Basic mathematics skills development in children : an evaluative study on cognitive and educational factors

D.C.J. Bartelet

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal


The computational skills of Dutch children are lower than expected. As a result, there is much interest in researching ways to improve these skills. The results of this dissertation point to the importance of quickly and accurately processing the value of a number – a skill that can be used as an early predictor of future maths problems in five and six-year-olds. It is important to familiarise students with numbers and their values between the ages of four and six. We also found that an extra academic year alone only helps to improve basic computational mathematics skills in five and six-year-olds. This is the result of an imbalance between learning mathematical reasoning skills and systematically practicing basic computational skills. A final policy recommendation is that interventions (e.g. educational computer programs) should be tailored to the cognitive strengths and weaknesses and the existing computational skills of all students.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Groot, Wim, Supervisor
  • Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, Supervisor
  • Haelermans, C., Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date28 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • primary education
  • mathematics skills development
  • policy

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