Mikko Aro

Mikko Aro
University of Jyväskylä | JYU · Department of Education

PhD

About

111
Publications
57,076
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
5,632
Citations
Introduction
My research interests relate to acquisition of literacy and arithmetic skills, as well as learning disabilities in these domains. We have used longitudinal designs in order to understand the role of cognitive skills, motivation, and self-beliefs in typical and apypical skill development at school-age. Further, we have attempted to integrate these approaches in (quasi)experimental intervention studies of LDs.
Additional affiliations
September 2010 - present
University of Jyväskylä
Position
  • Professor (Full)
April 2009 - August 2010
University of Jyväskylä
Position
  • Senior Researcher
January 1994 - March 2009
Niilo Mäki Institute
Position
  • Researcher/Senior Researcher
Education
April 2004 - April 2004
University of Jyväskylä
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 1992 - May 1993
European Graduate School of Child Neuropsychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & Paedologisch Institut, Netherlands
Field of study
  • Child Neuropsychology
September 1992 - May 1995
Finnish Neuropsychological Society
Field of study
  • Neuropsychology

Publications

Publications (111)
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the identifiability and early cognitive and motivational markers of low reading and arithmetic fluency. Comparisons of these characteristics between Finnish third graders (n = 197) with low fluency in reading, arithmetic, or both revealed, first, that the majority of third graders with low arithmetic fluency showed low arithmeti...
Article
Full-text available
The study investigated teachers’ knowledge of reading comprehension processes and reading comprehension instruction. The study was carried out among teachers ( N = 65) in Estonia. The content analysis classified qualitative data from semi-structured interviews as quantitative data. The results showed that teachers’ content knowledge about reading c...
Article
Full-text available
Because of its regularity, it is relatively easy to learn to read and spell in Finnish. However, a specific hurdle in spelling acquisition seems to be the doubling of consonant letters. In this study on consonant letter doubling spelling in Finnish children (91 Grade 1 and 191 Grade 2 children), we asked two questions. First, are items with double...
Article
Research on literacy has become universal and is essential for researchers of various disciplines, educators, and psychologists. For this article, we examined the most important methodological challenges that arise when conducting literacy research across languages, some of which have long been acknowledged in the relevant literature. Specifically,...
Article
The beliefs children hold about their capabilities as readers are known to influence their reading achievement. The aim of this study was to extend previous work by examining trajectories of change in reading self-efficacy among primary school students (N = 1327) and the relations between the trajectories of self-efficacy and their hypothesized sou...
Article
The aim of the study was to examine the accuracy of Estonian teachers' and support specialists' judgements of students' spelling skills and reading fluency and to investigate the provision of special education services to students as a factor influencing teachers' judgements. The sample included 11 classroom teachers, 8 support specialists, and 187...
Article
Studies have found math anxiety and achievement to be related from the beginning of formal schooling, but the knowledge regarding the direction of the relationship is vague. The purpose of the present study was to study this relationship. We investigated math anxiety from two points of view: trait and state anxiety. In the first substudy, we invest...
Article
The aim of this quantitative survey study (N = 287) was to investigate the assessment conceptions of three different pre-service teacher groups (classroom teachers, subject teachers and special needs teachers). Assessment conceptions were best described by the following three main factors: 1) assessment of learning, 2) assessment for teaching and l...
Article
Full-text available
Central questions in the study of visual word recognition and developmental dys-lexia are whether early lexical activation precedes and supports decoding (a dual-stage view) or not (dual-route view), and the locus of deficits in dysfluent reading. The dual-route view predicts early word frequency and length interaction, whereas the dual-stage view...
Article
Full-text available
Background In 2018, it was found that only a quarter of Grade 3 children in India were reading at grade level. A growing demand for English education has further limited children's literacy achievement. Despite a strong evidence base in favour of using systematic phonics for building English literacy skills, many teachers in India continue to use r...
Article
Full-text available
This study identified online research and comprehension (ORC) performance profiles of 436 sixth‐grade students (206 girls) aged 12–13 years. We included learner groups with different learning‐related difficulties and explored how students’ reading habits were represented in various performance profiles. First, students’ ORC performance was examined...
Chapter
Self-efficacy has been found to be an important predictor of various learning-related outcomes. In this chapter, we focus on the role of academic self-efficacy in the context of reading among school-aged children. We first discuss measurement of reading self-efficacy both theoretically and in the light of recent empirical findings. We then turn on...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to explore Finnish pre-service teachers' self-efficacy in implementing inclusive education and their resilience. Survey data were collected from 105 pre-service teachers studying in a teacher education programme in one university in Finland. The relationships between pre-service teachers' self-efficacy in implementing inclusive prac...
