Subitiseringsförmåga, engagemang och självförtroende
: En interventionsstudie i årskurs 4

Translated title of the thesis: Subitizing ability, commitment and self-confidence: an intervention study in 4th grade
  • Peter Nilsson
  • Roger Johansson
  • Ann-Lill Stark

Student thesis: Professional degree, Advanced level


Subitizing ability is seen as a basic skill in number sense. The purpose of this study was to contribute with knowledge about the connection between conceptual subitization and number sense and what impact our intervention program may have on students with weak conceptual subitizing ability. The purpose was also to make the development process visible in our work with an intervention program in conceptual subitizing. The intervention was implemented with 15 students in year 4, with two to four students in each group. The design of the intervention was founded in constructivism. Concrete materials and joint discussions were used. To map the students’ knowledge development, tests were performed both before and after the intervention. Quantitative methods were used to answer our research questions about the correlation between conceptual subitizing ability and number sense, as well as the intervention program’s impact on students' conceptual subitizing ability and number sense. The results showed that the intervention group improved slightly more than the control group in terms of both subitizing ability and number sense. The results also showed a minor correlation between conceptual subitizing ability and number sense. It is difficult to make any general conclusions from the results because the sample in the study was small and the differences between the intervention group and control group were small. Qualitative methods with recurring reflective conversations were used to answer the research question about the intervention program’s impact on knowledge development, students’ commitment and self-confidence and to identify which changes that need to be done to the program. The students showed commitment and self-confidence regarding number sense. We saw this through the students’ high level of activity, their creativity and abundant communication. The changes to the intervention program consisted mainly of making the exercises simpler or more challenging. In order to understand the consequences of the perspective choices made during the intervention regarding methods for meeting students’ differences, resolving difficulties and removing obstacles, we used two basic special educational perspectives: the relational and the categorical. Intervention as a special educational effort can develop students' mathematical abilities and thereby decrease the risk of failure with societal limitations as a result. As in our study, intervention can beused as an implement for professional development.

Date of Award2021-Jun-23
Original languageSwedish
SupervisorLotta Leden (Supervisor), Cecilia Segerby (Examiner) & Daniel Östlund (Examiner)

Educational program

  • Special Education Teacher Programme

University credits

  • 15 HE credits

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Pedagogy (50301)
  • Mathematics (101)
  • Learning (50303)


  • action research
  • arithmetic
  • categorical perspective
  • conceptual subitization
  • constructivism
  • intervention
  • number sense
  • perceptual subitization
  • relational perspective
  • representations
  • special educational perspectives

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