L'appréhension des quantités par la vision ou le toucher : son développement et son rôle dans les apprentissages numériques chez l'enfant

Abstract : At birth, infant have basic numerical intuitions that allow them to comprehend quantities. This ability depends on the approximate number system (ANS). This thesis aimed to find the main predictors of mathematical achievement, to explore the ANS’s nature, and to test training programs involving the children’s basic numerical intuitions and designed to promote numerical learning. Many important cognitive factors are involved in numerical learning including ANS acuity, working memory (WM) and the precision of “mapping” symbolic numbers to their corresponding quantities. A first study examined the effects of WM, mapping and ANS on numerical learning (as measured by arithmetic tasks), and showed that at 5 years old, the two dominant predictors were ANS acuity and mapping acuity, whereas at 7 years old, they were working memory capacity and mapping acuity. The following two studies examined the nature of ANS and found that the ANS could process quantities perceived by touch and that its acuity increased with age, especially between 5 and 10 years old, and then remained stable until adulthood. In the fourth study, ANS acuity measured with touch increased during training sessions, but no effect on arithmetic performance was observed. Moreover the relationship between arithmetic performance and ANS acuity (measured with touch or with vision) depended on participants’ age, the sensory modality used to measure ANS acuity and the arithmetic tasks employed. The goal of the last two studies was to improve mapping acuity. Training the mapping capacities in 5-year-old children, with a linear number board game, improved their counting knowledge, but not their arithmetic performance. Finally, visual “calibration” process was efficient to improve mapping acuity in 7-year-old children, and in adults. Further investigations are needed to determine whether this process can be used to promote learning. These results provide insights in order to know whether it could be appropriated to involve children’s basic numerical intuitions in mathematical learning.
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Fanny Gimbert. L'appréhension des quantités par la vision ou le toucher : son développement et son rôle dans les apprentissages numériques chez l'enfant. Psychologie. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016GREAS010⟩. ⟨tel-01472814⟩



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