Article
Suomessa oppimisen ja koulunkäynnin tukea toteutetaan vuonna 2011 voimaan tulleella kolmiportaisen tuen mallilla yleisessä, tehostetussa ja erityisessä tuessa. Oppimisen tuen käytännöt vaihtelevat eri kuntien ja koulujen välillä paljon, ja tuen toteuttamisen käytäntöihin on kaivattu selkeyttä. ”Opettajien arviointiosaaminen oppimisen, osallisuuden...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the malleability of math self-efficacy (SE) among children with poor calculation fluency via an intervention that targeted four sources of SE (mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, social persuasions, and emotional and physiological states). The effect of pure strategy training was contrasted with an intervention that inte...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to examine which predictor variables are related to literacy skills among monolingual Swedish (n = 269) and bilingual Finnish–Swedish (n = 229) children at the first grade in the Swedish-speaking schools in Finland. The participants were assessed in phonological awareness, letter knowledge, rapid automatized naming (RAN), w...
Article
Full-text available
This study evaluated the relation between sixth graders' (N = 426) teacher-rated difficulties in attention and executive function (EF) and their comprehension skills. Reading comprehension was assessed with a multiple-choice task and online research and comprehension (ORC) with a problem-solving task. The analyses were controlled for gender, readin...
Article
Full-text available
The main aim of this study was to investigate how Finnish pre-service special needs teachers’ (N = 134) assessment conceptions, prior academic studies in special education and teaching experience together cluster into different patterns representing different student types. Their assessment conceptions formed three main factors: 1) assessment measu...
Article
This study investigated why some Finnish students receive part-time special education in Grade 1, duration of that support, and its relation to student reading fluency, reading comprehension, and arithmetic fluency development. The participants included two groups from Grade 1 receiving part-time special education (1–2 years vs. 3–4 years) and a co...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated special educational needs (SEN) teachers’ (n = 29) assessment practices and the accuracy of their ratings of the students’ (M age = 12.75 years, n = 55) skill levels in reading fluency and reading comprehension. Teachers rated their sixth grade students’ fluency and comprehension on a three-point scale, and the students were...
Article
Full-text available
Barnets språkliga utveckling före skolåldern, ordförrådets omfattning, benämningshastighet och språkliga färdigheter är grunden för barnets läs-och skrivutveckling. • Syftet med ILS-kartläggningsmaterialet är att ge speciallärare, klasslärare, psykologer och andra professionella inom området verktyg för att effektivt kartlägga alla elevers läs-och...
Article
In this paper, we report an investigation of the possible influence on teachers' essentialist thinking and efficacy beliefs of category labels used to describe children's educational difficulties. A 2x2x2 counterbalanced design was employed in which primary school teachers in Finland and the UK were exposed to vignettes that portrayed a child exhib...
Article
Abstract The aim of this study was to investigate cognitive profiles composed of skills predicting the overlap between reading and arithmetic in kindergarten (phonological awareness, letter knowledge, rapid automatized naming, and counting sequence knowledge) and the relation of these profiles to reading and arithmetic skills at Grades 1 and 7. A t...
Article
Full-text available
The present study evaluated the extent to which literacy skills (reading fluency, written spelling, and reading comprehension), together with nonverbal reasoning, prior knowledge, and gender, are related to students’ online research and comprehension (ORC) performance. The ORC skills of 426 sixth graders were measured using a Finnish adaptation of...
Article
Full-text available
This paper compares the Special Education Systems form Chile, Spain and Finland, from the perspective of the unesco Salamanca Statement on Special Education Needs (SEN). The following issues create a dialogue about the agreement reached in 1994: the general context of the educational systems of each country, their epistemological orientation regard...
Article
This study examines the core predictors of the covariance in reading and arithmetic fluency and the domain‐general cognitive skills that explain the core predictors and covariance. Seven‐year‐old Finnish children (N = 200) were assessed on rapid automatized naming (RAN), phonological awareness, letter knowledge, verbal counting, number writing, num...
Article
Efficacy beliefs relate to effort and persistence devoted to learning. Therefore, efficacy beliefs might be especially important in achieving skills that require persistent practice, such as fluent reading. Although reading self-efficacy has been positively linked to reading comprehension, less is known about its relationship to reading fluency. Th...
Article
In this study, we examined self-regulatory efficacy and sources of self-efficacy (mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, social persuasion and physiological/emotional states) and the relationships between self-efficacy and its sources among elementary school pupils. Two groups were compared: a population sample (PS, N = 1284) and pupils with d...
Article
It is well-known that very preterm children perform at lower levels than full-term children in reading and arithmetic at school. Whether the lower performance levels of preterm children in these two separate domains have the same or different origins, however, is not clear. The present study examined the extent to which prematurity is associated wi...
Article
The aim of this study is to examine the development of two separable aspects of math anxiety, anxiety about math-related situations and anxiety about failure in math, and their cross-lagged relationship with arithmetic achievement. The mean level of anxiety about math-related situations decreased among second, third, and fourth graders, and the lev...
Article
We investigated the specificity of reading self-efficacy among second- to fifth-grade children in Finland (N = 1,327). Bandura (1997 Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY: Freeman. [Google Scholar]) theorized that efficacy beliefs can be assessed at different levels of specificity; however, empirical support for t...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study is to examine the mathematics skills of fourth-grade children from Kosovo in relation to their background characteristics. Seventy-six children, out of 233 tested, who were identified with learning difficulties in mathematics were further assessed during fifth and sixth grades, in mathematics skills and reading comprehension....
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to investigate what kinds of assessment practices classroom teachers and special educational needs (SEN) teachers use in assessing first grade students' pre-reading skills (letter knowledge and phonological skills). Further, we investigated to what extent teachers were able to identify difficulties in pre-reading skills of...
Article
Full-text available
The development of games for people with learning disabilities is one way to enhance the quality of learning and respond to the need for inclusive special educational support. Recently, game researchers have highlighted the need for paying more attention to identifying the game design choices that can strengthen learning. This paper reviews recent...
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...
Poster
Full-text available
Objective: To determine whether GraphoLearn, a computer-assisted reading tool, could be used to support the English reading skills of struggling readers in India.
Article
Full-text available
India, a country with a population of more than 1.3 billion individuals, houses the world’s second largest educational system. Despite this, 100 of millions of individuals in India are still illiterate. As English medium education sweeps the country, many are forced to learn in a language which is foreign to them. Those living in poverty further st...
Article
Full-text available
Response to Intervention (RTI) was accepted in the early 2000s as a new framework for identifying learning difficulties (LD) in the U.S. In Finland, a similar multi-tiered framework has existed since 2010. In the present study, these frameworks are presented from the viewpoint of the role of assessment and instruction as expressed in documents that...
Article
We examined the prevalence of comorbidity of dysfluent reading and math skills longitudinally in a representative sample (N = 1,928) and the stability of comorbid and single difficulties from first to fourth grades. The findings indicated that half the children who showed very low performance in one skill also evidenced low or very low performance...
Article
Full-text available
The present study was designed to examine the effects of feedback conditions on learning and motivation of children identified with mathematical learning difficulties (MLDs). The performance of 76 fifth-grade children on computational math skills and related task motivation was assessed. The groups of children were randomly assigned to one of two t...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of the study was to examine the effects of a group-based behavioural, cognitive and skills training intervention (Maltti) provided in schools for elementary school pupils with attention and executive function (EF) deficits. The treatment effects were identified by comparing an intervention group (n = 46) with a waitlist control group...
Chapter
The chapter describes the features of Finnish language as well as Finnish writing system. It also summarizes the research findings concerning reading and spelling acquisition in Finnish.
Presentation
Full-text available
Abstract of the conference presentation, single paper is attached.
Article
This study examined the extent to which reading and arithmetic skills show covariation at Grade 1 and at Grade 7, to what extent this covariation is time-invariant or time-specific, and to what extent different antecedents will predict these time-invariant and time-specific portions of the covariation. The reading and arithmetic skills of a total o...
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
Several studies have shown that rapid automatized naming (RAN) is a significant predictor of mathematics, but the nature of their relationship remains elusive. Thus, the purpose of this meta-analysis was to estimate the size of their relationship and determine the conditions under which they correlate. We used a random-effects model analysis of dat...
Article
Full-text available
This study explored the double-deficit hypothesis (DDH) in a transparent orthography (Finnish) and extended the view from reading disabilities to comorbidity of learning-related problems in math and attention. Children referred for evaluation of learning disabilities in second through sixth grade (N = 205) were divided into four groups based on rap...
Chapter
This chapter outlines the approaches for supporting reading development in Finnish that have been developed on the basis of current knowledge on reading development and reading disabilities in Finnish. We discuss also the challenges that the features of Finnish language and orthography pose for the reader at various points of development. We also d...
Article
The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to contrast the prominent theoretical explanations of the rapid automatized naming (RAN)-reading relationship across languages varying in orthographic consistency (Chinese, English, and Finnish) and (b) to examine whether the same accounts can explain the RAN-spelling relationship. In total, 304 Grade 4 ch...
Article
Understanding of the factors that underlie the development of fluency in reading and arithmetic is limited. This longitudinal study examined whether verbal counting and rapid naming (RAN) were predictors of arithmetic and reading fluency in a population-based sample and to what extent related early emerging cognitive abilities and socioeconomic bac...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to explore the Finnish preservice and inservice teachers’ knowledge of language constructs relevant for literacy acquisition. A total of 150 preservice teachers and 74 inservice teachers participated in the study by filling out a questionnaire that assessed self-perceived expertise in reading instruction, knowledge of phono...
Article
Tässä katsausartikkelissa esitellään Yhdysvalloissa monin paikoin käytössä olevaa interventiovastemallia (Response to Intervention, RTI), joka sisältää tutkimusperustaisen näkökulman koulussa annettavaan oppimisen tukeen. Ennen kaikkea pohditaan interventiovastemallille ominaisen tuen tiheyden, keston ja arvioinnin merkitystä ja hyödynnettävyyttä s...
Article
Weaknesses in early number skills have been found to be a risk factor for later difficulties in mathematical performance. Nevertheless, only a few intervention studies with young children have been published. In this study, the responsiveness to early support in kindergarteners with most severe difficulties was examined with two different computer...
Article
We examined the effects of short, intensive computerized intervention in early number skills for kindergarteners with poor addition skills (below 1.5 SD). The mathematical content of the software was hierarchically organized, starting from one-to-one correspondence, comparing and ordering, and proceeding via number concept and counting to basic add...
Article
Full-text available
Response to intervention (RTI) can be considered an everyday practice in many parts of the United States, whereas, in Finland, only recently has a new framework for support in learning taken shape. Choosing Finland as the comparative partner for this policy paper is justified as its educational system has been widely referenced on the basis of good...
Chapter
Reading acquisition is under the influence of the structure and function of the language itself, the individual’s capacity to learn and the differential methods of instruction. Alphabetic languages vary from the bidirectionally consistent phoneme–grapheme–phoneme units of Finnish, to English as the most inconsistent for small units, but the latter...
Article
We examined the relationship between rapid automatized naming (RAN) components—articulation time and pause time—and reading fluency across languages varying in orthographic consistency. Three hundred forty-seven Grade 4 children (82 Chinese-speaking Taiwanese children, 90 English-speaking Canadian children, 90 Greek-speaking Cypriot children, and 8...
Article
Full-text available
This study reviewed early numeracy interventions for four- to seven-year-old children at risk for mathematics difficulties. The search yielded 19 peer-reviewed studies with pre- and post-treatment control designs. The interventions were categorised as either core or supplemental instruction. The study analysed the effectiveness and identified the p...
Article
Full-text available
This study followed the development of reading speed, reading accuracy, and spelling in transparent Finnish orthography through Grades 2, 3, and 8. We compared two groups of children with familial risk for dyslexia, with or without dyslexia in Grade 2 (Dys_FR, n = 35 and NoDys_FR, n = 66) to a group of children without familial risk and dyslexia (C...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the nature of and factors related to adolescents’ reading difficulties in a highly transparent orthography. We compared word, pseudoword, and text reading speed and accuracy, rapid naming (RAN) and phonological processing between poor readers (n = 80) and normally developing readers (n = 189). Reading problems were manifested in reading...
Article
This study investigates resilience strategies exhibited by teachers with dyslexia working at tertiary education. Narrative interviews of tertiary teachers’ own perceptions of how dyslexia affects their work were analysed to understand how they cope in a challenging profession. Findings indicated a utilization of a range of resilience strategies; ta...
Article
Full-text available
Repeated reading of infrequent syllables has been shown to increase reading speed at the word level in a transparent orthography. This study confirms these results with a computer-based training method and extends them by comparing the training effects of short syllables and long frequent and infrequent syllables, controlling for rapid automatized...