Based on a sample of 71 Chinese children aged around 6 years, the present study examined whether mental rotation ability contributes specifically to childrenís early learning of subtraction but not to their learning of addition and explored whether backward counting explained the relation between mental rotation and subtraction. The results showed that mental rotation ability was associated with performance in subtraction but not that in addition and that this relation was fully mediated by backward counting even after taking into account the influence of phonological awareness. Findings highlight the importance of examining the specificity of the cognitive process that underlies childrenís learning of subtraction. Implications for educational practices were also discussed.
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2015|