Ann Dowker

Ann Dowker
University of Oxford | OX · Department of Experimental Psychology

About

117
Publications
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3,913
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Additional affiliations
October 1987 - present
University of Oxford
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (117)
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we discuss several largely undisputed claims about mathematics anxiety (MA) and propose where MA research should focus, including theoretical clarifications on what MA is and what constitutes its opposite pole; discussion of construct validity, specifically relations between self-descriptive, neurophysiological, and cognitive measure...
Article
Full-text available
Many studies have indicated that mathematics anxiety, and other negative attitudes and emotions toward mathematics, are pervasive and are associated with lower mathematical performance. Some previous research has suggested that working memory is related to both mathematics anxiety and mathematics. Moreover, both gender and chosen course of study (s...
Chapter
This volume contains the papers presented at the International Conference Building on the Past to Prepare for the Future held from August 8-13, 2022, in King’s College, Cambridge, UK. It was the 16th conference organised by The Mathematics Education for the Future Project - an international educational and philanthropic project founded in 1986 and...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the effect of educational level and of the syntactic representation of numbers in Arabic on the task of transcoding two-digit numbers from dictation. The participants were primary, junior-high, and high school pupils and higher education students. All spoke Arabic as a mother tongue. They performed a transcoding task, namely...
Article
The study focuses on the effect of the lexical-syntactic structure on the patterns of errors by Arab first graders in tasks involving reading two-digit number and writing two-digit numbers to dictation. Children made few change or omission errors, indicating that they had little problem with the lexical aspects of the counting system. However, they...
Article
Domain-general skills such as executive functions (EFs), and domain-specific skills such as non-symbolic number sense and symbolic understanding are often pitted against each other as predictors of emerging maths. Here we aimed to investigate early childhood relations between these foundational skills with a balanced, longitudinal design. One hundr...
Article
Full-text available
Most studies suggest that home numeracy is correlated with preschool children’s current mathematical performance, and also predicts their mathematical performance longitudinally. However, this finding is not universal, and some studies do not suggest a close relationship between home numeracy and preschoolers’ mathematical development. There are se...
Article
This paper reviews and discusses research on arithmetical strengths and weaknesses in children with specific developmental cognitive disabilities. It focusses on children with dyslexia, developmental language disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism. In general, studies show that arithmetical weaknesses are commoner in children...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated mathematics anxiety from an intergenerational perspective, by investigating data on 172 primary-school children and both their biological parents. This family dataset (n = 516) allowed us to not only replicate previous findings per generation but also, importantly, explore intergenerational correlations. We found a significa...
Article
Developmental cognitive neuroscience highlights the importance of interactions between children and their environment. As young children spend increasing time in childcare, it is key to investigate the impact of “maths‐talk” and maths provisions in preschools. Qualitative insights from early educators indicate a greater bias toward counting activit...
Chapter
The final part of my 1998 chapter
Chapter
The second part of my 1998 chapter
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Here, we present four different intervention methods that aim to improve numerical and mathematical abilities. These used different specific methods and designs, targeted different sub-domains of mathematics (basic number processing, arithmetic, and geometry), and involved different populations (children and adults, with typical and atypical mathem...
Article
Full-text available
Most studies of children’s attitudes to mathematics have dealt with children in second grade or later, and have suggested that attitudes deteriorate, and anxiety increases with age. The present study investigated attitudes to mathematics in 67 English and 49 Chinese children at the end of their first year of school. The participants were given Thom...
Article
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East Asian pupils have consistently outperformed Western pupils in international comparisons of mathematical performance at both primary and secondary school level. It has sometimes been suggested that a contributory factor is the transparent counting systems of East Asian languages, which may facilitate number representation. The present study com...
Book
Full-text available
Feelings of apprehension and fear brought on by mathematical performance can affect correct mathematical application and can influence the achievement and future paths of individuals affected by it. In recent years, mathematics anxiety has become a subject of increasing interest both in educational and clinical settings. This ground-breaking collec...
Article
Full-text available
Studies in several domains of expertise have established that experience-dependent plasticity brings about both functional and anatomical changes. However, little is known about how such changes come to shape the brain in the case of expertise acquired by professional mathematicians. Here, we aimed to identify cognitive and brain-structural (grey a...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the present study was to extend the previous intervention research in math by examining whether elementary school children with poor calculation fluency benefit from strategy training focusing on derived fact strategies and following an integrative framework, i.e., integrating factual, conceptual, and procedural arithmetic knowledge. It...
Chapter
Difficulty with arithmetic is a common problem for children and adults, though there has been some work on the topic for a surprisingly long time. This chapter will review some of the research that has been done over the years on interventions with primary school children. Interventions can be of various levels of intensiveness, ranging from whole-...
Article
Full-text available
Background Children have been found to report and demonstrate math anxiety as early as the first grade. However, previous results concerning the relationship between math anxiety and performance are contradictory, with some studies establishing a correlation between them while others do not. These contradictory results might be related to varying o...
Article
Full-text available
In a randomized controlled trial 104 primary school children, who received an individualized numeracy intervention, Catch Up Numeracy, were compared with 100 children, who received matched-time teaching, and 107, who received business-as-usual teaching. They were assessed before and after intervention, on the Number Screening Test and on both the r...
