Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of Education.
Lomonosov Moscow State University.
This study examines the role of cognitive characteristics in the success in learning Russian, assessed through teachers’ grades and test scores on standardized state exams.
This paper examines the relationship between cognitive characteristics, such as nonverbal intelligence, working memory and speed of information processing, and the results of the Unified State Exam for 11th grade students, the Basic State Exam for 9th grade students and the traditional assessment of Russian language learning.
This study involved students in the 9th and 11th grades from four educational institutions in the Moscow and St. Petersburg regions; 427 students were studying in the 9th grade (50.3% were boys) and 398 students were studying in the 11th grade (44.8% were boys).
This study concluded that expert assessment of Russian language learning is more associated with successful test scores on the Unified State Exam (r = 0.71, p < 0.01) than with the results of the Basic State Exam (r = 0.46, р < 0.01).
This study showed that at the lower and upper levels of secondary education, nonverbal intelligence is a significant predictor of success in learning the Russian language according to expert estimates. In addition, we found differences in the relationship between cognitive performance and success in learning the Russian language as assessed by tests. Nonverbal intelligence contributes significantly to individual differences in scores for the Unified State Exam in Russian, while the contribution of cognitive characteristics on the Basic State Exam is not statistically significant.
Keywords: nonverbal intelligence, cognitive characteristics, success in learning Russian, Unified State Exam, State Final Examination, annual assessment
This article presents the results of a study of mathematical fluency in high school students. We provide a definition of mathematical fluency and illustrate the relevance of the research by presenting an overview of studies examining mathematical fluency development and its relationship with success in mathematical disciplines.
A computerized test “Problem Verification Task” (Tosto et al., 2013) was administered to 692 high school students from one public secondary school (grades 9/10/11: n = 336/210/146) in the Moscow region. The stimuli consisted of 48 elementary arithmetic equations along with answer options. To indicate a correct answer, participants were instructed to press the corresponding key on the keyboard as quickly as possible.
Two-way ANOVA was used to estimate grade and sex similarities and differences in mathematical fluency at the high school level.
The current study has two primary findings: (1) students differed in math fluency across grades, and (2) there were no sex differences in mathematical fluency at the high school level. ANOVA exhibited significant differences in mathematical fluency among all three groups of students at grades 9, 10 and 11 with a 19% effect size. These results may be associated with the accumulating effects of the educational process: high school students in each subsequent year of schooling demonstrate a higher level of mathematical fluency on average compared to the previous year. At the same time, we observed no sex differences in mathematical fluency at the high school level. The results are discussed in terms of educational effects.
Keywords: mathematical fluency, mathematical achievement, education, high school age, sex differences
Background. The search for cognitive predictors of success in language learning is associated both with basic cognitive characteristics (processing speed and spatial working memory) and with general characteristics (intelligence). However, the ratio between cognitive functioning and success in language learning can change during the period of school education and depends on the socioeconomic level of the society and the effectiveness of the national educational system.
Objective. To analyze the cognitive predictors of Russian language learning samples of Russian-speaking 11th graders from Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Moldova, three countries with a similar organization of the educational system, but differing in the functional effectiveness of that educational system and in their socioeconomic levels.
Design. The sample comprised 545 Russian-speaking 11th graders (average age = 17.42 + 0.59; 36.1% male) studying Russian throughout their public-school education in Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Moldova. The statistical methods of one-way analysis of variance, correlation, and multiple regression analysis were used.
Results. Among the indicators of cognitive development we analyzed, the functioning of the national educational system is the one most associated with the development of fluid intelligence of 11th graders, which is directly proportional to the quality of education in the country; to a lesser extent, it is associated with the development of working memory. In Kyrgyzstan (with an average level of socioeconomic development) and Moldova (with a high level of socioeconomical development), only fluid intelligence was associated with the score on the state exam on the Russian language. In Russia, which has a very high level of socioeconomic development, fluid intelligence and spatial working memory were updated.
Conclusion. Differences in the relationship between cognitive functioning and success in Russian-language learning are associated both with the objectives of the state exam (identification of pupils ready to attend university versus testing of what was learned in school), and, in conditions of low educational effectiveness, with a greater cognitive load during the exam.
Keywords: processing speed; spatial working memory; fluid intelligence; success in learning Russian; native speakers; state final examination; teacher’s assessment
Background. Visuospatial working memory changes across years of schooling. According to data from the cross-sectional and longitudinal studies available in the literature, conclusions about the linear or nonlinear nature of changes in visuospatial working memory depend on the period of time analyzed and the frequency of the measurements. However, which of the two nonlinear models of functional dependence (e.g., quadratic or cubic) best describes the developmental trajectories of visuospatial memory across schooling is still an open question.
Objective. The results of statistical analysis of the development of visuospatial working memory in girls and boys across school years from Grade 1 to Grade 11 are presented. Additionally, the relationship between age and years of schooling is investigated, as is the influence of these factors on the developmental trajectory of visuospatial working memory.
Design. This cross-sectional study involved 1,246 pupils who were in Grades 1 to 11 at one public school; their ages ranged from 6.8 to 19.1 years (50.4% were boys). The students’ visuospatial working memory was measured using the computerized “Sequences” test, which is based on the “Corsi block-tapping task” and has been adapted for Russian schoolchildren. Correlations, dispersion analysis, and polynomial regression were carried out, and both linear and nonlinear models of the functional dependence of working memory on years of schooling were tested.
Results. The results of the multiple regression analysis suggest that number of years of schooling is a more important factor than age with regard to temporal changes in visuospatial working memory. When we introduced “years of schooling” and “age” predictors into a single model, we found the year of schooling to be the most significant predictor of visuospatial working memory (β = 1.07;p = 0.000).While age remained a statistically significant predictor (β = -0.52;p = 0.008), it did not significantly improve the model characteristics (corrected R2 = 0.30; F(2) = 253.9; p<0.01).
The results of the polynomial regression showed that during schooling, the developmental trajectories of visuospatial working memory are nonlinear for both genders. In girls, both the quadratic and cubic models explained 36% of the variance in visuospatial working memory, but the quadratic model had the least number of parameters and the best fit to data. In boys, despite all theoretical models being suitable, the largest percentage of the variance in visuospatial working memory values was explained using the cubic model (R2= 0.31; p = 0.000). Thus, the characteristic of change in visuospatial working memory for girls had a quadratic relationship that stabilized after Grade 8, while for boys, the relationship was cubic, with the period of stabilization between Grades 5 and 6, and then further growth.
Conclusion. We concluded that the number of years of study is an important factor in the development of visuospatial working memory during the schooling period, but that there are other factors involved as well.
Keywords: visuospatial working memory; school education; grade; age; cross-sectional study; polynomial regression; gender differences