Reducing the gap in numerical knowledge between low- and middle-income preschoolers

Date of Original Version




Abstract or Description

We compared the learning from playing a linear number board game of preschoolers from middle-income backgrounds to the learning of preschoolers from low-income backgrounds. Playing this game produced greater learning by both groups than engaging in other numerical activities for the same amount of time. The benefits were present on number line estimation, magnitude comparison, numeral identification, and arithmetic learning. Children with less initial knowledge generally learned more, and children from low-income backgrounds learned at least as much, and on several measures more, than preschoolers from middle-income backgrounds with comparable initial knowledge. The findings suggest a class of intervention that might be especially effective for reducing the gap between low-income and middle-income children's knowledge when they enter school.




Published In

Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 32, 3, 146-159.