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Mathematical difficulties are a widespread problem for many children all over the world. The chapter discusses factors that predict arithmetical difficulties and interventions that are used to foster children’s mathematical skills invprimary school. As factors that contribute to mathematical difficulties, national and cultural aspects, socio-economic differences, attitudes and emotions are examined. In this regard, the chapter highlights the influences of teaching methods, poverty andmathematical anxiety for math abilities and, partially. mathematical learning problems. Interventions in numeracy are classified in varying degrees of intensiveness (‘three waves’). The chapter analyses advantages and disadvantages of all three ‘waves’ (whole-class approach, light-touch individualized and small-group interventions, highly intensive approach) so that factors can be identified, which make an intervention effective.



Book title

International Handbook of Mathematical Learning Difficulties



Publication Date



773 - 788

Total pages



Ann Dowker, University of Oxford, Experimental Psychology, New Radcliffe House, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Oxford, OX2 6GG, United Kingdom


Math difficulties, Predictors, Arithmetical achievement, Children, Interventions