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Chinese Children Excel on Novel Mathematics Problems Even before Elementary School

Robert S. Siegler and Yan Mu
Psychological Science
Vol. 19, No. 8 (Aug., 2008), pp. 759-763
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40064988
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Chinese Children Excel on Novel Mathematics Problems Even before Elementary School
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Abstract

Kindergartners in China showed greater numerical knowledge than their age peers in the United States, not only when tested with arithmetic problems, which Chinese parents present to their children more often than U.S. parents do, but also when tested with number-line estimation problems, which were novel to the children in both countries. The Chinese kindergartners' number-line estimates were comparable to those of U.S. children 1 to 2 years more advanced in school. Individual differences in arithmetic and number-line-estimation performance were positively correlated within each country. These results indicate that performance differences between Chinese and U.S. children on both practiced and unpracticed mathematical tasks are substantial even before the children begin elementary school.

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