What are the relationships between general cognitive abilities and domain-specific competences?
The project of the Leibniz Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Education examined early roots of competence development in cooperation with the University of Bamberg. Specifically, we analyzed links between general cognitive abilities (information processing skills, executive functions) and domain-specific competency development (linguistic, mathematical competencies) in early childhood. The role of language and language development received special attention. This was of particular importance for fostering development as language is both an important means of instruction and communication as well as a central means of mental representation. The project focused on two main topics which are analyzed using existing longitudinal data (NEPS, BiKS). On the one hand, we examined the influence of early skills at the ages of 7 and 16 months on later competency development in preschool. The second focus was on the relationship between linguistic, cognitive, mathematical and early science skills in the transition from preschool to primary school.