Pirjo Aunio

Pirjo Aunio
University of Helsinki | HY · Faculty of Educational Sciences

Doctor of Education

About

85
Publications
43,761
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
1,998
Citations
Introduction
I do research about development and learning of mathematical skills, learning difficulties in mathematics, assessment of mathematical performance and development, and mathematical and related cognitive skills interventions. Currently I study the relationships between physical activity, motor skills and early numeracy learning.

Publications

Publications (85)
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to model the most crucial numerical factors to the development of mathematical skills among children aged five to eight years (i.e. kindergarten, preschool, first and second graders). We categorised numerical skills into four main groups based on the results of longitudinal studies. A series of analyses of test batteries d...
Article
Full-text available
We present results of a computer-assisted intervention (CAI) study on number skills in kindergarten children. Children with low numeracy skill (n = 30) were randomly allocated to two treatment groups. The first group played a computer game (The Number Race) which emphasized numerical comparison and was designed to train number sense, while the othe...
Article
This article concerns psychometric aspects of the Finnish Early Numeracy Test, which has been translated from the original Dutch Early Numeracy Test. The advantage of the test is that young children's numerical skills can be assessed systematically, which was not possible previously in Finland. A norm study was conducted in which the test was admin...
Article
Full-text available
This systematic review aimed to investigate the methodological quality and the effects of fundamental motor skills and physical activity interventions on cognitive and academic skills in 3- to 7-year-old children with special educational needs. The review was reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-...
Article
Full-text available
Children with low performance in early numeracy are at risk of facing learning difficulties in mathematics, but few trials have examined how this can be ameliorated. A total of 120 first-grade children ( M age = 6.4 years) were randomly assigned to an intervention or a control condition. The 14-week intervention targeted early numeracy skills and w...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated direct and indirect cross-sectional associations of physical activity, fundamental motor skills, executive functions, and early numeracy in preschoolers. The participants were 214 preschoolers aged three to five years. Time spent in moderate and vigorous physical activity was measured by hip-worn accelerometers and fundamental motor...
Article
Aims: Child maltreatment (CM) is a global public health and social problem, resulting in serious long-term health and socioeconomic consequences. As parents are the most common perpetrators of CM, parenting interventions are appropriate strategies to prevent CM. However, research on parenting interventions on CM has been hampered by lack of consens...
Preprint
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to validate a teacher rating scale (TRS-EN) for assessing early numeracy skills and for identifying mathematically low-performing 3- and 4-year-old children. Fifty-six preschool teachers assessed children’s (3-year-olds = 127; 4-year-olds = 145) numerical relational, counting, and basic arithmetic skills. Construct validit...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this pilot study was to examine the immediate and long-term effects of an intervention program that aims to improve preschoolers’ ( N = 36, M = 4.49 years, SD = 0.35) early numeracy skills by combining the learning of numerical relational skills via story reading with fundamental motor skill practice. The intervention program was piloted...
Article
Full-text available
The present systematic review aimed to investigate the methodological quality and the effects of fundamental motor skills and physical activity interventions on cognitive and academic skills in typically developing 3 to 7-year-old children. The review was conducted and reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews...
Article
Oppimisen ja oppimisvaikeuksien erityislehti NMI-bulletin 31(3), 43–63. Tässä tutkimuksessa tarkasteltiin matemaattisiin suhdetaitoihin ja laskemisen taitoihin keskittyvän ThinkMath-intervention vaikutusta matemaattisissa taidoissa tukea tarvitsevien esiopetusikäisten lasten oppimiseen. Tutkimukseen osallistui 191 lasta, joista interventioon osall...
Article
Full-text available
Fraction knowledge has been found to predict later mathematical performance, but many students have difficulty with fractions. Virtual manipulatives (VM) and concrete manipulatives (CM) are effective approaches to teaching fractions, but previous research has not been able to reach a consensus on which manipulatives are the most effective. This qua...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we analyzed the development and effects of gender on basic number skills from third to ninth grade in Finland. Because the international comparison studies have shown slightly different developmental trends in mathematical attainment for different language groups in Finland, we added the language of education as a variable in our ana...
Article
The aims of this study were; 1) to identify di erent movement pro les in sixth graders, and 2) to investigate if there are di erences in their mathematical basic (BasicMath) and problem solving (ProbSol) skills between existing movement pro les. The sample included 461 (223 girls, 238 boys) students with a mean age of 11.27 ± .32 years from souther...
