Bad at Math? Or is It Dyscalculia? An Exploratory Study of Children With Dyscalculic Tendencies in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan


Fifty children were identified by their teachers as poor performers in math but at least average performers in other subjects. They were given a checklist of the warning signs of dyscalculia which include impaired basic arithmetic fact retrieval, lack of number sense, difficulty associating the four basic operations with their symbol and spoken term, and confusion in reading or writing numbers. Fourteen said they were experiencing majority of the behaviors listed. The Dyscalculia Screener, was then administered to these children to distinguish the age- appropriate, dyscalculic, and poor achiever. The children who were profiled by the screener as dyscalculic or poor achievers were selected as the final participants of the study. An interview with their parents was conducted to validate the selection. The children’s numeracy was investigated using the Dyscalculia Assessment. It involved one- on- one sessions of assessing the child’s skills and strategies used in number sense and counting, calculation, place value, multiplication and division, word problems, and formal written numeracy. They showed acceptable skills in counting and early calculation but struggled with most basic numeracy components especially in place value concepts and basic arithmetic fact retrieval particularly, subtraction. They also persistently used immature strategies, like finger- counting, in coping with their math tasks. They also showed very little knowledge of formal written numeracy. It is recommended that the children be exposed to more efficient strategies and that more than drills, especially designed games and activities that target specific skills should be used to strengthen their numeracy.

Author Information
Ma. Concepcion Abian, Palawan State University, Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2023
Stream: Education & Difference: Gifted Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon