Different Theoretical Perspectives on Specific Learning Difficulties in Mathematics. Implications for Special Educational Intervention and for Everyday School Practice”: An overview study
becomes increasingly important that children should grow up with basic competence and familiarity with numbers. Yet, a significant amount of evidence suggests that many children encounter major problems in learning mathematics. But why do children find arithmetic so difficult? In the present study an attempt is being made to explore the ways in which different psychological perspectives have been used to explain the nature of children' s in mathematics and the possible reasons that might account for children' s difficulties in this area. More specifically, the study initially focuses on the distinction often made between those who favor the mechanistic-procedural skills involved in acquiring numeracy, versus those who place the emphasis upon the conceptual understanding of mathematics. The three psychological perspectives which dominate in the relevant literature, that is, the 'constructivist', the 'social constructivist' and the 'information-processing' theories are also considered with respect to their implications for understanding children' s mathematical development and difficulties with number. Finally, the several ways in which the above theories might be interpreted in order to assist educators in meeting their pupils' learning difficulties in the area of mathematics, are also discussed.