St Johns, United Kingdom
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PubMed | Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, University of York, St Johns College Oxford and University College London
Type: | Journal: Learning and instruction | Year: 2015

Two important foundations for learning are language and executive skills. Data from a longitudinal study tracking the development of 93 children at family-risk of dyslexia and 76 controls was used to investigate the influence of these skills on the development of arithmetic. A two-group longitudinal path model assessed the relationships between language and executive skills at 3-4 years, verbal number skills (counting and number knowledge) and phonological processing skills at 4-5 years, and written arithmetic in primary school. The same cognitive processes accounted for variability in arithmetic skills in both groups. Early language and executive skills predicted variations in preschool verbal number skills, which in turn, predicted arithmetic skills in school. In contrast, phonological awareness was not a predictor of later arithmetic skills. These results suggest that verbal and executive processes provide the foundation for verbal number skills, which in turn influence the development of formal arithmetic skills. Problems in early language development may explain the comorbidity between reading and mathematics disorder.


Harvey A.D.,St Johns College Oxford
International Journal for the History of Engineering and Technology | Year: 2015

German military victories in 1940 and 1941 and the curious glamour that the Hitler regime holds for many people has led to the belief that German aircraft design was the best in the world in the Nazi period. In reality many pre-war German designs were mediocre and the most successful, the Messerschmitt Bf 109, owed its success to having its engine replaced by one heavier, and almost twice as powerful, as the one it was designed for which led to a variety of performance problems that were exacerbated in later wartime versions with even more powerful engines. The contemporary British Spitfire, already marginally superior in its earlier versions, turned out to have much greater development potential. Later the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter was pressed into service ahead of comparable British and American types before the problems with its engines had been properly dealt with: its much-vaunted swept-wing configuration was the result not of theoretical work by German academics on the issue of compressibility at high speeds (which was at that stage unknown to aircraft manufacturers) but of the need to compensate for the effect of the unexpectedly heavy jet engines on the centre of gravity. The Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket fighter was also brought into service prematurely: A wonderful aircraft to fly when the propulsion unit did not blow up, it represented a conceptual dead-end as it turned out that the flying wing format, or variations on the tail-less aeroplane principle, was incompatible with near-sonic or supersonic speeds. © The Newcomen Society for the Study of the History of Engineering & Technology 2015.

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