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Project Title:

Early Childhood Mathematics
PIN: MSEB-Q-05-01-A        

Major Unit:

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Sub Unit: Center for Education

RSO: Woods, Taniesha

Subject/Focus Area: Education

Project Scope
CFE will undertake a 18-month study on early childhood mathematics to synthesize and analyze the past twenty years of research on early childhood mathematics from a number of disciplinary fields, draw out the implications for policy and practice affecting young children as they move through the preschool years and begin formal schooling, and provide research-based guidance to increase the numbers of young children, especially vulnerable children, getting off to a strong start in learning mathematics during their first years of schooling. It is designed to capitalize on the research literature in the field and consider its various implications for policymakers, practitioners and parents.

The committee will assemble the pertinent research literature from the multiple disciplines that have focused attention on the teaching and learning of mathematics by young children. They will analyze this literature in order to develop: 1) appropriate mathematics learning objectives for pre-school students; and 2) critical evidence-based insights related to curriculum, instruction, and teacher education for achieving these learning objectives. Finally, they will determine the implications of these findings for policy, practice, parent-child relations, future data collection and further research.

Questions the committee may address include:

-- What does existing research tell us about what preschool children can know about mathematics, and how they develop this knowledge?

-- Learning of which mathematical knowledge, skills and concepts in the preschool years increases the likelihood of successful mathematics learning in school and beyond?

-- What do international comparisons with respect to both preschoolers and primary grades students tell us about the nature of early mathematics learning and prospects for its improvement in the U.S.?

-- What policies and practices best lay the foundation for successful mathematics learning? What approaches in other countries with respect to interventions and ongoing support could usefully be applied here?

-- What can parents, preschool teachers and other adults who interact with young children do to promote their mathematical development?

-- How can we support the mathematical development of preschool teachers so that they will be able to promote young children's mathematical development?

-- How can further research in cognitive development and preschool education be focused to address issues that will lead to improvement in children's mathematical proficiency?

This project is sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Research Council.

The approximate start date for the project is August 1, 2007.

A report will be issued at the end of the project in approximately 24 months.

Project Duration: 24 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 08/09/2007
 Meeting 2 - 11/30/2007
 Meeting 3 - 02/25/2008
 Meeting 4 - 05/28/2008


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity