A1 Journal article – refereed
Spontaneous focusing on quantitative relations as a predictor of rational number and algebra knowledge

List of Authors: Jake McMullen, Minna M. Hannula-Sormunen, Erno Lehtinen
Publisher: Academic Press
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Contemporary Educational Psychology
Volume number: 51
eISSN: 1090-2384


Spontaneous Focusing
On quantitative Relations (SFOR) has been found to predict the development of
rational number conceptual knowledge in primary students. Additionally, rational
number knowledge has been shown to be related to later algebra knowledge. However,
it is not yet clear: (a) the relative consistency of SFOR across multiple
measurement points, (b) how SFOR tendency and rational number knowledge are
inter-related across multiple time points, and (c) if SFOR tendency also predicts
algebra knowledge. A sample of 140 third to fifth graders were followed over a
four-year period and completed measures of SFOR tendency, rational number
conceptual knowledge, and algebra knowledge. Results revealed that the SFOR was
relatively consistent over a one-year period, suggesting that SFOR is not
entirely context-dependent, but a more generalizable tendency. SFOR tendency
was in a reciprocal relation with rational number conceptual knowledge, each
being uniquely predictive of the other over a four-year period. Finally, SFOR
tendency predicted algebra knowledge three-years later, even after taking into
account non-verbal intelligence and rational number knowledge. The results of
the present study provide further evidence that individual differences in SFOR
tendency may have an important role in the development of mathematical knowledge,
including rational numbers and algebra. 

Last updated on 2019-12-06 at 15:56