Effects of reading picture books on kindergartners’ mathematics performance
Authorvan den Heuvel - Panhuizen, Marja
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This article describes a field experiment with a pretest–posttest control group design which investigated the potential of reading picture books to children for supporting their mathematical understanding. The study involved 384 children from 18 kindergarten classes in 18 schools in the Netherlands. During three months, the children in the nine experimental classes were read picture books. Data analysis revealed that, when controlled for relevant covariates, the picture book reading programme had a positive effect (d = .13) on kindergartners’ mathematics performance as measured by a project test containing items on number, measurement and geometry. Compared to the increase from pretest to posttest in the control group, the increase in the experimental group was 22% larger. No significant differential intervention effects were found between subgroups based on kindergarten year, age, home language, socio-economic status and mathematics and language ability, but a significant intervention effect was found for girls and not for boys.