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Domain-Specific Stimulation of Executive Functioning in Low-Performing Students with a Roma Background: Cognitive Potential of Mathematics

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Research Center of Cognitive Education, Faculty of Education, University of Presov in Presov, 080 01 Prešov, Slovakia
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Education and Child Studies, Leiden University, 2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands
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Developmental and Educational Psychology, Leiden University, 2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands
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Department of Mathematic Education, Faculty of Education, University of Presov in Presov, 080 01 Prešov, Slovakia
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Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Pavol Jozef Safarik University in Kosice, 040 01 Košice, Slovakia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maria Meletiou-Mavrotheris
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060285
Received: 12 May 2021 / Revised: 2 June 2021 / Accepted: 4 June 2021 / Published: 8 June 2021
The current study investigated whether a domain-specific intervention of ExeFun-Mat targeting math and executive functions in primary school children with a Roma background would be effective in improving their scholastic performance and executive functioning. ExeFun-Mat is based on the principles of the reciprocal teaching approach, scaffolding and self-questioning. The domain-specific content was divided into modules. Each module consisted of a set of graded tasks. The criteria for the grading and hierarchical organization of the tasks were based on the level of cognitive difficulty and the type of representation. In total, 122 students attending grade four of elementary school took part in the project. The study concerned a pretest-intervention-posttest experimental design with three conditions: the experimental condition, an active, and a passive control group. To assess the children’s level of EF, the Delis–Kaplan executive function system test battery was used; to assess children’s mathematical achievement, the cognitive abilities test (the numeracy battery), and ZAREKI—a neuropsychological test battery for numerical processing and calculation—were used. The results suggested that both math performance and executive functions improved over time, with no significant differences between the three conditions. An additional correlational analysis indicated that pretest performance was not related to posttest performance for the children in the experimental and active control group. View Full-Text
Keywords: executive functioning; domain-specific cognitive stimulation; math; ExeFun-Mat; low-performing student; Roma ethnic group executive functioning; domain-specific cognitive stimulation; math; ExeFun-Mat; low-performing student; Roma ethnic group
MDPI and ACS Style

Kovalčíková, I.; Veerbeek, J.; Vogelaar, B.; Prídavková, A.; Ferjenčík, J.; Šimčíková, E.; Tomková, B. Domain-Specific Stimulation of Executive Functioning in Low-Performing Students with a Roma Background: Cognitive Potential of Mathematics. Educ. Sci. 2021, 11, 285. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060285

AMA Style

Kovalčíková I, Veerbeek J, Vogelaar B, Prídavková A, Ferjenčík J, Šimčíková E, Tomková B. Domain-Specific Stimulation of Executive Functioning in Low-Performing Students with a Roma Background: Cognitive Potential of Mathematics. Education Sciences. 2021; 11(6):285. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060285

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kovalčíková, Iveta, Jochanan Veerbeek, Bart Vogelaar, Alena Prídavková, Ján Ferjenčík, Edita Šimčíková, and Blanka Tomková. 2021. "Domain-Specific Stimulation of Executive Functioning in Low-Performing Students with a Roma Background: Cognitive Potential of Mathematics" Education Sciences 11, no. 6: 285. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060285

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