Article
The aims of this study were; 1) to identify different movement profiles in sixth graders, and 2) to investigate if there are differences in their mathematical basic (BasicMath) and problem solving (ProbSol) skills between existing movement profiles. The sample included 461 (223 girls, 238 boys) students with a mean age of 11.27 ± .32 years from sou...
Article
Full-text available
This systematic review investigates the characteristics of effective mathematics interventions for students with intellectual disabilities (ID) age 5 to 12, focusing on early numeracy, arithmetic, and arithmetical problem solving skills. Twenty studies from 2008–2020 were reviewed: 17 had a single-subject design and three a group-comparison design....
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to investigate whether early numeracy skills of South African first graders who are at-risk for mathematical learning difficulties can be improved with an intervention program. The participants were 267 children from 17 classrooms in the greater Johannesburg area. In this quasi-experimental small group intervention study (...
Article
Tämän tutkimuksen tarkoituksena on selvittää virtuaalisten ja konkreettisten apuvälineiden käytön vaikutuksia neljäs- ja viidesluokkalaisille suunnatussa murtolukuinterventiossa. Oppimistulosten lisäksi tutkimme apuvälineiden aikatehokkuutta sekä sitä, kuinka hyödyllisenä ja helppokäyttöisenä oppilaat pitävät apuvälineitä. Esittelemme tutkimuksemme...
Article
Full-text available
Tämän tutkimuksen tavoitteena oli selvittää erityisopettajiksi opiskelevien verkkopalvelujen käyttöä opiskelujen ja työn tukena sekä heidän näkemyksiään ThinkMath-verkkopalvelusta ja sen kehittämistarpeista. Tutkimus on osa Matematiikan maailmaan –matematiikan opettajankoulutuksen kehittämishanketta. Kehittämistutkimuksen tässä osassa selvitettiin...
Article
Aims: Child maltreatment (CM) is global public health issue with devastating lifelong consequences. Global organizations have endeavored to eliminate CM; however, there is lack of consensus on what instruments are most suitable for the investigation and prevention of CM. This systematic review aimed to appraise the psychometric properties (other t...
Article
Aims Child maltreatment (CM) is a serious public health issue, affecting over half of all children globally. Although most CM is perpetrated by parents or caregivers and their reports of CM is more accurate than professionals or children, parent or caregiver report instruments measuring CM have never been systematically evaluated for their content...
Article
This study investigated the psychometric properties of the Early Numeracy Screener. The Early Numeracy Screener is a teacher-administered, paper-and-pencil test measuring counting skills, numerical relational skills, and basic arithmetic skills. Three hundred and sixty-six first graders took the Early Numeracy Screener at the beginning of the schoo...
Article
This manuscript presents a study in which the new version of the computer-based training programme, The Number Race (NR), was used as an intervention for mathematically low-performing children in grade one (Mage = 86.46, SD = 3.89). In addition to ordinary teacher instruction in mathematics, the intervention group (n = 29) received NR training for...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated reliability and validity evidence regarding the Early Numeracy test (EN-test) in a sample of 1139 Swedish-speaking children (587 girls) in kindergarten (n = 361), first grade (n = 321), and second grade (n = 457). Structural validity evidence was established through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), which showed that a fou...
Chapter
One important goal of education is to prepare the students with relevant academic competencies and to support their more general well-being and motivation to learn. In this chapter, we will review studies focusing on mathematical skills learning, and the role various cognitive and motivational factors play, especially in the context of Chinese and...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of cognitive skills (executive function), language factors (listening comprehension, English as a second language, ESL) and kindergarten attendance on early numeracy in a cross-sectional sample of South African children (N=442) in the beginning of Grade 1. The mean age of children was 81.62 mont...
Article
Full-text available
Tidigare studier har visat på ett samband mellan matematikkunskaper under de tidiga åren och senare prestationer i matematik, och det har konstaterats att detta gäller speciellt för vissa centrala färdighetsområden: tal- och antalsuppfattning, räknefärdigheter, aritmetiska basfärdigheter och förståelse för matematiska samband. Genom att i ett tidig...
Chapter
The Nordic countries are admired internationally for their well-developed policies on social inclusion within equitable social and educational systems. But we know very little how equally the children who have learning difficulties in mathematics are identified and provided support. The aim of this chapter is to describe and compare the identificat...
Chapter
Full-text available
The research related to educational interventions for children with mathematical learning difficulties has been increasing steadily. In this chapter I focus on small group interventions for children aged 5-9 years old with learning difficulties in mathematics. First I describe the important issues: (1) who are the children having problems in mathem...
Article
Working memory is important for a variety of life domains, including for children's school functioning. As such, it is crucial to understand its development, antecedents and consequences. The current study investigates the development of different working memory components (phonological loop, visuospatial sketchpad, central executive), the influenc...
Article
This study aimed to investigate how teachers’ certification status, experience in instruction, and teachers’ efficacy beliefs for teaching lower secondary students in mathematics are related to differentiated instruction practices. A total of 42 mathematics teachers and 27 special education teachers answered an electronic questionnaire regarding ma...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of an educational computer game, Lola’s World, on low-performing children’s early numeracy skills. Four preschools with 33 children from families of low socio-economic status (Mage = 5.5 years) took part in this study. Of the 33 children, 23 were split randomly into two groups: an intervention grou...
Poster
Full-text available
South Africa and Finland are two countries with strong differences in cultural and educational settings. Among adolescents, the Finnish students’ performance in mathematics has been ranked top in the world, contrary to South Africa, which has been among the lowest performing countries (e.g., TIMSS 2011; Human Sciences Research Council). Not investi...
Article
Full-text available
Educational reforms during the last decade have led to a more inclusive environment for students with different needs and have placed demands on teachers' readiness to instruct diverse students in the general classroom. Previous research has ascertained that student achievement is correlated with teacher quality and teachers' efficacy beliefs. Toda...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates behavioral executive functions (EFs) in the mathematics classroom context among adolescents with different mathematics performance levels. The EF problems were assessed by teachers using a behavioral rating inventory. Using cutoff scores on a standardized mathematics assessment, groups with mathematics difficulties (MD, n =...
Article
Full-text available
Early numeracy skills are highly relevant for children’s mathematics learning at school, especially in the initial years when much mathematics learning relies on early numeracy competence. The aim of this study was to investigate the level of early numeracy skills in a sample of South African children in the first months of formal schooling. In thi...
Article
ThinkMath-verkkopalvelu (http://blogs.helsinki.fi /thinkmath) on esi- ja alkuopetusikäisten lasten kanssa toimiville kasvattajille suunnattu ilmainen verkkosivusto, josta löytyy tutkimukseen perustuvaa tietoa ja harjoitusmateriaalia matemaattisten taitojen tukemiseen. Harjoitusmateriaalit on suunnattu erityisesti sellai- sille lapsille, jotka tarvi...
Chapter
In this chapter, the four-factor model of mathematics skills development in children aged 5–8 years is introduced with the aim of describing the most essential skills for later math learning. The early signs of mathematical learning difficulties are also discussed. Additionally, initial findings from a study on the role of parents’ education and va...
Article
Full-text available
The calculation fluency from second to fourth grade and relations to reading fluency and naming speed (Psykologia 51(4), 2016, pages 244-261) Abstract The aim of this longitudinal study was to investigate the development of calculation fluency from second to fourth grade and the relationship between reading fluency and naming speed. At the beginnin...
Article
Full-text available
p> Background: It is important to provide early educational support for children having weak mathematical skills, in order to prevent possible later mathematical learning difficulties. Currently, there is a lack of research-based mathematical intervention programmes for teachers to use. Aim: This study investigated the impact of counting skills int...
Article
This paper reports the results of the improving thinking skills (ITS-1) intervention study on the thinking skills of low-achieving first graders. The intervention programme consists of 12 lessons, each lasting for 45 min. Lessons offer enriched-discovery learning activities and tasks to be solved through inductive reasoning. We used a quasi-experim...
Article
Full-text available
In November 2014 we had a wonderful possibility to organize a seminar International Seminar on Mathematical Learning Difficulties with our international colleagues in the field of mathematical learning difficulties. One of the main aims was to provide open lectures for the staff members and students in University of Helsinki. The meeting was suppor...
Article
In November 2014 we had a wonderful possibility to organize a seminar International Seminar on Mathematical Learning Difficulties with our international colleagues in the field of mathematical learning difficulties. One of the main aims was to provide open lectures for the staff members and students in University of Helsinki. The meeting was suppor...
Article
Full-text available
This research investigates similarities and differences in young children’s early numeracy skills related to age, nationality and gender. The participants were five- to seven-year-old children from Finland and Iran. Early numeracy was investigated by using tasks measuring number-related relational skills (e.g. comparison, one-to-one correspondence)...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to analyse the role of verbal and visuo-spatial working memory (WM) and language skills (vocabulary, listening comprehension) in predicting preschool and kindergarten-aged children’s ability to solve mathematical word problems presented orally. The participants were 116 Finnish-speaking children aged 4–7 years. The results...
Article
Full-text available
In 2011, there was a legislative reform regarding educational support in Finland, with a focus on early identification, differentiation and flexible arrangement of support using a multi-professional approach, the three-tier support model. The main aim of this study was to investigate what educational support practices are used with low performing l...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence-based practice is highly appreciated and demanded in the field of education, especially in relation to extra support provided for children struggling with learning. Currently, there is a lack of intervention studies in the area of mathematics. This study aimed to investigate the effects of a short mathematics intervention programme on seco...
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 investigated the effects of RightStart Mathematics instruction on Finnish kindergartners’ mathematics performance. The RightStart group (n = 38) received instruction that followed the RightStart Mathematics program, replacing their typical mathematics instruction, from their kindergarten teachers during the kindergarten year. A compariso...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we investigated how early numeracy skills develop in kindergarten-age children. The participants were 235 Finnish children (111 girls and 124 boys). At the time of the first measurement, the average age of the children was six. The measurements were conducted three times during one year of kindergarten. We used a between-group repeat...
Article
Full-text available
Tässä tutkimuksessa tutkittiin Minäkin lasken! –harjoitusohjelman sovelluksen vaikuttavuutta ensimmäisen luokan heikkojen lasten oppimiseen. Koulun alussa matemaattisilta taidoiltaan heikommista lapsista (N=21) muodostettiin harjoitus-ja vertailuryhmät. Harjoitusryhmä sai lisäopetusta 45 minuuttia viikossa pienryhmässä kahdeksan kuukauden ajan. Las...
Article
Full-text available
The present study assessed Finnish kindergarten (N = 177, Mage = 76.4 months, SD = 3.7 months) and grade one (N = 178, Mage = 87.2 months, SD = 3.7 months) children's mathematical skills in the beginning of the school year. The mathematical skills were assessed once using researcher-developed paper-pencil tests. The variance analysis (ANOVA) was us...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the connection between language (i.e., word comprehension, reading comprehension and spelling skills) and mathematical performance. The sample consisted of grade nine students (N = 810) in 14 lower secondary schools in the Swedish speaking areas of Finland. Standardized tests for reading and writing skills, and mathematical...
Article
Maahanmuuttajataustaisten lasten suomen kielen taito vaihtelee sen mukaisesti, kuinka lapsi on pystynyt omaksumaan arvioinnin kohteena ja välineenä olevan valtaväestön kielen. Erilaisista oppimisvaikeuksien seulontaan ja diagnosointiin tarkoitetuista testeistä selviytymiseen vaikuttaa merkittävästi oppilaan kieli- ja kulttuuritausta. Tästä johtuen...
Article
Kyttälä, M., Aunio, P. & Hautamäki, J. (2010). Working memory resources in young children with mathematical difficulties. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 51, 1–15. Working memory (WM) (Baddeley, 1986, 1997) is argued to be one of the most important cognitive resources underlying mathematical competence (Geary, 2004). Research has established cl...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to explore the early numeracy of low‐performing young children. The mean age of the children was six years and four months. The 511 participants belonged to three groups: multi‐language children, children with special educational needs and children with average performance. The results showed that there were significant gr...
Article
Full-text available
This research investigated the similarities and differences between countries in young children's early numeracy skills related to age, culture, and gender. The participants were five-year-old children from Beijing (People's Republic of China), England, and Finland. The rationale for the cross-cultural comparison originates from research results wi...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the influence of nationality, age and gender on Chinese (N = 130) and Finnish (N = 203) pre‐schoolers' number sense. Two highly correlated aspects of number sense were extracted: one reflecting the children's ability to organise and compare quantities (i.e. relational skills), and another pertaining to their ability to operate w...