Article
Full-text available
Linguistic influences on number processing are ubiquitous. They occur at conceptual, semantic, syntactic, lexical, visuo-spatial-orthographic, phonological, and other levels. Research should now address more precisely which language characteristics at which level influence particular numerical tasks at particular ages.
Article
Full-text available
The construct of mathematics anxiety has been an important topic of study at least since the concept of 'number anxiety' was introduced by Dreger & Aiken (1957), and has received increasing attention in recent years. This paper focuses on what research has revealed about mathematics anxiety in the last 60 years, and what still remains to be learned...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated derived fact strategy use in RR, an aphasic patient with severely impaired working memory (no phonological loop), and 16 neurologically healthy matched controls. Participants were tested on derived fact strategy use in multi-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. RR's accuracy only differed from controls in multi...
Article
Full-text available
The Welsh language uses a regular counting system, whereas English uses an irregular counting system, and schools within Wales teach either through the medium of Welsh or English. This provides the opportunity to compare linguistic effects on arithmetical skills in the absence of many other confounding factors that arise in international comparison...
Article
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The relative linguistic transparency of the Asian counting system has been used to explain Asian students' relative superiority in cross-cultural comparisons of mathematics achievement. To test the validity and extent of linguistic transparency in accounting for mathematical abilities, this study tested Chinese and British primary school children....
Article
Full-text available
The surge in noninvasive brain stimulation studies investigating cognitive enhancement has neglected the effect of interindividual differences, such as traits, on stimulation outcomes. Using the case of mathematics anxiety in a sample of healthy human participants in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover experiment, we show that identical t...
Poster
Full-text available
Our study suggested that linguistic and cultural factors both affect arithmetic learning. Our findings highlight the importance of developing culturally-specific norms for screening tools of mathematic learning difficulties, to facilitate accurate detection.
Article
Full-text available
Forty-four children between 6;0 and 7;11 took part in a study of derived fact strategy use. They were assigned to addition and subtraction levels on the basis of calculation pretests. They were then given Dowker's (1998) test of derived fact strategies in addition, involving strategies based on the Identity, Commutativity, Addend +1, Addend -1, and...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the treatment of disabled characters in British and North-American children's classics and in books that are out-of-print or less available to children from the 19th century to early 20th century. One of the main findings of this article is that the treatment of disabled characters is often more complex and varied in the latte...
Article
Many children who would not be identified as having special educational needs are low-attaining in mathematics, which often has a severe impact on their progress at school and their successes in later life. This paper describes Catch Up Numeracy, a non-intensive targeted intervention for children who are low-attaining in mathematics, which is deliv...
Article
Full-text available
Developmental dyscalculia (DD) and its treatment are receiving increasing research attention. A PsychInfo search for peer-reviewed articles with dyscalculia as a title word reveals 31 papers published from 1991-2001, versus 74 papers published from 2002-2012. Still, these small counts reflect the paucity of research on DD compared to dyslexia, desp...
Article
Full-text available
Low numeracy skills have a negative impact on the employment prospects and mental and physical health of individuals, and on the economic status of countries. Clearly, this is a high priority area where efficient strategies for intervention can lead to a better outcome, especially when implemented at an early age. We discuss here present and future...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Problem: Recent research indicates that about 17% of school leavers have significant literacy problems, a proportion that has not changed significantly in the last 20 years. Literacy problems are associated with increased risk of poverty, unemployment, criminal conviction, and ill-health. Most adults with literacy problems had difficulties in readi...
Article
Full-text available
44 Grade 3 children and 45 Grade 5 children from English primary schools were given the British abilities scales basic number skills subtest, and a Mathematics Attitude and Anxiety Questionnaire, using pictorial rating scales to record their Self-rating for maths, Liking for maths, Anxiety about maths, and Unhappiness about poor performance in math...
Article
Full-text available
Mathematics anxiety (MA), a state of discomfort associated with performing mathematical tasks, is thought to affect a notable proportion of the school age population. Some research has indicated that MA negatively affects mathematics performance and that girls may report higher levels of MA than boys. On the other hand some research has indicated t...
Data
Figure S1. Standardized MA scores of excluded participants. Scores are in units of standard deviations (Y axis).
Chapter
This is an extremely interesting chapter that describes children’s difficulties in mathematics. It discusses the problem of learning difficulties in mathematics. As the authors point out, mathematical difficulties are indeed very common. This has been found to be so internationally (Butterworth 2005; Bzufka et al. 2000; Gross-Tsur et al. 1996), tho...
Article
Full-text available
Two hundred and fifteen children aged between 5 and 9 years were asked to estimate the answers to addition sums. Their competence at addition was first assessed, and they were accordingly divided into five groups. Children of each level were given a set of estimation problems involving sums a little too difficult for them to calculate (termed their...
Article
Background. Difficulty with arithmetic is ac ommon problem. There is increasing evidence that arithmetical cognition is made up of multiple components, and that it is quite possible for children and adults to show strong discrepancies, in either direction, between the components. This suggested the desirability of developing interventions that asse...
