Executive functions underpinning self and peer directed mathematics remedial intervention in Indian primary schools within high poverty communities.
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Description: Remedial instruction and learning remain critical in contexts where students struggle with foundational functional numeracy skills. Different children usually have different remedial need and require individualized instruction. This quasi-experimental design study explored a self and peer directed intervention across seven public primary schools, with children aged 7-11 years (intervention group N = 294, regression discontinuity-based control group N = 62). Self-directed learning has usually been suggested to be linked with executive functioning skills, however, there is a limited understanding of the cognitive development in children from under-resourced backgrounds in the Global South. Standard cognitive measures were adapted to the Indian contexts and randomly administered to participating children (N = 51). The study finds a significant improvement in numeracy skills of the participating children. Furthermore, this improvement is found to have differential relation with various executive functions across the different age groups. The findings suggest the intervention effectiveness and self-regulated learning to be dependent on children’s short-term memory, general cognitive ability, inhibition control and equalization.