vigour’ profile. An implication for special educational provision is discussed, and practical suggestions are provided.Keywords: working memory, test anxiety, self-regulation, mathematics, primary-school level(Published: 3 March 2015)Citation: Education Inquiry (EDUI) 2015, 6, 26026, http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/edui.v6.26026 
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