Article
339 children aged 6 and 7 at Oxford primary schools took part in a study of arithmetic. 204 of the children had been selected by their teachers as having mathematical difficulties and the other 135 children were unselected. They were assigned to an Addition Performance Level on the basis of a calculation pretest, and then given Dowker's (1998) test...
Article
This special issue is dedicated to the nature of mathematical difficulties in children, from neuropsychological, cognitive and developmental perspectives. There has been increasing recent interest in the problem of developmental dyscalculia, generally defined as severe difficulties in learning and doing arithmetic, that cannot be attributed to gene...
Article
This chapter describes an intervention program that is based on the findings that suggest that arithmetic is made up of numerous components, and involves assessing and targeting individual children's specific weaknesses. It analyses a few specific components of arithmetic, and the relationships between them, in a group of children who were selected...
Article
This study investigated individual differences in different aspects of early number concepts in preschoolers. Eighty 4-year-olds from Oxford nursery classes took part. They were tested on accuracy of counting sets of objects; the cardinal word principle; the order irrelevance principle; and predicting the results of repeated addition and subtractio...
Article
Full-text available
Wales uses languages with both regular (Welsh) and irregular (English) counting systems. Three groups of 6- and 8-year-old Welsh children with varying degrees of exposure to the Welsh language—those who spoke Welsh at both home and school; those who spoke Welsh only at home; and those who spoke only English—were given standardized tests of arithmet...
Article
Full-text available
This research aims to investigate the differences and similarities in the understanding of animal metaphors in English and Chinese children and adults. 95 Chinese children and adults and 54 English children and adults participated in the experiment. The child participants are aged from eight to eleven and adults are aged from eighteen to forty. The...
Article
Full-text available
One experiment investigated the effects of distortion and multiple prime repetition (super-repetition) on repetition priming using divided-visual-field word identification at test and mixed-case words (e.g., goAT). The experiment measured form-specificity (the effect of matching lettercase at study and test) for two non-conceptual study tasks. For...
Article
Full-text available
Is the FRA a reliable and valid instrument? Are there any gender differences concerning math anxiety? Are there any developmental changes in this regard in the course of the early grades? Together with the dyscalculia test TEDI-MATH, the FRA was presented to a total of 450 children from the first to the third grade of primary school (at least 40 gi...
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung: Einleitung: Rechenangst ist ein haufiges Phanomen und oft mit Dyskalkulie assoziiert. Dementsprechend wichtig ist ein standardisiertes Instrument zur Fruherkennung von Rechenangst, welches nun in der deutschsprachigen Version des Fragebogens fur Rechenangst (FRA) fur 6- bis 9-jahrige Kinder (Originalversion: Thomas & Dowker, 2000)...
Article
Functional brain imaging has been largely reserved for adults. However, in recent years there have been increasing attempts to use functional brain imaging to inform our understanding of child development. These have taken three main forms: (1) Children with known or suspected neurological disorders may undergo brain imaging for medical diagnostic...
Article
Standards in numeracy are a constant concern to educational policy-makers. However, why are differences in arithmetical performance so marked? In Individual Differences in Arithmetic, Ann Dowker seeks to provide a better understanding of why these differences in ability exist, encouraging a more informed approach to tackling numeracy difficulties....
Article
Full-text available
The present study compared the relative effects of 2 educational programs on kindergarten children. The experimental group took part in a numeracy-specific program, which focused on conceptual knowledge. Children were taught basic numerical skills such as understanding and handling numbers and their relations as well as counting principles. The con...
Article
The Numeracy Recovery scheme described here involves working with children who have been identified by their teachers as having problems with arithmetic. These children are assessed on eight components of early numeracy: (1) principles and procedures related to counting; (2) use of written arithmetical symbolism; (3) use of place value in arithmeti...
Book
Many educational researchers are interested in how students can be taught sub-jects so that they develop adaptive expertise—the ability to apply meaning¬fully learned procedures flexibly and creatively. From this perspective, school instruction is successful when students are able to use what they have learned to invent effective procedures for sol...
Article
To investigate the role that "nonlogical" cues might play in transitive inference, 6- and 7-year-olds were given a three-term transitive task in which perceptual cues to differential absolute size were either present or absent. Relationships between the taught premises and the relational information that was physically present were manipulated usin...
Article
Full-text available
A written pictures to spelling task was given to two groups of children, 17 deaf children from signing schools (average age = 10.7) and 20 hearing children learning English as a second language (ESL, average age = 10.4). The stimuli were equally divided according to frequency, phonological regularity, and orthographic regularity. We predicted that...
Article
Full-text available
Poem production is a common form of language play in young children, and provides interesting information about their metalinguistic abilities. A task involving poem production was given to 122 English children, 59 French children, 148 Italian children, 118 Polish children and 118 Brazilian (Portuguese-speaking) children between the ages of 4 and 6...
Article
Full-text available
Poem production is an common form of language play in young children, and provides interesting information about their metalinguistic abilities. A task involving poem production was given to 122 English children, 59 French children, 148 Italian children, 118 Polish children and 118 Brazilian (Portuguese-speaking) children between the ages of 4 and...